Ever since the Biggest Loser first aired in 2004, I have been addicted. The whole concept was so fascinating to me. It was in the early years of Reality TV so the first few seasons were about changing your life and MAYBE winning money. After a while the competition part got a lot more cutthroat. People stopped caring about their fellow contestants and how they needed to change their life. They started getting mean and competitive and only caring about dollar signs. The last few seasons have changed to a more “changing your life” idealism. Even so who knows where the show will go in the future.
The Biggest Loser didn’t just bring us contestants who wanted to change their lives. It also brought us two trainers who would eventually turn into celebrities. First there was Bob Harper.
He was adorable, full of tattoos and even though he could be mean he always had a softer side that really wanted to help the contestants.
Then they also brought you the badass Jillian Michaels.
She was a woman who had struggled with weight as a child. She was fit, had an amazing body AND would scream in your face until you did what she said. Ever since that first season I have vowed if I won the lottery I would hire her as my personal trainer.
A few weeks ago Cheryl and I decided to buy tickets to her speaking tour. We had a previous engagement on the day she would be in NYC so we got tickets in Williamsport, PA. It was a sunday so we left in the afternoon to get there. We had opted into getting VIP tickets so that we could sit up front and meet her after (and all the other seats left were in the nosebleeds).
When we got to the theatre we parked and went inside. We had seats near the front on the right side of the stage. I am pretty sure it was the theatre technician, but man did he have that music BLASTING. I had to leave a few times because it hurt my ears. Finally after a a little speech by the mayor or some town official it was Jillian time.
Jillian discussed three topics and how these three things will make your well-rounded life better. They were nutrition/diet, exercise and your self-worth.
She started talking about nutrition. Stuff she talked about really made me think. I had been aware of the whole “clean eating” movement, but listening to her talk about it really made me say to myself “hmm what is in the stuff I eat”. I sat typing madly her list of “dirty dozen” and clean foods. The dirty dozen are mainly foods that don’t have a tough skin or could be easily contaminated. Things like apples (since you eat the skin), peppers, cherries, grapes, lettuce, potatoes, strawberries. She did not tell us not to eat them, but she did suggest buying these organic because there was likely to be less pesticides. The clean foods were things like avocado, cantaloupe, corn, onions, watermelon. She also talked about all those “other” ingredients on food labels and how some were used in cleaning products and stuff! Really eye opening.
Next she discussed exercise. Anyone can exercise, but mixing that with diet is the key to weight-loss. She had some kids come on stage to do some “boot camp” style running and such.
After the last thing she discussed was self-worth. She started by talking about her childhood and how she was overweight and she never felt like she was good enough. I mean who hasn’t had those kinds of thoughts before. She said that falling down and getting back up is a part of life and really is what helps you become a stronger person. She overcame a lot of obstacles (even getting fired from the Biggest Loser) but she persevered and conquered.
After she was done speaking she opened up the room to Q&A. A lot of people had questions like “What do you eat” and things like that. A few had some rough situations they needed advice for. One woman explained how she just wanted to help her sister loose weight and she felt like no matter what she did it didn’t help. Jillian told her one word. STOP. You can’t make someone do something unless they want to do it. You can yell and scream or cry, but no matter what if that person does not want to change, they won’t. That really hit home for me. I have a lot of people always saying to me “you need to make me work out”. When really you have to WANT to work out and I can help motivate you along the way. It all starts with you and I know that because once I decided I wanted to loose weight for me I did it. It took a long time but it was my accomplishment and not anyone else.
After the Q&A the audience started to leave but we were told to stay in our seats. After waiting a little while we were ushered upstairs to a room with a background set up. The crotchety old ladies (who must work at the theatre) were making everyone miserable. They kept yelling to stay in line and we couldn’t take photos (they had a photographer) and no signing anything. I was pretty annoyed because I paid money to meet Jillian, not be ushered past her like cattle.
The people in line in front of us looked SO FAMILIAR to me, but I couldn’t figure out why. Once Jillian came out (changed into comfy clothes) I realized it was because they were on the Biggest Loser!
Jenn and Jay had been on Season 11 of the Biggest Loser. I didn’t get a picture of them at the event (everything was moving too fast) but they still looked great! Jillian was so excited to see them and she told them to stick around so she could talk to them after. I even heard her and Jenn talking about emails they had recently been sending each other. It makes me happy to know that the Biggest Loser is a network of people that continue to help and motivate each other after the show.
Soon it was our turn. I always get so nervous around famous people. I turn bright red!
Jillian was so sweet (and shorter than me) and she took a picture with me and Cheryl individually and also together. She loved that we were twins. She said her parter had a twin!
I was bummed we couldn’t really talk to her or get anything signed, but between the talk and meeting her it was a great day! She is my hero and my motivator. Sometimes I contemplate making a running playlist and adding in her yelling MOVE FASTER from the show over some of my songs.
Since the show I have really started to pay attention to what I was eating. I can’t be completely clean. I mean almost everything you buy in the store is processed in some way or another, but I can be as smart about my food choices as possible. I try not to eat anything overly processed. A KIND bar here or there isn’t going to hurt me, but being mostly clean has really helped with my weight loss.
If you have a chance to go see Jillian’s tour I would recommend it. She is a wonderful and down-to-earth public speaker who really makes you stop and think about the way you are living your life.