Her on-air personality is typically a hardcore mean trainer, who motivates The Biggest Loser contestants by most of the time yelling in their face.
But it couldn't have been more different when Jillian Michaels called me at exactly 8:45 a.m. from her hotel room in Memphis.She apologized for her whispery voice and told me she had her two sleeping children next to her. It was a complete 180 from the woman America loves to hate on the NBC show.
Before she stops in Dallas on April 4 as part of her Maximize Your Life tour, we chatted with Michaels about the last time she visited Dallas, where she usually works out and why she won't drink a margarita (hint: calories!). "It's a cosmopolitan city from what I remember," she said. "I remember shopping and looking for great food and looking for cool, funky little boutique gyms."
She said Tex-Mex can fit into her diet only in moderation, but she probably wouldn't indulge in a margarita. Instead, maybe tequila on the rocks with a lime because, you know, less calories.
OK, so Michaels knows how to eat and drink in moderation, but what about the rest of Texas? It seems our state is always on some kind of list for most obese states, but Michaels said that isn't necessarily the case.
She said she frequently gets asked that kind of question, whether it's about the LGBT community, a certain state, or certain ethnic group.But, she believes it all centers around one issue.
"I think it's definitely something we as a country are going through," she said. "And my answer for that is I think that right now, we're still economically depressed. People are struggling to make ends meet every day. If they're lucky enough to have jobs, it's a job that they probably don't find the most fulfilling or rewarding and the place that they're finding their comfort right now is food. It's cheap and it's easy."
And she has some suggestions for us Texans. It's really just eating less and exercising more.
"It's about the fact that losing weight is simple," Michaels said. "I didn't say easy, but I said simple. You eat less and you move more, so then the question becomes, why are so many people struggling with and subsequently where else are they struggling and what other aspects of their lives and how do we get unstuck and get that forward momentum to turn these things around?"
One person who certainly took Michaels' advice, maybe a little too far, was the most recent Biggest Loser winner, Rachel Frederickson. Michaels famously looked stunned when it was revealed how much weight the winner lost, finally weighing in at 105 pounds.
"I've been very vocal in saying that I was totally stunned," she said, "that I did not work with her at all and it's a question for (show trainer Dolvett Quince) and the doctor of the show and that yes, I personally thought she was too thin."