When California-raised Jillian was 12, she weighed 175 pounds. After engaging in martial arts and working her way into a career as a personal trainer, the 5-foot-2 3/4-inch star got her weight down to around 117 with just 13% body fat.
She also started her own organic garden, greened up her house, and switched to clean foods. For her, the goal is a healthy body and mind. “Fitness for me is a tool that I use to build a life,” Jillian says. “It’s never about a crunch for me. I couldn’t care less.”
And, as she resumes her role on The Biggest Loser, now in its eighth season, she has plenty more to celebrate: a new Wii game, Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2010; two spring 2010 follow-up books to her best-selling Master Your MetabolismThe Master Calorie Counter and The Master Cookbook; and an expansion of her QuickStart Rapid Weight Loss System supplements line at GNC.
With the same addictive intensity she uses to motivate her clients, Jillian tells Health what she thinks we all should change in our diets, why she’s not a fan of “walking,” and which celebrity she wishes she could take under her wing.
Q: How do you feel about being named America’s Healthiest Body?
A: I’m totally flattered. But I just think, God, if people had any idea of the stuff that goes on behind closed doors: the struggles in the middle of the night in front of the refrigerator, the weeks on end I can’t get my ass to the gym! But, in reality, there’s a part of me where it makes perfect sense.