Jillian Michaels on Motherhood: "I'm More Fulfilled Than I've Ever Been"

Jillian Michaels is the cover subject of Redbook this month.


Jillian Michaels couldn’t be more on top of the world if she had full climbing gear and a sherpa.

Fans were thrilled to learn yesterday that she’ll be returning as host of The Biggest Loser after taking time off to focus on her personal life. But even that exciting news pales in comparison to her joyful new life as a mother. This past spring, she and her partner, Heidi Rhoades, went from being a couple to becoming a family of four virtually overnight. The very same week Jillian brought home their two-year-old daughter, Lukensia, from Haiti, Heidi went into labor with their son, Phoenix.

Jillian talks about her kids – and the changes she’s made in her life and body – in this month’s issue of Redbook.

The trainer to the stars says of motherhood, “I’m more fulfilled than I’ve ever been. I think there was always an emptiness that I tried to fill with something. When I was a kid it was food, then it was success, then it wasn’t enough success – it was achievements.” Becoming a mom, she adds, has made her “reevaluate everything.”

It’s also made her realize that it’s impossible to do all the things she used to do pre-kids. “I didn’t understand that something has to give,” she says. “Now friends will go to Vegas for the weekend and we’re like, ‘Take pictures.’ When Lu looks at me and says, ‘I love you!’ I go, ‘F it. Who needs Vegas?”

Jillian does her best to mother without smothering, especially with toddler Lukensia. “Kids are accident-prone; they’re going to tumble,” she explains. “As long as I know she’s not going to die or get badly hurt, it’s okay. We’d rather her be adventurous, and fall and get back up, than helicopter around her and make her feel fragile.”

Admitting that she’s a few pounds heavier than she used to be – “part of me really likes it” – Jillian wants her daughter to develop a healthy attitude about her own body. “We talk about role models for her, like Beyonce, who has a more curvaceous figure.”

Most ironic (and funniest) of all? With the demands of two kids, Jillian can’t spend hours at the gym anymore. Instead, she works out at home to her own DVDs. “I hate it,” she confesses. “I’m relentless. I never shut up!

For more from Jillian, go to and pick up the October issue of REDBOOK, on newsstands September 11th.

[Photo: Andrew Macpherson for REDBOOK]

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