In her latest book, Unlimited: How to Build an Exceptional Life, New York Times bestselling author and fitness maven Jillian Michaels focuses on syncing up the inner you with the outer you – she doesn’t want you to just survive, she wants you to thrive. And she has no time for your excuses, your rationalizations or your pathetic dilly-dallying. Michaels encourages her readers to discover what is their true passion, then hands over tools (like quizzes and daily tracking journals) to make sure you quit just existing and start living your own “exceptional life.”
Check out more books on health and fitness with Eating Well for Optimum Health and Healing Moves.
Have you ever met someone you just didn’t think had it in them to turn their life around?
No. Everyone has it in them. In some cases, they just need someone to care enough - to teach them, show them love, lead by example, etc. That's what Unlimited is - my way of teaching the reader the tools and skills they'll need for transformation as well as my message to them that they aren't alone on their journey and they DO matter.
Do you ever just take a weekend to eat ice cream, drink wine and watch bad movies?
Yes, of course, but ALWAYS in moderation. I don't binge. That's a very dangerous habit for me, and I have learned how to indulge with balance in ways that don't trigger destructive behavior.
People label you as a fitness guru, which you say is only a fraction of your resume – what percentage of your average week involves attention to diet and fitness?
Probably half. I utilize health as a means to empower people in every facet of their lives, so it will ALWAYS be a huge aspect of my work, in conjunction with life coaching.
Do women respond to you differently than men?
I'd be lying if I didn't answer “yes” to this. I feel strongly that men like to take advice from men. Many times with women they can feel emasculated if a woman is their coach. So I go out of my way to always stress our work is on their terms, that ultimately they are in control of the process, and that I'm just there to help facilitate their journey.
Is it hard for you to follow your own advice?
Occasionally, but I have worked these steps for years and without them I would be utterly lost in my life. My advice is not for show. The talk I talk is the walk I walk. It's simply me sharing the tools that work for me and I always mean what I say.
How much do you rely on others (personal trainer, cook, etc.) to ensure you do so?
No chef, but I am in therapy, I have mentors, and I do work with trainers, RDs [registered dietitians], and doctors simply because I believe the best teacher is the best student. I always want to be learning new philosophies so I can expand my own horizons personally and professionally.
Aren’t some people genetically predisposed to being overweight?
Of course, but that doesn't mean they have to be. I am that person, and yet at the moment I'm 14 percent body fat. Genetics are not static, they are dynamic. This means that the way we live our lives has a dramatic effect on the way our genes express themselves.
Can people suffering from depression positively alter themselves without medicating?
I believe God or nature evolved humans to experience emotion for a reason. There are lessons for us in our darkest moments. To run from this is to run from life. Our emotions function like a compass telling us when we are off track. Plus, you can't just selectively shut off emotion. When we check out with meds it makes us numb. The bad is minimized as well as the good. I am not a psychiatrist and I am sure there are circumstances where meds could be required, but for the most part I believe that our behavior, diet, and lifestyle can naturally lift depression.
Do you think there is such a thing as going too far with the tools you describe in Unlimited?
Unlimited is a deeply thought out, powerful, positive step-by-step manual for achieving one’s dreams. What part of the book could "go too far" and what would be the result of that...wealth, health and happiness!