Jillian Michaels: Maximize Your Life
When I learned that the Jillian Michaels Maximize Your Life tour was stopping in Kalamazoo, I was immediately on board. I’ve been a huge fan of her for years and jumped at the chance to hear her speak in person. I even convinced one of my sisters to join me for a Girls Night Out!
I was so excited when she came out on stage! (Girl crush, much?) Throughout the evening, she was very candid and real, very down to earth and relatable. And, she’s really funny! Jillian broke the evening into three sections: science (food), sweat (fitness), and self (motivation). She also did a Q&A at the end. For those familiar with her podcast, Janice came out on stage to assist with the Q&A, and I loved seeing their banter and interactions are as natural on the podcast as they are in everyday life. She talked for over two hours and there was a TON of great content, far more than I could fit into a single blog post!
Jillian prefaced her talk by saying that she was going to be sharing a lot of information we already knew when it came to weight loss, which was ultimately pretty accurate.
She talked about the importance of the quality of our food, and how it’s not just about how much we eat, but what we eat. She referred to the chemicals and junk in our food as “obesogens” as they disrupt the normal functioning of our bodies, causing our cells to mutate. As such, it’s important to really look at the ingredients of our food, and how she believes there are ten food additives that are important to avoid.
Something I’ve often said was that if you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t eat it. The issue of buying organic produce came up, and she emphasized the importance of the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen when it comes to what you should and shouldn’t focus on when buying produce grown organically. The clean 15 have tough exterior skins that the pesticides have a really hard time penetrating, so those are safe to buy non-organically. She encouraged the audience to think of foods on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being foods that cure cancer and 10 being foods that cause cancer, and to stick with foods that we would categorize as 1-5.
When looking at the expense of organic produce and grass-fed meat, it’s important to remember the long term things that the extra $20 or so a week will afford us, such as living long enough to play with grandchildren.
Jillian has long been vocal about how she doesn’t love exercising and going to the gym, but rather what fitness adds to her life as a whole that keeps her motivated. It’s about finding that WHY factor that keeps you working towards your goals. Without taking the time to figure out the why, the thing that gets you fired up and passionate, it’s going to be a lot harder to maintain the motivation.
She hit on two main points when it comes to fitness. First, calculating your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and active metabolic rate (AMR), which is the amount of calories your body burns, or the “magic number”. Knowing this along with your caloric intake will allow you to figure out how many calories you need to cut either from your diet or burn through exercise to lose weight. Second, it’s to work out at 85% of your maximum heart rate to get the most out of your exercise. If you’re heart rate isn’t as high as it should be, “move ass faster” was Jillian’s advice.
This was the point in the show where Jillian really got fired up! She is very empowering and encouraging people to take their fate into their own hands. Wherever we’re at right now, for better or worse, is of our own doing. We need to make the decisions necessary to find happiness and be our best selves.
Sometimes, this requires shaking off the “responsibility sandwich” – the feelings that we are living the lives we think we should, not necessarily the lives we want. We all need to have specific visions for what we want in our relationships, health, and finances – and then figure out how we’re going to get there. Sweeping generalizations are not plans! Make a conscious decision right here, right now that “I am going to be AWESOME!”. We all need to pick the path that words best for who we are, not who others want us to be.
The key part of this is that we have to be willing to fall down sometimes, but remember that failing is integral in succeeding; live to make NEW mistakes!
Taking steps to follow our desired destiny can – and will – be hard and scary, but when you do what you love, the sky is the limit! Remember that fear is temporary, but regret is forever.
All in all, the Maximize Your Life tour is so freaking awesome. I left feeling so motivated and inspired to take my fate into my own hands and live out my dreams! Thanks for an amazing night, Jillian!