Just Jil­lian

TV Plus (South Africa) - - 21 FEBRUARY -

Jil­lian Michaels is best known to TV fans as a tough-as-nails and ag­gres­sive fit­ness trainer on re­al­ity weight-loss show The Big­gest Loser (2004-cur­rent), but now view­ers are see­ing the fit­ness fa­natic’s sen­si­tive and gen­tle side in her own show Just Jil­lian (2016-cur­rent).

Jil­lian wasn’t al­ways slim and trim. She got a wake-up call as a teen when her BMI (body mass in­dex) classed her as clin­i­cally obese – the 1.58m-tall Jil­lian weighed 80kg. She says that she found com­fort in food af­ter her par­ents di­vorced when she was in eighth grade. Jil­lian, who has ADHD (at­ten­tion deficit hy­per­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der) was sent to ther­apy by her mom for her bad night­mares. “I couldn’t sleep at night – ev­ery night – wait­ing for aliens to come. I’m not kid­ding you. I was trau­ma­tised.” Jil­lian’s quite the busi­ness­woman. She used to own a spa in Bev­erly Hills but sold it in 2004. She’s writ­ten seven work­out books and has filmed 17 fit­ness DVDs, as well as cre­at­ing an ac­tive-wear line in 2014 called Im­pact By Jil­lian Michaels. The 42-year-old trainer is a big fan of singer Tori Amos and pop star Madonna. In fact, she cred­its Madonna with help­ing her come out the closet. Ex­plains Jil­lian, “Madonna’s Jus­tify My Love (1993) video made a dif­fer­ence be­cause be­ing gay be­came cool overnight. I wasn’t ashamed any­more.” Jil­lian has two kids with her longterm part­ner Heidi Rhoades, who’s a yoga in­struc­tor. Jil­lian adopted daugh­ter Luken­sia (5) in May 2012 from Haiti and a few days later, Heidi gave birth to their son Phoenix (3). The fit­ness ex­pert’s best friend is Vanessa Mar­cil (Sam in Las Ve­gas, 2003-2008) and Jil­lian is god­mother to Vanessa’s son Kas­sius Liyah (13).

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