Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Jillian Michaels Experience

Last night, I had the honor and the privilege of seeing Jillian Michaels in Lowell, Massachusetts for her "Maximize Your Life" tour.  Going in, I was thinking "this will probably be an hour, tops."  I was SO wrong...and delighted to be able to hear this woman talk for THREE hours!  Those of you who know me well know that I own most of Jillian's exercise videos (and yes, I actually DO them). 

I know you're dying to hear the details, so here goes....

The first half of the show was about weight management, diet and exercise.  Key points are as follows (Jillian's words in quotations):
  • Forget about all of the diet fads. "It's all crap."  
  • Count calories.  Jillian asks the audience if they like counting calories, and after the dismal response, she says "tough shit!"  People typically eat the same cycle of foods for breakfast, lunch & dinner and that after a week or two of keeping track, it becomes something that only takes a few minutes to do, since we're cycling through the same foods again.  It keeps you aware of what you're doing and holds you accountable.  
  • Avoid chemical additives (list available here).  They are making you fat because your body doesn't know how to process them (since they are not food).  This list includes pesticides, artificial sweeteners, hormones, etc.  
  • Spend just $20 more per week on healthier foods, as this practice could actually save you money by helping to prevent a costly chronic condition. 
  • Move more.  Jillian encourages high intensity interval training (HIIT) at 80% of your target heart rate for maximum results. (My personal recommendation is to use her videos, as they are based on HIIT). 
It was pretty hilarious when Jillian actually admits that she hates exercise but she does it to stay in shape and stay healthy.
****Intermission (boy am I glad I got into the bathroom line when I did because when I walked out of there, it was halfway down the hall)!****

The second part of "Maximize Your Life" is about just that;  Maximizing your life - Motivation to change, getting past barriers that are holding us back and most of all, self worth.  

This is where it gets motivating and not just informative.  I've started reading her book "Unlimited:  How to Build an Exceptional Life." and from what I've read so far, the 2nd half of her seminar is very much in line with the advice she gives in her book.

  • Don't let anything hold you back.  Let go of the mindset that you should just be happy with what you have and that you are undeserving of achieving your ultimate dream.
  • Take chances, as after all, we already don't have what it is that we desire, so what's the harm? (example:  guy doesn't want to ask girl out because he's afraid she won't go out with him...well, she's already not going out with him, so why is asking her out a problem?)
  • It's important to network with positive people that are going to help you achieve your goals and dreams, either by supporting you morally or by being a business connection that can take you further.  
  • If you know someone is not supportive of what you are striving for, don't fill them in on what you're doing, as this can be damaging to your ego and take you back to the "I should just be happy with what I have" mindset. 
  • Set your phone alarm for every (waking) hour.  When the alarm goes off, "check in" with yourself and how you are feeling that very moment.  What are you doing?  Do you like what you're doing?  No worrying about the future or the past is allowed during this moment, just focusing on how you feel and whether you are happy or not.  If you are happy, think about exactly what you're doing at the moment that makes you happy.  Could this activity end up being your dream job?   If you're not happy, change something!
  • Create a "goal pyramid."   It is important to have a plan to achieve your dreams.  The top of the pyramid is your ultimate dream, where the bottom is immediate goals, followed by near future goals, etc.  Goals need to be specific and should lead you to your ultimate dream at the top of the pyramid.  
  • Keep momentum by posting a vision board and reminders around you.  

So, as a registered dietitian, do I believe in everything she said?  YES!  Pertaining to the first half, it was so refreshing, amidst all of the hype out there, to hear someone of Jillian's caliber go back to basics when it comes to weight management.  Counting calories, avoiding chemicals, exercising more.  That's it, people!!  That's what I've been telling my clients for years!  THERE IS NO QUICK FIX!   And now I (and other registered dietitians) have someone famous to quote...Someone famous who has helped tons of people achieve their goals because this approach WORKS.  As Jillian also said during the first half.  "It's simple but not easy."

As for the second half; I learned a lot.  I knew about the importance of setting specific, measurable goals.  I was self-reflecting more during the second half as I, myself am trying to build a business and I need the motivation I was given last night to move past certain barriers (and yes, that includes the self worth barrier).  I really like the idea of setting an hourly alarm to be "in the moment."  I tried that today but then ended up forgetting to set it again around noon.  Better luck tomorrow!

All in all, it was a fabulous experience.  Jillian Michaels is FUNNY and MOTIVATING and REAL!

Feel free to contact me with any questions you have about my experience or about what was discussed during her seminar!