Anyone who knows me even a little knows how much I adore Jillian Michaels. To start, while I don’t believe that much in astrology, we are both Aquariuses (is that a word?), and I have found we have very similar personalities. I like to think we’re kindred spirits. (Does that sound creepy? Or creeper-ish? Or obsessed? I really don’t mean it to!)
She’s the first person in my life, other than family and friends, who has really inspired me. I realize she’s only human and thus is not perfect. I don’t always agree with everything she does or says, but for the most part, she gets it right.
It was Jillian Michaels who first got through to me over two years ago. My mom had given me her 30 Day Shred DVD because the moves were too hard on her knees. I had never watched the Biggest Loser (and in fact, thought it was kind of a stupid show), so I dismissed it at first. What did this woman really know? Wasn’t she only famous for being on TV? She couldn’t be a real trainer.
One day, I finally gave it a chance and it whipped my butt. I was so sore that I didn’t try it again for another couple of weeks. Then I kept doing it and kept doing it and for the first time in a long time, I felt empowered and proud by what I could accomplish. Exercises that had left me sore were no longer touching me. I was moving through the levels, always striving to keep up with the advanced moves.
But it wasn’t purely the workouts that got through to me; it was what Jillian was saying throughout the DVDs. Most home workouts I had tried were too easy on people. “Oh, just take a rest if you’re tired” type of thing. Don’t get me wrong–if you absolutely, and I mean absolutely, cannot go on, you should take a quick (5 second) break. But you need to keep going.
For example, from the start of 30 Day Shred Jillian sets your right:
I love that she keeps it real. She doesn’t tell you it’s going to be easy. It’s not!
But if you work hard, you can do it! Just be willing to work hard.
I’ve since acquired many of her DVDs and have a blast trying her new workouts.
My personal favorites are Killer Abs and, the original one that started it all, 30 Day Shred. I’ve talked to so many people who think they need to be at the gym on a piece of cardio equiptment for hours to burn as many calories as possible. I promise, you don’t! I saw serious changes in my body doing these DVDs. I never knew I could have toned abs and arms! Granted, you have to be smart about the way you eat because you can out-eat all of your hard work.
I also thoroughly enjoy listening to her podcasts while I run. Not only does it help my pacing, but I learn all kinds of interesting things. In fact, if you want to know the real Jillian, instead of the one the media likes to portray, listen to it. She has so many wonderful segments not only on health, fitness, and nutrition, but also on life in general. You can tell that she genuinely just wants to help people be the best versions of themselves.
And that’s the crazy thing about her influence on me (or rather, what putting in the hard work did): it manifested itself into all other aspects of my life. Suddenly I was more motivated to be better at everything and go after what I wanted! My physical achievements gave me the confidence to want to achieve more: change my job, go after that nursing degree, break out of my comfort zone.
Okay, I think I’ve gone on enough about her. WHH is probably shaking his head reading this. He’s the lucky one that always gets to hear, “So, Jillian Michaels says…”
Questions: Do you have anyone who’s inspired you to be better? What do you think of Jillian (I promise I won’t bite if you say something negative. I can take it.)?