If you think you know everything about Jillian Michaels. Think again.
On May 3, I gathered up some girlfriends, and set out for an amazing evening in Philly to see Jillian Michaels on stage for her “Maximize Your Life” tour. I have read two of her books, “Unlimited” and “Slim For Life”. I have watched her shows, “Losing it with Jillian” and “The Biggest Loser” religiously. I love her quotes. I love her drive. I love her badass awesomeness. And now I love where it comes from.
In the first moments she takes the stage, you are brought to a sensible place. A tough love education on how we, the universe, think all fixes come quickly, in a pill form, by fed ex, for purchase, for whatever our money can buy. She asks us to think. What is the one huge, money making, history breaking exercise that will change our lives? As the audience comes to a silent pause…sitting on her every word, she whispers…”Eat Less” than “Move More”. Wow. And she proudly exclaims, we have paid her and the fitness industry bazillions of dollars for an answer that is free and simple.
I admire Jillian. Her success is incomparable, her advice is easy. She is a straight shooter. If you want something. Go get it. No one will give it to you. She describes the important factors in your life as “key buckets”. Family, home, career, health are key buckets. You have to keep them even. Don’t let one empty, don’t let one over flow. Keep balance.Watch your buckets. She commands the audience, “Stop quitting.” Think of all the things you want to do, lose weight, change jobs, buy a home, and ask yourself..”How..could..you…NOT?”
The evening continued with lessons on calories, fat burning, cardio, and exercise. It rolled over into organics, pesticides, high fructose corn syrups and the food industries tricks into making us think we are eating healthy, and what is healthy? She broke down each topic and yet did not lecture or bore us. She asked that we invest an extra $20 a week, make some food changes. Just think…$20.
When you look at Jillian, her persona, her yelling, her attitude, her physique. You think, “Here is someone who has it all together, she knows how to get it done.” It wasn’t really until this night, i understood where it comes from. I read about her relationships in her books. I read about them and interpreted her words and emotions safely on my couch in my living room. It wasn’t until this night, i heard her tell her story that I felt how raw it was.
Jillian describes her relationship with her dad, as a child always looking for approval. She has carried this with her through relationships her entire life. She lost her job on Biggest Loser, she ruined relationships, and she destroyed anyone who became close to her. She is honest about her self-destruction, her weight gains, her anger at her father. She has made ALL the mistakes we try to avoid. She abused herself because she did not feel worthy enough to be anything better. Then she found herself. She found her balance, in martial arts, and fitness. She no longer looked for approval from anyone but herself. She openly admits to years of therapy and concludes her revelation was her decision was to finally forgive her dad. Just think…forgive.
The last piece of Jillian I took from this night was validation. Validation for being happy to want something and go after it. She gives permission to eliminate negative people from your life. She gives permission to exclude them from your dream process. “If someone keeps telling you, you can not reach your dreams, STOP telling them your dreams”. If someone is negative, sarcastic, unsupportive and not helping you achieve what you want. They are in your way. Let them go. Move forward. Just think…forward.
What I learned most from Jillian? I don’t think i can narrow it down to one thing. I think that if i saw her again, on some other night in some other city, i would take something different away each time. I would take away something I needed at that moment. That is the secret to JiIlian’s success. She is always that “right” thing for someone at that moment. Whether it be tough, hardcore, in your face, or open, honest, gratitude for her fans, she is a motivator.
She ended the night, embracing the audience with inspiring words. ” I Believe In You”. And you know what? At that moment…in my moment. I think she does.
Run Jersey Strong,