Jillian Michaels is definitely one of my favorite “celebrity trainers.”  The first time I saw her on Biggest Loser, I thought “who is that bad ass yelling at all the people to move their ass?”  I always say I would want a trainer who would not entertain any excuses and is really only yelling and being hard on me out of love.  Or…a person like my Mom.  When I played sports in high school my Mom would be at most of my games (soccer & basketball) saying things like, “Chaia, what the h— are you doing?! Run faster!” or if I got knocked down, she would yell to my coaches, “Leave her alone, she’ll get up!”  And I always did.  There was only one time she was scared I was hurt (I wasn’t) – when I was clothes-lined going up for a long rebound in a basketball game.  So, let’s just say I identify with Jillian’s brand of motivation.  And when I found out her tour was coming to DC, I had to go!

 Jillian’s show starts with a video montage of cool images, going from “hell on earth” to “heaven on earth.”  Basically, showing what we all don’t want (shitty foods, bad experiences, no love) to what we all want (serenity, vacations, family).  She then comes out (to thunderous applause) and reviews the “Curriculum” for the night: Science (of Nutrition); Sweat (Movement); and Self-Worth (she spent most of the night on this).  She lets the audience know in no uncertain terms that “Destiny is a matter of choice, not chance.”  Amen.

In the Science of Nutrition portion, she reviews what a lot of us already know: avoid processed foods at all costs; read food labels; and buy organic, if and when you can, for a certain Dirty Dozen (foods with the most pesticides).  She also reveals the BIG SECRET to weight loss: EAT LESS, MOVE MORE.  Welp…for all of you watching those late night infomercials, cutting carbs and doing weird cleanses for weeks at a time, you heard it here first – the ONLY way to achieve lasting results is to use that equation.  She is NOT a big proponent of weird diets in general, and revealed that she saves 300-400 calories a day for something sweet.  I was shocked by that number! (I expected somewhere around 150-200 a day.) She said she usually has a cupcake, a long island iced tea (!) or something like that EVERYDAY.  She actually talked a lot about long islands.  (My kind of gal.)  Even better, when addressing veganism she said: “If you want to be vegan, go ahead…go with God, but this bitch wants a hamburger!”  ROFL.  She went on: “I’ve taken hundreds of pounds off of people and they eat [protein].”  ROFL.  Love!

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In the Sweat portion, Jillian talked a lot about how she does not “love” working out; but, she does “love” what exercise does for her.  She loves skinny jeans and looking good (of course), but better yet, she loves knowing she’s healthy, adding years onto her life and making a difference in the lives of others.  She also gave some simple math for figuring out your basal metabolic rate (BMR), active metabolic rate (AMR), maximum heart rate (MHR).  More importantly, she talks about her love of high intensity interval training (HIIT) to achieve max results, and even shared two of her circuits!  Jillian specifically recommended exercising only 6 hours per week and having 1 rest day…but you must move your ass in that gym!

Last, Jillian talks about Self-Worth, which is the key to losing weight and all happiness in your life.  She shared many personal stories (and jokes) throughout the night, but this portion had to be the most personal.  She has made no secret of her own struggle with self-worth, stemming from a not-so-good relationship with her Dad, which led to weight gain in her teen years (170 pounds at 5’.)  She shared an epic fight she had with her partner earlier in their relationship, which led to couples therapy, and many bad relationships she had because she lacked self-worth.  She identified all the factors that hold us back: shame, regret, fear, judgment, responsibility and obligation.  She urges you to see failure (because it WILL happen during any journey) as an opportunity for growth instead of being paralyzed by it.  At this point, I was impressed with how much she sounded like Oprah!  And, she actually shared that she really wants a talk show…and shared that she could NOT believe Kris Jenner has one and not her.  HA! In all, she wants you to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for your life – where you’ve been, where you’re at now and where you want to be.  Take that self-inventory.  During this portion she asked the crowd: “Are people fat because they want to be or because they don’t want to be and don’t have the skills?”  Contrary to how you might have answered that question, she answered that people are fat because they want to be or because it’s “providing them with something” to avoid dealing with whatever issue(s) might be going on in their lives.  She used several examples of contestants from the Biggest Loser to make her point.  This all led up to something we can all ponder in our journey to our best selves – what is living below your potential costing you?  Jillian also gave a concrete way to accomplish your goals – by writing them down in digestible pieces – long term, monthly, weekly, daily and immediate.  That way, you have a map and nothing is too daunting.

Overall, I loved the show.  Jillian was funny, engaging and focused.  She talked about 2 ½ hours (with a 15 minute intermission) without notes – it was basically a TED Talk.  In fact, she should do a TED Talk.  She dropped tons of gems and inspired me to get some things going in my own life.  She is truly more than a personal trainer!

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