I had the pleasure recently of attending fitness guru Jillian Michaels’ Maximize Your Life tour in Dallas. I know if Jillian were to see this, she would be gawking at my “fitness guru” description, because although she is an expert in fitness & nutrition, her knowledge in physical wellness is just the tip of the iceberg in what she has to offer which she so clearly demonstrates on her tour. Jillian did share some VERY helpful information regarding nutrition & exercise, but what sets her apart is her wealth of knowledge on overcoming the mental and emotional setbacks that can add much more weight to our lives than any number on the scale. Jillian brings to light the real roots of our battle with the scale… self doubt, grief, fear of failure and even fear of success to name a few. Big change happens when we shift our mental habits at the same time we work on shifting the physical habits that have led us to where we are. This may sound like a lot of work but don’t close me out just yet… she gives some great reminders that will help us on our journey to having a healthy mind & body 🙂
There was way too much information and too many takeaways to list in one blog post (I scribbled down 9 pages of notes), so here are a few that stood out to me:
- Know why you’re doing it. Can you visualize what it looks like when you’ve reached your goal? Are you jumping on the trampoline with your kids and making positive memories with them in ways that you can’t today? Are you saying “Yes” to a beach vacation without panicking? Are you going into a job interview with confidence? Are you telling your grandkids embarrassing stories of their parents? This mental image will be your motivation and it has to matter more to you than whatever you gain out of the extra time you save not going to the gym, or the comfort you get by indulging in sweets or the excitement you get when you’re out with friends stuffing your face at the sports bar. When you realize that there’s an outcome and purpose more important than these things, the motivation will come naturally from within. Not from a new pair of shoes or yoga pants… even though those things are fun too. This same exercise is also helpful when establishing financial and relationship goals as well.
- On a plateau? Celebrate! It seems so silly now that I’ve never done this. If weight gain has been an issue and you have now hit a plateau, then you’re doing something right. Why is it some of us would almost rather see the number go up than put in effort and watch it come to a halt. A steady number is not a bad thing… your car was headed in the wrong direction and you just put on the brakes. YAY… now stick with it because this gear is about to get shifted into reverse…
- Almost every billionaire has gone bankrupt at some point. You know that goal in life that you’re scared of pursuing because you might not reach it? Or even worse you might reach it and then something happens and then you lose it? Well guess what… you already don’t have it!
- Don’t eat poison. Quality of food as much to do with not losing weight as quantity. You probably wouldn’t let someone spray bug spray into your mouth (unless you’re the woman in Dallas who was about to let Jillian do just that)… but for most normal people we would be way too paranoid to digest a poison or let one of our kids digest a poison that could cause major damage to our bodies. So why then do we feed ourselves ingredients that are making our bodies work harder to process (slowing weight loss) and increasing our chances of illness later down the road. Put your focus more focus more on nutrition than just numbers and it’s a much healthier and more rewarding journey this way. If you stop at a fast food place and get a salad you could leave feeling deprived, but if you spend time making yourself a salad at home that looks and tastes great, you’re more likely to feel accomplished and proud. We are more likely to continue behaviors that make us feel good than behaviors that make us feel bad, and I don’t know anyone who has ever truly regretted making meals out of deliciously fresh ingredients! Jillian’s list of 10 additives to avoid can be found here.
- If it had a mother, go organic. As long as we’re working to remove the poison ingredients we don’t need to go full organic… we know how expensive that would be. But for animal products, that’s where we want to spend the little bit extra $$$ on organic products. For most families it would add an estimated $20 a week in grocery costs, but it’s worth it to cut out the antibiotics, growth hormones, pesticides and fertilizers that are ending up in our food. You’ll see, taste and feel the difference.
Jillian also gave a lot of very useful information on how exactly she leads her contestants to their weight loss goals in relation to metabolism, calculating your caloric intake and proper exercise intensity goals and all of that information can be found in her books, such a Slim For Life. She makes it sound so easy, even for a blonde like me 😉 I also listen to her podcast every week… she and Janice are just too much fun.
I have to share one story from the tour that gave a great perspective. During the Q&A session a man came up and asked “I just wanted to ask you a funny question… Why are you always riding around on peoples backs and having them carry you everywhere when you’re training them on Biggest Loser?” Jillian explained that the reason she’s always invading their personal space so much is to break through their mentality that they’re “disgusting”… to show them that she can touch them and be close to them. They are very uncomfortable with this at first, but it’s helpful in their journey of self acceptance. She also tells them not to feel ashamed of who they were on day 1, because that person was strong enough to make the decision for change. Such a great lesson for us all! So the next time you see that mean bitchy trainer on Biggest Loser pushing someone or sitting on them, remember that what you don’t see is her dirty secret… she’s really just a big softie in disguise.