Jillian Michaels says reaching public about weight loss easier on The Doctors
After the Sept. 27 episode of The Biggest Loser, when Anna Kournikova’s team lost another member, fans of The Biggest Loser began calling for the return of previous trainer Jillian Michaels, who is now a cast member on the popular daytime show The Doctors.
Michaels and fellow trainer Bob Harper, along with new trainer Dolvett Quince, had been leading teams on the popular prime time weight loss show for several seasons, and some are saying that Kournikova’s approach to training the contestants is too soft as compared to Michaels’ no-holds-barred, in-your-face style of whipping them into shape.
While some previously criticized Michaels for using intimidation and fear to get her trainees to lose weight, others are saying that she made a real difference in their lives and they miss her on the show.
On Sept. 27, Michaels posed a question on her Facebook page, asking fans how they were doing. Fans responded with a resounding answer of not well. Many of them said they missed the weight-loss guru and that they were not doing well in their personal weight loss journeys without her.
Michaels responded with what seemed like genuine confusion.
“You guys are breaking my heart. Why do you want me back on BL so badly? I can be with you on The Doctors 5 days a week,” she wrote.
Fans responded to her question with another round of comments asking her to come back.
Michaels has been a personal trainer for 19 years, and before she was a successful television personality, she struggled with her own weight. She owns her company, Empowered Media, LLC, with her business partner Giancarlo Chersich and operates it with a total lifestyle approach to weight loss. Michaels believes that in order to lose weight, a person has to be healthy in all aspects of life, including health, wellness, weight loss and overall lifestyle. She believes in integrating fitness, nutrition and behavioral changes into the traditional weight-loss method of counting calories and going to the gym.
While on her website Michaels pushes personal empowerment and inspiration in order to achieve total-body health, some criticize her for her personal style on television. On the biggest loser, she was often tough with contestants, yelling at them and just plain being mean, according to some viewers. Most of the show’s winners trained under Michaels, rather than her much nicer counterpart Bob Harper. Michaels, though, doesn’t believe her way of motivating contestants is bad for them.
"I don't think it's mean when you're confronting somebody with their issues, trying to help them create a change in their lives," she said while in Chicago in 2009 to attend an event for a health magazine. "Tough, yes. Demanding, yes. Impossible, sometimes. But mean? Not really."
On The Doctors, Michaels is still presenting her controversial attitude.
Michaels has carved her spot out on the Emmy-winning show by being the controversial new voice. Recently, when a man admitted to a horrible addiction that was slowly killing him, she responded by saying, “Why don't you be a man and blow your brains out!"
While she’s retaining her tough attitude, MIchaels said she thinks she can do more good on The Doctors, where she’s on TV five times a week and can take a more realistic approach to weight loss and health.
She has said the results on Loser had become unrealistic, with people losing large amounts of weight every week, which most in real life don’t have the resources to do. She said she feels like she’s reaching more people on a more realistic basis on The Doctors.
"Prime time is just not geared to inform the viewer," she said during a break in shooting last week. On The Doctors, "we really dig in there and help people with the 'how to' of life transformation."
Kournikova has proved to be much nicer in her approach, but viewers are saying she’s maybe too soft, not inspiring them to get their own results at home.
"I know what it's like to be judged, dissected, picked apart for all of my life," said the Russian-born tennis player, saying she has empathy for the contestants. "It was so painful. I was just a kid at the time. I was being judged over here for being too pretty, or over there for not looking good enough. And God forbid I gained a pound. I heard about it. And then I was being criticized for not being a good enough tennis player and yet I knew — I knew — I was giving it everything I had."
While Kournikova has a more sympathetic attitude toward the contestants, she said she has much the same view on how to help contestants lose weight, that it has to be done with a total lifestyle change instead of just counting calories and exercising.
"At the end of the day, we know it's not just about calories and exercise," Kournikova said. "The challenge here is how do you change your life? If you don't change who you are on the inside, the changes on the outside won't last. A lot of these people have just lost their sparkle for life and I have to help them figure out how to get it back."
Kournikova said the main thing she wants viewers and contestants to remember Is that exercise doesn’t have to be boring. Playing sports, as she has with tennis, is a good way to keep weight loss exciting and fun.
Fellow trainer Bob Harper said he believes Kournikova’s status as a pro athlete will help motivate contestants.
"When you are a pro, you don't just get to say, 'I don't feel like working out today.' You don't have that luxury. Anna will be able to help [the contestants] find that ability, that inner strength, to fight through whatever is standing in their way," he said.