An Evening with Jillian Michaels on the Maximize Your Life Tour
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I am not the person Jillian Michaels is trying to reach with her Maximize Your Life tour. Her 3 hour  (yes THREE hours) educational/motivational presentation was, to me, preaching to the choir. What she says are the same things I tell my clients, and you, everyday.

So if you are expecting some new miracle diet or secret training techniques when you buy tickets to the show you are going to be disappointed.

That’s because the facts are plan. The keys to real fitness aren’t new or groundbreaking, nor are they particularly hard. In the first half of the show she sums it up like this:

  • It’s food quantity (count your calories) and food quality (don’t eat poison).
  • Work your body in 3D (free weights not machines) and move your ass – quickly.

She gave some great specifics as she reviewed these concepts, like how to determine how many calories you should be eating. Many people I’ve found do not have any idea how much fuel their body really needs. She reviewed the formula using her stats on the giant projector screen behind her. If you want an easier way to figure Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) check out the Body Weight Simulator Tool from the National Institute of Health that she references in Slim for Life. She also reviewed the Clean Fifteen and the Dirty Dozen, concepts that seemed shockingly foreign to the St. Louis audience.

Can I talk about the St. Louis audience for a moment? This show, I felt, was about reaching the Biggest Loser audience who may not be hearing her message via the podcast or books. I felt as though I was sitting at home, on the couch, with a few hundred friends watching the Biggest Loser. The ladies behind me were enjoying a beer. Others had M&Ms and soda. They laughed in all the right places and gasped with shock at the Dirty Dozen produce list. When asked to give up the golden arches and spend a little more on organic dairy and beef it seemed they found the information useful but appeared not ready to commit.

I hope the second half of the show, the motivation/inspirational portion, pushed them a little further down the road to fitness. Here she sought the answer to the The Big Question:

If these things are so simple why are they so hard to put into practice?

This is the question we are all trying to figure out. Perhaps it is so hard to find the answer because it is different for everyone. We all have a different WHY. We all come to that point in our life where the pain of staying where we are is greater than the pain of change with different experiences and at our own pace. What matters is that we do the work to understand what is holding us back. For me, like Jillian, it was partly due to a dysfunctional relationship with my father. She had a need to connect. I had a need for comfort. In a way we were both trying to fill holes in our lives.

This is why it’s so hard. Showing up for a workout or buying organic vegetables are much easier than dealing with all the emotional issues connected to food and our bodies. When the reality of this hits it can become too much for many people. They shut down and revert back to what is less scary.

She gave some great advice, but admitted dealing with these issues were more than she could do in an hour and 15 minute talk. She’s right. This is were a good coach or health professional becomes invaluable. Perhaps that is the best take away from the second half:

Don’t feel like you have to tackle this journey alone. It’s okay to ask for help.

I hope people left with that thought and armed with some good information. I hope it inspired them to do more than sit on the sidelines. Life is too short, to beautiful, to just sit on the couch with a soda and M&Ms.

Have you seen Jillian as she rolled through your town? What did you think of the show? What did you take away?

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