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Screw Jillian Michaels

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Podcast cover for Screw Jillian Michaels - Find Your Feisty Podcast, Episode 39

Highlights for Screw Jillian Michaels

  • Did you get the message? (0:50)
  • How they shut us down (2:15)
  • Why people overeat (4:55)
  • But when I feel good… (6:40)
  • A better way to live (8:10)
  • Magic, leotards, and The Biggest Loser (9:55)
  • Here’s the Way Out (13:30)

Screw Jillian Michaels

So, by now, you have seen or heard the bullshit-ignorant comments that Jillian Michaels has made about our beloved Lizzo (and if you missed it, click here to catch up). I just want to say: I am completely on fire about it!

It’s taken me about a week to get calm enough to say something more than a string of Fucks, and here’s where I’ve come to about this…

Did You Get the Message?

Jillian Michaels is only trying to get herself in the news cycle again. She does not give two shits about Lizzo or her body or her health. So, let’s just put that out there, okay?

And the reason this situation has been so upsetting for me and has me so GRRRR!!! is because I feel like I’ve been fighting against this kind of crap for my entire life.

The message from the diet industry and from the people who buy into their bullshit is—

Sit your ass down, stay quiet, and don’t do anything. Don’t be creative, and don’t put your gifts and talents in the world until you get your body under control. You just sit the fuck down because you clearly have work to do on your body, and until you get your body under control, you can’t possibly do anything else that’s worthwhile.

That is the message they send women and little girls every single day. We are groomed from a very, very young age to start dieting and to be afraid of becoming fat. There was a study out recently that says girls as young as eight years old are already talking about dieting and some have dieted – that’s bullshit!

And it’s a way of controlling women and keeping them down.

How They Shut Us Down

Let me tell you something … the minute you bring up a woman’s or girl’s weight or anything like that, it shuts the conversation down. There is nothing else from her side because of the shame response. She says nothing, and she hears nothing.

When it happened to me, there was nothing else that I could hear. The shame was overwhelming, and I instantly went into a trauma-induced shutdown. That’s what happens to people.

And I have this to say to Jillian Michaels…

Our culture values thinness over everything, so, yeah, we are celebrating Lizzo’s body, Jillian. And do you know why we’re celebrating Lizzo’s body? It’s because she’s fucking amazing! And she’s willing to get on stage and on TV – and anywhere else she pleases – in a goddamn leotard!

Between you and me, you know that just doesn’t happen in our culture. You’ve probably also heard the message to sit down and shut up until you get your body under control. But Lizzo was like, Oh, hell no, I’m not doing that.

So, yes, we are celebrating. We’re celebrating Lizzo’s amazing voice, we’re celebrating her music, and we’re celebrating her body. And what goes on with her medical history is none of Jillian Michaels’ business … or mine or yours.

And what goes on with your body and your medical history is between you and your doctor. That’s it, period.

Now, I’m not suggesting that we not be our best selves and not live our best lives. But I am done with this whole notion that we have to be quiet and unseen and sit down and shut up until we get our bodies looking the way that our culture tells us to look – which is generally super-thin … and also white and blonde, which is crap, too.

That’s the overarching theme to how women are perceived and are told they should look, and any body that deviates from that is “wrong” … AND then people feel the need to attack anyone who doesn’t look like that or believe they have the license to say something about it.

Well, I say No. No, absolutely not.

I’m here to tell you that nobody gets to comment on your body and what you look like and pretend that it’s because they care about your health. Bullshit. They need to worry about their own health and take care of their own shit.

With people like that, I go back to grade school. I’m like: Don’t look at my paper. You don’t need to copy what’s going on with my paper. You keep your eyes on your own paper, and I’ll keep my eyes on my paper.

Why People Overeat

Managing our weight is not an easy thing. People say, “Eat less, move more,” as if it’s that simple, and it’s never that easy. That little mantra is an oversimplification.

We struggle with our weight because it is never about the weight, it’s never about the food, and it’s never about the movement alone. Never.

There are a lot of other factors that play into this and shame – as Jillian Michaels did to Lizzo – is the number one reason that people run face-first into a chocolate cake and eat their emotions.

People are not overweight because they’re lazy or stupid or because they need someone to educate them. No.

People are overweight because they are numbing something. They are numbing pain or they’re numbing a trauma. They’re numbing something, and they are emotionally eating because of that something. Just telling them to exercise more and eat less is not enough.

Yes, moving more is part of it. Moving your body in a way that you love and also eating attentively so you’ll stop eating when your body tells you that you’re full – those are both part of this.

But the body shaming that goes on in our culture … it requires you to buy into all these diets and give over your control. That’s where Jillian makes her money. That’s where the diet industry makes their money.

They make their money by keeping us quiet and feeling like less-than, and by keeping us flying under the radar – and by keeping us buying all their shit, too.

But When I Feel Good…

I’m super fired up today, and I’m not sorry. It’s 2020, and it’s my year of not hiding anymore. I have been flying under the radar myself for a variety of reasons, and that shit is over in 2020.

I’m taking a bold stance on this Jillian Michaels thing because it’s the exact thing I’ve been fighting against my entire life. Their message that you need to work on your body before you do anything else and that, until you do, you can’t do anything else that’s worthwhile … I have always felt that, but I’m not doing it anymore.

From now on, I’m going to focus on my own happiness. And here’s something else I can tell you, here’s something else I know…

  • When I feel good about myself, I eat a shit-ton less.
  • When I’m paying attention to my eating, I eat a lot less, and I eat very differently.
  • When I love myself, I want to move. I get up in the morning, go to my water aerobics classes, and I feel so good about myself afterward.
  • When I feel really good about myself, I go for a walk just because it’s a nice day outside.

But when we feel like shit, we do not get off the couch, and we do not eat differently. We eat like crap, and we stick our fingers in our ears and sing “La la la la la la la la!” because we’re numbing and we’re hiding.

AND we live in this constant fear that somebody’s going to come out and say something against us, just like Jillian Michaels did to Lizzo.

A Better Way to Live

I’m here to tell you that there is a better way to live your life and to think about yourself – and to ignore ignorant people like Jillian Michaels.

I’m telling you that when you focus on your own happiness, everything changes, and it starts with love.

Lizzo says it took her a long time to love her body, but when you can focus on loving your body, on loving yourself just the way you are – not when you lose 10 pounds or 50 pounds or 100 pounds, or whatever, but NOW – it will change the way you feel about yourself.

AND it will change the way that you eat, and that will change the way you move your body. And when you eat differently, you move, and you think about yourself differently … and when you manage your mind and stop trying to live your life for other people’s expectations, and when you stop trying to live up to those expectations, you can step into your own life fully.

You can step into waking up every day and feeling amazing rather than getting up and thinking, Oh my god, nothing fits, or making ridiculous New Year’s resolutions that we don’t stick to AND THEN count as a failure AND THEN use as further evidence of why we suck.

No, I’m not having that. I’m not having any of that anymore. I’m not doing it.

Magic, Leotards, and The Biggest Loser

I want you to join me in making this year about us, about stepping into our power and loving ourselves the way we are, flaws and all.

Life is too goddamn short to be trying to fit into someone else’s mold when all we really need to do is stand in our own place of peace and power and do our own magic. Put your magic out into the world, whatever that may be. Do it for yourself … do it for the people around you.

You know, I’m so inspired when I see Lizzo on stage in her leotard. It makes me want to get out there and wear different clothing. Now, I’m not to the point where I want to wear a leotard, but Yay for you, Lizzo!

Another thing I love is that Lizzo did not respond to Jillian’s comments directly. She did not go at her.

If somebody had said that about me, I would have lost my ever-loving shit. My first instinct would have been to come out swinging. Granted, I would have had shame and tears all bottled up in my throat, so I might not have been able to get words out!

But Lizzo’s response was very simple … it was like “Today’s mantra is: This is my life. And I have done nothing wrong. I forgive myself for thinking I was wrong in the first place, and I deserve to be happy.”

Boom, mic drop, Lizzo! That’s what we need to remember.

We haven’t done anything wrong. We are people. We are whole. We are worthy of love and belonging. And we do not need to take on other people’s shaming shit.

So, Jillian Michaels can take all of her opinions and her diagnoses and she can shove them, because that’s not what women need or need to be doing.

What we need to do is support women for who they are, regardless of what their bodies look like, regardless of what they weigh.

We need to stop being conditional with our love and support of people.

We need to help people make the contributions that our society needs and not focus on this superficial standard of beauty.

We need to stop telling women that they’re not worthy until they can fit into size four supermodel jeans.

And we need to stop buying into this insanity that Jillian Michaels and the weight loss industry promotes … and that includes shows like The Biggest Loser.

It was years before I really watched that show, because the first time I saw it, it made me physically sick. But people convinced me with their, “Oh, but it’s so inspiring! It’s such a great show!”

And so I watched it … I watched trainers beat and shame the shit out of overweight people. How is that inspirational? I watched the entire time having a trauma response! What they did to those people wasn’t okay. The amount of weight that they lost and how they lost it was not okay. They’d turned weight loss and shaming into entertainment.

There was a clip of Jillian saying something like, “I don’t care about anything else except making your ass smaller.” Well, that’s bullshit. It’s old, I’m over it, and we’re not doing it that way anymore.

Here’s the Way Out

The path out of this Jillian-Michaels-clusterfuck is to do things our own way, not the way the weight loss industry would have us do them.

We have to start with loving ourselves and moving our bodies in ways that are fun and that we love, and not while holding ourselves to a certain timetable

And then we listen to our bodies and eat accordingly. Our bodies know when we want to stop eating, but we overeat because we’re in a shame shutdown from people like Jillian Michaels, our friends, our families, our doctors … all kinds of people.

Believe it or not, doctors do shame people like this, too. I know this from experience. I have some great doctors, and I’ve also had some super shitty ones. (If you don’t have a good doctor, then find another doctor.)

There ARE supportive people out there, people that want to support women, regardless of their weight or size.

I am one of those people, and I am definitely on your team. I want to be on your Board of Directors – the people who support you in whatever changes you want to make in your life.

I’m now reshuffling the deck of my own Board of Directors! Based on her response to Jillian, I’m adding Lizzo to the people who I look up to and who I find to be super supportive. Michelle Obama is on the list, along with a whole lot of other great women.

So, yes, we are celebrating Lizzo! We are celebrating her ability to rise above all this nonsense and to continue rocking on with her eight Grammys and all of her commercials. Lizzo is going to be laughing her ass all the way to the bank … she should probably send Jillian Michaels some flowers that say: Thank you. I’m 100% that bitch.

Until next time…



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