Jillian Michaels became a household name when she starred on the uber-popular and intense weight loss reality show, The Biggest Loser, which ran from 2004 to 2016. This Emmy-nominated mom of two has since left reality TV behind, and continued her career as an internationally renowned health and wellness expert. She is the author of 8 New York Times bestselling books, Podcast Host and Creator of The Fitness App (a comprehensive meal planner and online workout program in one), a podcast Keeping It Real, and developed her own line of Jillian Michaels iTOUCH Wearables.
At her core, though, she is a passionate trainer, and just as committed to helping followers and fans lose weight and get healthy as she was when she started out. For this week’s Meet a Mom interview we asked Jillian about her life as a working mom, her goals for 2023 and more.
Can you please tell us a bit about your family life?
I live in Miami with my wife, Deshanna and two kids. Lukensia is 12 and our son Phoenix, who is 10. We also have two dogs and a cat. Can’t forget about them.
Ha yes! Pets are definitely part of the family. Would you please walk us through a typical day for you?
I start the day with coffee and a shower—very important. Then Deshanna or I run the kids to the school bus. After that, I head home and start organizing my day work wise, begin answering emails or taking calls. If I have interviews that day I’ll be working on the computer while doing hair and makeup.
If no hair and makeup that day I’ll run to the gym around 11 for a 30-minute workout, and grab a salad on the way home. Then I’ll work more. Generally there is a soccer game or kid activity I’m attending between 3:30 and 5. Then we head home and I’ll walk the dogs. D makes dinner. We all eat together and catch up on the day. After that the kids do homework or watch a show. I get more work in and head to bed at about 10.
Sounds like a full working mom day! You’ve done a lot in your career – TV shows, podcasts, books…what drives you to keep creating?
I just love what I do and whatever I’m personally into ends up becoming my next project. When my ex was pregnant I focused on creating pregnancy fitness programs and meal plans. It could be longevity, injury rehabilitation, improving athletic performance, optimizing metabolism, get health and microbiome… whatever I’m into I end up writing about.
How did motherhood change you? Did anything surprise you?
It redefines you completely, in my opinion. Your priorities change entirely. You no longer see yourself and your goals as the chief focus but rather as a stepping stone for something greater – that being the future for your kids.
Love that. How have you managed to take care of yourself, and your mind and body, while raising and growing your career?
I’m not going to pretend I don’t get spread thin, overwhelmed, and frazzled. Of course I do. But I do find a way to manage my health and find meaning and purpose in order to feel fulfilled. You have to appreciate that it goes from shooting for perfection to accepting “good enough”. I don’t have time for 90 minute yoga classes but a 30 minute workout in the living room is good enough, if that makes sense.
Yes! Did you grow up in a fitness focused family—and how are you encouraging your own kids to form healthy habits?
My family were not health nuts. My dad actually always struggles with his weight and food became something we bonded over. I’ve definitely tried to help encourage the kids to care about what they eat but honestly they just end up eating garbage behind your back as they get older. I’m starting to realize that you have to let them come to these decisions on their own. That said we keep them very active with sports and a variety of activities as a family that are physical like snowboarding or biking, etc
What are your goals for 2023??
Health goals are to maintain my healthy regimen. I’m doing ok here so the key is to stay on track. With my kids, kind of the same thing—help them maintain an enriched, full life with friends, sports, and family time.
Work is bit different. I’d like to finish a book I’m working on about the emotional and psychological steps associated with losing weight and reclaiming your health. We are adding new trainers to The Fitness App platform so I look forward to supporting new talent in this space. I love working with Alaya Naturals and I’m passionate about helping that company do a financial raise to release new skews for hormone balance and metabolic support. This list could really go on and on.