A Chat with Jillian

by Kim on July 14, 2012

On Thursday, I headed back to my hometown to hang out with the madre for a few days. It was nice to get Mason some Grandma time, and Brent some bachelor time.

On the drive home, I decided to try something a little different: instead of blasting sick tunes like We’ve Only Just Begun (Carpenters circa 1972), I downloaded the TuneIn app on my phone and listened to podcasts. I didn’t get good enough reception for this plan to work the entire 3.5 hour drive, but I was able to get an hour or so of good listening in before busting out my stack of scratched-up mixed CDs (I’m incredibly ghetto when it comes to car music).

So this is how I discovered my love of Jillian Michaels’ podcasts. I know everyone has a different opinion about Jillian-typically, either strong devotion or deep contempt. Well, I’m on Team Devotion. I think she’s totally bomb. She’s a great motivator and speaker, she knows her stuff, she’s entertaining, and (not that this is absolutely critical to be a health and wellness coach, but) she’s a reformed big girl, so she’s got all kinds of street cred.

jillianI’d kill for a celery stick.

I started out with an episode (are they called episodes??) from June 30, called Jillian gives us a deep, life coach kind of chat. I’m a BIG fan of life coach kind of chats. They always give me such a lift and never get old, regardless of how repetitive they can be. This is because I need daily reminders of the same crap, over and over, to keep it pounded into my brain. Be grateful, be loving, be positive, etc. etc.

Anyway, in this episode, Jillian laid out 5 life coach cliches (her word). We the listeners were supposed to write them down and think about how they apply to our lives. So, here’s my attempt…

1) Take chances, be vulnerable. Jillian talked about how you have to take risks to get ahead in life. But, as we all know, “when you go out on a limb, you risk that limb breaking.” You might have to deal with rejection, disappointment, hurt, ego bruising, and all sorts of ugly junk that we all hate. But sometimes things have to get worse to get better, right? Take, for example, letting my kid cry it out so he’ll sleep at night-short-term trauma that’s (hopefully) leading to long-term restoration of semi-normal sleep patterns (like, say, 4 hours of consecutive sleep?).

Launching this blog was risky for me. This isn’t my first blog, so there was the very real possibility that this one could tank too. Plus, blogging can be a very personal thing. You have to really put yourself out there-not just to the close friends you trust, but to literally anyone on this planet (dramatic, I know) who might stumble upon your blog and decide to read it. So that was and is intimidating, and I’m still working to find the right balance of opening up vs. oversharing.

So far, I’ve enjoyed this blog and I’m glad I started it. But it still feels risky and I still feel vulnerable. Maybe I should take that as a sign that I’m on the right track?

2) Recognize that the human body is sacred. I loved this one. I was driving down the road getting all goosebumpy and saying “YES” out loud like I was in a southern Baptist church. Jillian talked about how she could see God in nature, and especially in the human body. The more I learn about our bodies, the more astounded I am by them and convinced that there has to be a God, because how else could these crazy intricate things work so dang well?

Our bodies are definitely sacred. I’m not talking about saving yourself for marriage, but just thinking about how we care for our bods, in general. We jam them full of grease and preservatives and chemicals, and then blame those darn family genes when we get heart disease and hypertension. We load up on carbs and heavy fat and then boo-hoo because we’re too tired to work out, which compounds the problem.

If, for just one day, we actually treated our bodies as the sacred vessels they are, what would we do? What would we eat? Would we all go get massages and spend the day grooming ourselves and doing deep breathing?

I’m by NO means a perfect clean eater, but I do pay attention to what goes on my plate. When I think about how I’d like to clean up my diet-my day-to-day diet, not my occasional splurgy weekend burger-and-beer diet-I always think about two things: Diet Coke and fake sugar. For some reason, I always feel guilty about how often I consume those things. I know they don’t do anything good for me, but I’ve never been motivated enough to actually cut them out of my diet. (For the record, I have tried it for awhile, just to make sure I could do it, but in the end, it wasn’t important enough to me.)

Now, I have the added motivator that everything I eat gets rerouted into my breastmilk and ingested by my baby. I should be thinking: do I want him (secondhand) eating this?

3) Figure out how to rework your weaknesses into strengths. This one was interesting, and something I hadn’t heard before. Jillian talked about how the things you dislike about yourself are just the things that make you unique, and you have to stop picking them apart. I had a hard time swallowing this at first, because it sounded like an excuse-like, I have a bad temper but, well, that’s just who I am! Better embrace it!

The idea got a little clearer when she gave her example. She said she has a tendency to get depressed about the state of the world (weakness), but that this motivates her to make a change (strength). Ok.

In my case, a weakness that came to mind was this: I’m always trying to figure people out. Like lay them on a couch and therapize them, figure out why they act the way they do and what’s going on under the outer façade. The problem is that my conclusions are probably way off base and, really, it’s none of my business anyway. It’s also easy to veer off into Judgment Land.

So how can I rework this weakness into a strength (besides going back to school to pursue my true calling as a therapist)? I decided that I need to be careful to limit this habit to be used only when it might help me sympathize with people.

4) Celebrate your successes. So often, as Jillian explained, we focus on the squeaky wheel and forget about everything that’s going right. We need to work harder to cultivate an attitude of gratefulness.

The application for this one was easy: Mason. For all that I complain about his poor sleep habits, frustrating skin issues (cradle cap + eczema), and acid reflux, I have to keep my perspective straight: he’s a 100% healthy kid, and this too shall pass. We’re all gonna make it.

 5) Learn from your failures. Jillian was running out of time so I think she spent about 39 seconds on this one, but it’s a pretty simple concept. Quit beating yourself up about things you can’t change and try to find good things you can take away from the experiences instead. Hey, my last blog didn’t make it, but I learned a lot from the experience and I’m in much better shape this time around (to be clear: not physically).

So yeah, pretty pleased with my first Jillian podcast experience. Her most recent one is right up my alley too-the problem with being happy. Can’t wait to check that one out (and possibly become really depressed? I had no idea there was a problem with being happy…).

I’m wondering if I can start listening to talk radio like this while working out…does anyone else do that?

Speaking of working out…

How would you apply these 5 things to your life?


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: