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Her exterior may be hardcore, but Jillian Michaels is a total softy on the inside and The Biggest Loser trainer is not afraid to let you know it! The best-selling author and soon-to-be host of her own NBC show in the spring discusses her struggles with weight, reality TV and love in the January issue of Ladies’ Home Journal.

Jillian has learned that working on a reality TV show is not always reality.

The Biggest Loser is like a funhouse mirror,” she explains. “I’ve loved the show and the platform it has given me, but still, it is the nature of reality TV to manipulate. You never see what’s going on in its entirety. For every 10 minutes we’re on the show, acting like insane people, there are a hundred hours of training you don’t see. The stretching, the icing. Nobody wants to watch that.”

Jillian may have been tough on the show, but she still worried about the safety of the contestants.

“The contestants keep getting bigger and bigger… As the trainers we have no say over the challenges,” she said. “We worry about them too.”

Part of her fears may come from her own battles with food when she was a teenager.

“I lived on junk food. I had no direction,” she shared. “Once I punched a hole in our wall. Another time I stole a car….[My father and I] sort of bonded over food. When he was alone with me and we had nothing to say to each other, it would be like, ‘Let’s eat a pizza!’ ”

Jillian isn’t passionate about fitness, she’s passionate about helping people improve their lives.

“For me it’s never been about fitness. Getting in shape is just a means to an end. It’s like if you said to a contractor, ‘How much do you love your toolbox?’ He’d be like, ‘Um, well I’m passionate about building beautiful houses, and to do that I need these tools.’ Well, I’m passionate about helping people rebuild their lives,” she explained. “When someone feels strong physically they feel strong in every aspect of their existence. If they have endurance and achieve in the gym, then I can redefine their entire self image. I can wipe away years of negativity.”

And Jillian has found that fear is the best way to get rid of negativity. She scares it out of people!

“You can circumvent the negative thinking with fear,” Jillian said. “Just the way a mother can lift a car off a child—it’s like, fear makes you live in the moment. Sometimes I need to intimidate a person, and then they do what I ask, and when they see they can be successful it is the most amazing experience for them. I can use the techniques they have used to program themselves for destruction and program them for success.”

Jillian doesn’t care what form of love she has in life as long as it’s healthy!

“Let’s just say I believe in healthy love,” she explained. “If I fall in love with a woman, that’s awesome. If I fall in love with a man, that’s awesome. As long as you fall in love…it’s like organic food. I only eat healthy food, and I only want healthy love!”

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