Why I Am Doing a Jillian Michaels Challenge | Becoming a Badass
Jillian Michaels is the queen of fitness for me. She is the OG. She is a badass. My love for her is unconditional. She inspires me more than anyone ever has.
Even though I don’t agree with everything she says about diet, she is still my favourite fitness personality, and that comes from someone who spent her childhood reading articles about health and trying to learn from every fitness and nutrition expert I came across.
But nobody will ever outrank Jillian Michaels for me when it comes to fitness.
Why This is The Ultimate Fitness Challenge
One of the best presents I ever received was when my parents gave me a collection of her fitness DVDs for Christmas when I was 17. I burst into tears as soon as I saw it (for the entire family to see).
I quickly realised how challenging her workouts were and vowed to one day complete every workout video she has made.
Well, it is finally time. I am doing my Jillian Michaels challenge. The excitement is real. I started working through my DVDs but then had an impulsive moment one day while incredibly inspired watching videos of Jillian on YouTube, I bought myself a year’s subscription to her app. It was my Christmas and Birthday gift to myself.
But damn, this has been the hardest fitness challenge I’ve ever done. It is way harder than walking 15 000 steps a day for a month, way harder than my Blogilates pilates challenge (although I love Cassey Ho), way harder than the Chloe Ting challenge I did.
The Most Motivating Part of Using The Jillian Michaels App
You know what motivates me, other than her incredible body? It feels like she is watching me. Yes, I am aware that she doesn’t actually know me, but every time I do a workout on her app, it gets logged and she gives me a badge.
You know what that means? That my workouts are all being logged on the Jillian Michaels app and will be for the next year. That means that somehow, she has the data and should be able to see my patterns, when I overeat, and if I skip a workout.
There was this quote floating around a few years ago that says: “Workout like Jillian is watching”. Well, she can.
I’m sure she has better things to do, but just the idea that it is possible makes me too scared not to stick to my workouts. In my brain, she will know!
And have you seen The Biggest Loser? You do not want to upset Jillian. She just might make you regret it.
It is cool to do the exercises along with her because even though I can’t do all the exercises as well as she can, her interesting exercises and mad skills are inspiring. I can’t wait until I am as fit one day and can move my body in so many cool ways like Jillian.
She is like my personal trainer now. One I have to report to. When I’m working out, she’s there. When I’m logging my calories, she’s there, and when I go onto YouTube, she’s there, reminding me to go for my fitness and health goals.
Where I Don’t Agree with Jillian
Now, let’s get to the part where I don’t agree with her. By this point, you are already aware of just how much I love Jillian. One of my biggest dreams is to meet her one day, but I also know that I will burst into tears from overwhelm and overexcitement if it happens, so that might be weird.
But, she will probably hate my diet. I love following a low-carb diet, but I love fruit and will eat it occasionally. I have cut most vegetables from my diet, and eat mostly animal foods. I eat a lot more meat than she recommends.
My diet can be described as carnivore-ish, or I guess an animal-based diet with some plant foods that are lower on the plant toxicity scale like fruit, avocado, olives, squash, carrots, butternut,… I also eat dark chocolate.
But no nuts, seeds, grains, soy, vegetable and seed oils, gluten, or high oxalate foods for me, and I limit dairy to special occasions.
For each food I’ve cut out, there’s a very good reason why. My health has not been the best over the last few years and when you’re trying to eat to lower inflammation, manage your PCOS, clear your skin, prevent arthritis, lose fat, reduce anxiety and age well, your diet can become complicated very quickly.
I’d be happy to discuss diet with her while we listen to some Nicki Minaj or Cardi B and become best friends.
Where Do We Agree? What I Love About the App
What I love about her app though is that when you go through the steps to get a meal plan, she asks you what foods you cannot tolerate, then asks you to choose your preferred style of eating and recommends a way of eating that you will enjoy.
There’s even a keto option for those of you who think she’s completely against it. She knows there are people who like to eat that way and wouldn’t have included it in the app if she’s that against it.
We might not agree on a lot of things, but we do agree on a lot of things too. What else do we agree on?
Eat grass-fed, hormone-free meat
Calories are important for weight loss (although I don’t believe it’s just calories in, calories out, which she talks about a lot)
Exercise is important and you should train for fitness and performance reasons too
Intermittent fasting is beneficial for your health and ageing
Avoid vegetables and fruits with pesticides and choose organic where possible
Hydrogenated vegetable oils are really bad for you
You need to find your why and work with purpose
We don’t need fake foods.
Find a workout programme you don’t hate.
Make time for self care. Jillian uses the 12-hour rule, where she aims for 12 hours of self-care a week, which includes her workouts. I need a little more than that currently and aim for 3 hours a day of self care (including journalling, watching something motivational or funny, exercising, doing my skincare routine, and being social). I got the 4-hour idea from Jesse Itzler. Maybe it will go to 12 a week when I have kids one day, but for now, this is great.
Why I Love Jillian Michaels Workouts
Jillian is my ultimate woman crush. I feel inspired AF when I do her workouts. When I need inspiration while doing burpees to keep me going, I just look up for a brief moment and look at her toned and strong body. I want to be strong like Jillian.
The workouts are challenging, but I don’t hate them. It’s been a month since I started doing her workouts about 6 days a week and damn do I feel strong. I have gained quite a bit of confidence in my physical capabilities in such a short amount of time.
She has enough variety within her workouts to keep my easily bored and distracted brain occupied. Jillian Michaels will put together the most interesting circuits combining bodyweight exercises, weighted exercises, martial arts, yoga, plyometric exercises, etc.
The exercises are dynamic and won’t just give you a healthy, strong, and mobile body, but you will basically feel like a superhero when you are able to execute the exercises to perfection.
I just love Jillian Michaels. I have since I was a child watching her yell at people on The Biggest Loser and I probably always will. I am just happy we live in a world where it is so easy to access workouts and information from people like Jillian Michaels.