LOS ANGELES – There is no doubt that “The Biggest Loser” trainer Jillian Michaels has one of the best bodies in America, and given her childhood history of being overweight, it's something the 36-year-old has worked ultra-hard to achieve. So hard in fact, that she’s not willing to let it slide even to become a biological mother.
“I’m going to adopt. I can’t handle doing that to my body,” Michaels told the new issue of Women’s Health magazine. “Also, when you rescue something, it’s like rescuing a part of yourself.”
Michaels’ words surrounding pregnancy and her figure have been met with criticism from several experts (who have not worked with her) in the health industry.
“She is teaching people about body image and self-esteem. Women who have children all the time and get right back in shape particularly if they exercise,” Dr. Leslie Seppinni, a Los Angeles-based Family Therapist & Clinical Psychologist told Pop Tarts. “If this is how she truly feels, she should seek counsel before coaching others on issues of body image.”
And Dr. Mike Bishop, Executive Director at Wellspring health/weight loss camps pointed out that Michaels’s own self-esteem may have too much emphasis on aesthetic.
“Jillian’s self-worth seems to be tied to her appealing appearance, and her appearance isn’t necessarily reflective of overall health and happiness,” Bishop said. “There is certainly nothing unhealthy about pregnancy itself, although many women would argue after childbirth it is challenging to get their pre-pregnancy body back, these are the beliefs Jillian is reflecting."
TV’s toughest trainer also admitted that she weighed 175lbs when she was just 12 years old, and felt “abandoned” after her parents separated, which could have a bearing on her current feelings toward birth and adoption.
“When individuals have dealt with weight issues in their life, they tend to focus on how they feel in their own skin and their level of comfort. In the case of pregnancy, some of these women desire the experience of being a parent, but do not want to risk the possibility of gaining back previously lost weight/losing the ‘new’ body they worked so hard to achieve,” explained Sloane Veshinski, Doctoral Candidate in Counseling, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & Certified Addictions Professional. “Adoption gives these women the ability to be a parent and to provide a loving home to a child.”
But in her defense, Michaels may just be committed to holding on to what has made her a source of inspiration to millions of others.
“She is in a profession where she's looked up to for her body and she's an inspiration to others for losing weight and getting in shape and staying in shape, so the fact that she wants to preserve that for herself has a lot also to do with the image that she is representing as a way of promoting what she does,” Beverly Hills psychologist Dr. Haleh Stahl added. “I think it's different for a person who doesn't rely on the shape of their body for their livelihood, this is what she's known for, and she's in the business of inspiring others to get in shape.”
However, Michaels doesn’t plan on pumping iron and ordering obese contestants to “get down and give (her) twenty” for too many more years.
“I’m not going to be wearing spandex in a [workout] DVD at 40! If I am, shoot me,” she also told Women’s Health. “I want to empower people to find happiness via a healthy lifestyle, and when I say healthy, I don’t just mean diet and exercise. Those are just tools.”
Michaels is currently in production for a new NBC show “Losing it With Jillian”, where she stays with a different family each week with the aim of getting to the bottom of each person’s issues and helping them make life-altering changes to better their health and happiness. She also hopes to host her own daytime talk show in 2011 and plans of filling some very big shoes…
“That’s exactly when Oprah goes off the air,” Michaels added. “(I’ve) been waiting for that moment. And now that moment is happening.”