Thursday, October 1, 2009


For the past few years, I've looked to Jillian Michaels for advice, inspiration, fitness tips, and overall health infomation. I have also been a big supporter of The Biggest Loser since the very first season. I was there, I know how they feel, I know what they're going through.

This all changed over the past week.

First we'll start with The Biggest Loser (contains spoiler from Tuesday's episode!):
This season is about second chances. I was totally on board. Knowing Bob and Jillian would train together seemed cool! Seeing Bob with fitness and Jill with nutrition was great. I've always hated the product placement, but whatever, they need sponsors. I know it's a TV show, and the line between reality and reality tv is so blurred. I used to think it was all real, raw emotion. Now, I think so much of it is written. Story lines are set in motion, and I just don't believe so much of what happens.
First, I read a blog by Kai, a contestant from the 2007 season with the 50 states contenders. She was from Alaska, short hair, kids at home, remember her? Well according to Kai (who was under a gag order from BL for 2 years), things on the ranch aren't what they seem. She said often at weigh-ins, people are dehydrated and aren't properly fueling. This doesn't surprise me.
Have you noticed the progression of contestants over the years? They just keep getting bigger and bigger. While I totally support helping 300+ lb. people, there are many people who are 100 lbs. overweight at 250, and that's serious! It's almost like someone at 250 isn't big enough for BL, they need results, they need huge numbers, they need shock value. Yes, it's a reality TV show, but this is more real because it's impacting people's health - unless you count the # of STD's people probably get on others.
Anyway... I just find it hard to believe and it makes me sad now. I almost feel like contestants are exploited. I don't really think purple girl wanted to take the temptation and eat the cupcakes and the 2 lb. pass for no trainers, but they need drama, right? They need Bob and Jillian to yell at her and be tough.
It is a TV show though, with prize money, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I don't know if I'll be watching anymore... the 2 hours (even with DVR) are taxing. If I want to watch a game show, I'll watch Jeopardy so I can actually learn something :)

Now onto Jillian:
I have been listening to her radio show for close to a year. I feel like she's raw and truthful on there. She hates artifical sweeteners, cleanses, and 'fake crap'. I think CRAP is her favorite word for anything one eat's that isn't 100% clean and organic.
At first when I saw her advertising things on BL like sugar free gum, SF jello, and other artifical 'crap', I dismissed it because I'm sure she has to because of her contract with BL.
Last week, my sister sent me a link to new Jillian products she found:
It's full of words like 'rapid weight-loss' and 'cleanse and detox'
Is this the same Jillian who spews out hate for products like that on her radio show???
Truly, I'm disappointed. Why would she put her face on that? All for money? Whatever, call it 'natural' and say it's safe, but you have people call in and you repeat 'cut calories, increase exercise. you don't need supplements and quick fixes.'

What do you think? Is she a sell-out? Is Biggest Loser losing it's novelty on you too? Am I just jaded?


  1. I read an article on The Biggest Loser awhile back that talked about the winner from the first ever season. Apparently he has put the weight back on and he shared some tidbits similar to what you mentioned Kai said...that the contestants were really dehydrated and that the weight loss was not in the most healthy way. He also said he gained over 30 pounds in water weight within a week of going home! I still really like the show, but you are right, I think it is because I am entertained while watching. I do really get invested in the contestants' stories but it's sad to think that it's just another reality show with a script... And you are right the participants have gotten a lot bigger!

  2. I find it really frustrating that they keep finding bigger contestants. I also think that they are having more injuries which isn't good. Do you have a link to Kai's blog? I'd be interested in reading it, you can always send to my e-mail - jweaver1983 at gmail dot com.

    The Jillian supplements piss me off quite frankly. Her new book was all about how she didn't want people taking hormones and chemicals and here we go she's hawking supplements to get people to lose weight quickly. Ugh!

    I do find the show motivating at times, plus I like the stories and the entertainment aspect of the show.

  3. I do think Jillian is becoming a sell-out. I bought her book Making The Cut and was quite disappointed with some of the stuff I saw in it. At the end there is definitely mention of using supplements and then she says something about how she really gets to look super cut (like on the book cover) and she basically admits it's not healthy or feasible.

    I'd have way more respect for her if she'd just be natural. I think she has it in her to be a great role model, but she's getting sucked into these things just in the name of money. It's sad.

    BL is losing it's appeal to me. I used to feel I could relate more to the people on there. But now the issues are just so complex that it's become a different show. And the trainers loosing it on a regular basis is getting really old. They're just too crazy now. If I were one of their "clients" I think I'd punch them out or something.

  4. I was annoyed when I heard about her weight loss products.
    She defends them on her facebook page saying they are made from "completely natural ingredients."
    I still feel she is selling out a bit.

  5. There's been a lot of talk about Jillian's diet pills amongst a few blogs I read. I agree - I was rather disappointed when I first found out. I read something somewhere from Jillian saying that she has never been against supplements, but that you just need to find the right ones. Hers have leading scientists behind it, and are all "natural", and that's her defense. But in all honesty? I still am disappointed. I don't think anything can replace knowledge of nutrition and fitness, and living a healthy lifestyle. It takes hard work, and I still can't help but think the supplements are a bit of a cop out for some folks. :/

  6. I too was so dissapointed to learn that she had her own line of supplements when in Making the cut she talks so strongly against them. Seems like a sell out to me. But I don't discount all that I've learned from her about eating a balanced diet and exercise in the past. I'm sure she still has so much that I could learn from, I'm going to try and overlook all the supplement garbage and listen to the diet/exercise portion. I still do like BL, even after reading Kai's blog. I think you have to consider that no one else that has been on the show has ever spoken out about it. I still think it's a good tool for teaching those people how to eat and be healthy. The concept is still really great and I hope that they don't force the contestants to dehydrate (although they may). I think I'll still watch and see how it goes.

  7. I am disappointed in what has happened to the BL and Jillian. I no longer watch the BL because of the drama and it is the same stuff, just different people. It is a not real. It pisses me off the contestants need to be a minimum of 350 lbs to be on the show. What does that tell us to society. Be fat and you can be on the BL. It is just not feasible.
    While I love JM DVD's, I doubt I would buy any future items she endorses anymore.

  8. I know!! Jillian always says things like no pills are going to help's eat less, move more! I can't believe she's doing fat burning pills! So totally unbelievable! People are going to buy into it too, because it's Jillian and she made so many people lose weight.

  9. While I totally agree with you on all of those points, I'm too entranced (and not outraged enough) by the show to stop watching it. :o( I think the most annoying thing to me is the product placements. As soon as Bob started pushing the yogurt in this last week's episode I looked over at my fiance and said, "I really wish they'd stop doing this."

  10. I agree. I am disappointed in her newest business venture and to me, it screams sell out. It's all for money. And the product placement kills me. I turn the channel. Every time. I'm just not as into it this year and I guess it's because it is almost one big commercial.

  11. While I agree that contestants are getting bigger for more shock value and I don't agree with this, I can see how this is a repetitive show and everyone knows how it will end. However, I don't think that the purple lady was asked to do what she did for more drama, she is drama. If you go back and watch week 2 she craves attention. In regards to Jillian's products, it doesn't surprise me. While I love her fitness and exercise tips I don't like her nutritional advice.

  12. I too listened to Jillian's podcasts but overtime created a complex of feeling really guilty about food if it wasn't organic or natural because of it is what Jillian refers to as "crap". I didn't like this extra feeling of guilt. I would love to eat perfect Jillian food but sadly I don't make her bucks. I always attempt to make the best choices, it just doesn't always happen. I had a love/hate relationship with her "crap" food view. And a few weeks ago I did see her "vitamins" in Walmart for $40+ and was shocked. Her pills are right next to the other diet pills. I thought her sermon was "calories in, calories out". Where does the pill play in? Most Tuesday nights I fall asleep before the weigh-in. Nate fills me in on the drama Wednesday morning. The part I love are seeing the workouts. I would kill for the "Jacob's ladder". That looks awesome. I love seeing what they do. I would love to see a list of the activities the players are engaged in. That's what I want to see, and less sugar-less gum commercials. I feel really bad for the pink team's blond girl. The poor chick isn't going to be around long because she isn't that big. You have to be huge to do well on the weigh-ins.

  13. Here's what I think:

    To me, Biggest Loser has always been a typical reality show: Not realistic at all. I watch it because I can relate to each and every one of those contestants that are on the show, and what they are going through as they try to deal with the raw emotions that led them to be the way they are.

    Also, though I'm not defending the show's or Jillian's actions here, Jillian has always said on her radio show (and correct me if I'm wrong here) that she hates the twists and the turns that the BL show/producers put on the contestants. But, at the same time, she continues to do the BL show regardless of the fact that she doesn't agree with their doings, but, at the same time, I understand that a girl's gotta make a living.

    The only thing that I really hate about the BL show is that they downplay the tremendous amounts of weight that these people lose. For example: a fail at the scale would be losing 4 or less pounds. I don't think that's a failure! I think that maybe it gives people the impression that losing less than 4 or so pounds in a week isn't good enough.

    But anyways, I digress about BL. I can see both sides of the story when it comes to the show.

    However, when it comes to Jillian's new line of supplements: (and I have nothing against supplementation, and she's mentioned that she's all for it!) I think she TOTALLY sold out there. She's saying two different things: on her radio show, you can't burn fat by taking a pill, blah blah and they she comes out with these supplements. I'm dissapointed too. But, I have to remember that she's not infallible and I would still LOVE to train with her. So yes, she did sell out, but I hope she realizes in the end that it was a mistake, and let her fans down immensly.

    Have a great weekend Ash. Long enough comment for ya? :)

  14. First of all, Ash, I've been reading your blog for months now and don't think I've ever commented. I heard people talking about the 30 day Shred and when I googled it, your blog came up. I bought the DVD and have been doing it for the past couple of months... well, not so much lately because of sickness, but still. With that said, I honestly think Jillian has sold herself out. I believe the carrot dangled in front of her face is big enough to compromise her basic beliefs, which is so sad. I'm of the belief that if you eat a healthy, balanced diet you don't need any vitamins. You're getting them all in your diet, right? My biggest struggle is cutting the junk out of my diet and eating healthy. I have a hubby who is picky and doesn't eat fruits and veggies, I know, so sad. It's the way he was brought up and it's just the way he is and I love him anyway. Any way, thanks for speaking out and know you've inspired me to change little by little.... and very slowly. Peace!

  15. I agree with you. Jillian's workouts are fabulous. I've never worked harder on my own then when following her plans. And I think she has a good take on nutrition too. So why then the diet supplements and promoting results that are not typical? These things overshadow the good advice and healthy lifestyle that I origianlly loved about her.

  16. I definitely think she's become a bit of a sell out *sob*, I actually like her, so that's a shame.

  17. i guess i'm the only one, but i don't think she is a sell out. she has always recommended a caffeine/aspirin supplement so why not make her own instead of making money for stacker? that is basically what her two supplements are. the cleanse is a little suspect, but i don't know much about it. sounds like you take a few pills a day, but otherwise maintain your diet. so at least you don't starve yourself. i'm not into diet supplementation, so it doesn't appeal to me. some people like to supplement and i would trust Jillian more than some faceless corp.
    as for BL, it is all drama, tv, and competition. so i watch it for that. i do hate the product placement, but that's tv. i completely agree that someone at 250lbs. needs to loose weight as much as the larger contestants, but big loss= great tv. while i occasionally freak out because a contestant will weigh close to what i do, the bigger contestant make me feel like if they can do it i can.

  18. I listen to Jillian's radio show too and I love her. I remember her saying that the whole concept of a short detox and "cleanse" was bs. I was shocked to see this product from her. She had been talking about developing a fat burning supplement for a while though. She is a big believer i the caffeine and aspirin combo.

  19. I too have been a little put off by how each season of BL the contestants keep getting bigger. I realize it's probably for shock value, but I enjoyed watching it way back in the beginning more than now. It does seem to be more focused on the 'game' aspect than losing weight, and I'd rather watch a show dedicated to helping those people lose the weight and keep it off.

  20. I agree with you. I watched the first episode of this season and was instantly put off by how mean Bob and Jillian were. That isn't inspiring or good TV for me. I don't want to watch people be yelled at. Especially in the beginning of their weight loss. I haven't watched any other episodes this season.

    I think the show is losing it's steam. Also, I think that as viewers learn more about nutrition, health, and fitness, we are more critical of the steps The BL uses.