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Jillian Michaels: What’s the Weight Loss Story Behind the Biggest Winner on The Biggest Loser?

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Entertainment Weekly says last night was The Biggest Loser’s best episode of the season. Old contestants squared off against young contestants, trainers played favorites, there was a field trip to the circus and the drama/betrayal level was high.

I won’t tell you exactly what happened in case it’s still waiting on your DVR, but suffice it to say that Shay and Daniel were on Jay Leno last night.

Losers, losers, losers. They work their butts off every week – usually at the behest of trainers that jump back and forth over the line between encouragement and emotional abuse with ease – and then stand up to see who has earned the privilege of staying for another week. And, as with many reality shows, there are alliances and sabotage, game-playing and tears. Always, always, tears.

The biggest winner in all this? Well, NBC does pretty well, considering that the show is in its fifth season and often high in the ratings. And the contestants, most of whom lose many, many pounds – do come out ahead, with a jumpstart on their futures. But the biggest winner of all may be Jillian Michaels.

Michaels is the lean and toned female personal trainer on The Biggest Loser. She pushes contestants to work out for hours a day on the show, pulling no punches when it appears someone might be slacking. And in her spare time, she sells books (“Master Your Metabolism”, exercise DVDs (the “30-Day Shred” -- see what I mean about attitude?) -- and dietary supplements like mad.
An excerpt from a Time article earlier this year:

Q. You recently said that by the time The Biggest Loser contestants come to you they're half dead. What did you mean by that?

A. Yes, I said "half-dead" And everybody was like, "oh, I can't believe she said that." Are people just not tuning into the show? We've got 30-year-olds whose internal organs are 60. If we were having this conversation about somebody who was a drug addict or somebody who had anorexia or bulimia, we would openly admit that it was suicide.

Q. So what do you think is the number one worst thing people are doing to their bodies right now?

A. Oh my God, they eat processed food and it is horrifying to me!

Add a Comment3 Comments

I think Jillian Michaels has crossed the fine line between business woman and money/power-hungry sell out. She went from someone with LOTS of credibility because of her push-push-push attitude to someone who is now selling diet pills-- really? I find it particularly difficult to take in advice from someone who went from eat right and exercise to the cop out-- take a pill and it will speed up the process.

No matter how she wants to put that her pills are good for those trying to lose weight all it takes is a good look at the ingredients on the label to know that what's in her pill and all the other diet pills out there are detrimental to your health. As soon as people get off those pills they will balloon right back up to their old size because their hunger is no longer being suppressed by a pill--then what will she patent?

She is truly the Biggest Winner thanks to this show.

November 15, 2009 - 5:35pm

I don't watch the show because I don't care for the reality show genre but I hear others talk about it and I have seen clips of her yelling and yikes, too much yelling.

November 15, 2009 - 5:09pm
EmpowHER Guest

Jillian Michaels is definitely the biggest winner in this whole situation. She showed a lot of business acumen in partnering with a Licensing Executive and making him the CEO of her company. Now, all she needs to do is leverage her name against every single product that she can find. Pills, Kettlebells (you can search the internet to find the controversy over her showing people to use kettlebells when she apparently did not know how to use them herself), cosmetics, exercise machines, you name it. Really that is all her business is, using her name to sell things we don't need and things that won't make us fit.
It appears a little uncaring and userish to abuse the goodwill that her fans have for her, to sell them things that won't help them and will probably hurt their chances at weight loss, but there really is no money in the advice of exercise more and eat better.
You are hard pressed to beat supplement pills in making money. She has posted incorrect information to her twitter account regarding who developed her cleanse and detox (http://bit.ly/RQ6pS), there is no regulatory body to make sure that the pills are what they say they are or that they do what she says they will. It really is the ultimate money makers.
So, in making money, there is no doubt that Jillian Michaels is the biggest winner. The problem is that makes everyone who believed in her the biggest loser...

November 12, 2009 - 12:19pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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