Jillian Michaels makes a living by whipping people into shape on The Biggest Loser. What is not seen on the NBC hit, though, is how the tough-talking trainer gets herself ripped and fit. And it turns out — her own workout routine is just as rigorous as the ones she assigns to her pupils on the show! OK! joined Jillian, who has a new fitness DVD out, 30 Day Shred, at the gym to see how she keeps packing those punches!
Did you ever struggle with your weight?
I was about 170 lbs. at my heaviest, and I’m about 115 to 120 now. It’s my own experiences that make me empathetic.
What was the turning point for you? When you decided to get into shape?
I was about 14, and I was getting into martial arts, and my martial arts instructor was so disgusted with me, because I was eating a bag of Cheetos in his studio. He was like, “Get out! And when you’re ready to be serious, come back. Right now you’re just wasting everyone’s time. You’re wasting your parents’ money, you’re wasting my time.” He was such a mentor for me, so it was very much that rock bottom, sort of a-ha moment.
What’s your workout regime?
I try to get in five hours a week. I’ve been doing a tremendous amount of high-intensity cardio because I want my muscles to get smaller. I’m very thick, and I don’t like how it looks.
Can you describe your diet?
It’s usually 1,800 calories a day on days I’m working out. Breakfast would be whole-grain cereal, blueberries and organic nonfat yogurt. For lunch, I’ll have a protein salad. Snack time: smoothie. You can’t just go to Jamba Juice. It will be 1,000 calories. I put organic berries, yogurt, half a scoop of protein powder and two packets of sweetener, and you’re looking at 200 calories.
Do you struggle with staying in shape?
Oh, god, food is a constant struggle for me. With exercise, I get my workout done and I’m done until tomorrow. With food, I eat and then an hour later I’m hungry again!
Are there particular foods you can’t resist?
Chocolate! Oh my god! Son of a bitch – it’s so hard! Chocolate and wine. I love red wine. I have two big Viking wine cellars that are like my pride and joy. I collect wine and I love chocolate. Those two things are hell for me.
How often do you allow yourself to indulge?
The wine I do less frequently. I’ll allow myself to have four glasses of wine a week. When it comes to the chocolate, I allow it every single day, but I only get 200 calories worth. So I work it into my daily calories. It’s a candy bar. But I usually only need it after dinner. I get that craving after dinner… and I’ll try to go with Newman’s Own organic peanut butter cup, which weight-wise don’t make a difference, but for the overall health don’t have as many fats. It’s a little bit better.
Tell us about your new DVD, 30 Day Shred.
The DVD is designed as the exercise counterpart to my book Making the Cut. The idea is that it’s a 30-day program that’s designed to get you in the best shape of your life. So if you’re getting married, if you just had a baby, if you’re going to spring break, if you want to make your baby daddy jealous at the next parent-teacher conference because he left you for the secretary, that’s why I designed it. It’s not for the person with 100 pounds to lose. If you’ve got 100 pounds to lose, it’s not gonna be for you. You can have an intermediate level of fitness, because there is a level one and then level two and level three, level three being the hardest. But if you don’t work out, if you’re a couch potato, if you have a ton of weight to lose, then you need to go back to my old DVDs. It’s definitely about taking you to the next level.
Who would you love to work into shape?
I really want to train Hillary Clinton. Politics aside, you look at Barack Obama, he is ripped. Hillary is so intelligent, so well-spoken, but she doesn’t look as strong as she could. Hillary, call me, baby!
For more on Jillian, check out her gallery and pick up the latest issue of OK!, on newsstands now!