An Open Letter to Jillian Michaels

Dear Jillian,

It was 2008 when I first invited you into my home. I was an innocent, naive 28-year-old who was dabbling in getting healthy. I think it was for the sole purpose of fitting in a bridesmaid dress. So, you know, really lofty goals there.

I purchased the 30 Day Shred DVD and hid in the basement from my roommates to do the first workout. And that was the night I learned you are a sadist. In the first 5 minutes I had to take a break and drink some water. Then you said the words that made me want to throw something across the room.

“Okay, now that our warm-up is done…’

Warm up? That was just the warm up?

Shut your mouth, Jillian Michaels. Shut it right now.

I remember that two days after that work-out I found myself crying in the shower because I couldn’t lift my arms to wash my hair. I had to crawl up the stairs on all fours like some deranged labrador.

MjAxMy1mZWY2YzFhYzVjODhjZWM0Needless to say I didn’t make it for 30 days. And the only thing shredded was the cheese I put on the plate of nachos I ate in defeat.

You may wonder, Jillian, why I invited you back a year ago. Why did I decide to grunt and sweat through your kettle bell workout, at one point taking a chunk out of my wall with a wildly swung weight. And what possessed me to do your yoga workout, cursing as I did a tree pose that was more like a sapling in the middle of a hurricane?

But then, one day, I finished a workout. Without stopping. It wasn’t always pretty, but I did it. I would have pumped my fist in the air in triumph but I was too busy lying on the floor trying not to die.

You see, Jillian, I decided you weren’t the enemy I had once believed you were. Yes, I still think you’re a sadist. And I’m pretty sure if you and I ever shared a meal together you would eat kale and I would eat…not kale. But I give you props, Jillian, for challenging someone like me to move and change and grow. To stop making excuses and start making changes.

However. I do not agree with your sentiment that “pain is weakness leaving the body.” It is actually agony entering the body. But that’s what ibuprofen is for.





14 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Jillian Michaels

  1. Katherine says:

    I have a love-hate relationship with Jillian. I think she’s really good at what she does (which may or may not be attempting to kill me). I have all the respect for her for speaking out and quitting Biggest Loser over the unhealthy extreme weight loss that wins.

    Great post. Thank you!

  2. Ric says:

    Thanks for making me laugh this morning! I just finished my first workout of the year after a 2 week “vacation” and my trainer certainly made up for those two weeks. Being a sadist must be a requirement for personal trainers.

  3. Kathryn says:

    I loved this Brandy! I am on my way to healthy eating and exercising each day myself! I’m glad I’m not the only one to throw a weight across the room and loathe yoga! Maybe it’s in the genes lol! You are an inspiration to me as a writer and your new look! I hope to look as good as you this time next year!

  4. Aveleen says:

    This was amazing. I had a similar experience with the Nike workouts. Oh, how easy they made it look! But there was nothing to tell me I’d be laying on the floor for a half hour afterward because all my oxygen abandoned my limbs to try and save my vital organs. I feel your pain, friend. 😉

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