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Just Jillian: Not Just the Intimidating Personal Trainer Selling NordicTrack

Patricia Makris ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

While many of us can admit our new years resolutions included steering away from reality shows, this latest addition to the E! Network actually seems to serve a purpose. Just Jillian centers on the life of personal trainer Jillian Michaels, and her attempt to balance work and family.

Just Jillian Promo Poster PC: E! Online
Just Jillian Promo Poster
PC: E! Online

She has two children with partner, Heidi Rhoades. Michaels became emotional when explaining that their daughter Lukensia’s adoptions papers in Haiti were finalized the same day Heidi was giving birth to son Phoenix. With two young children, they seem to have different approaches to parenting but ultimately make it a point to work as a team.

In the first episode, Michaels revealed she has step-siblings (from her father) and became a parental figure for them because of the age gap between them. She also explained that her father was not really around for his kids, which is why she felt like she needed to step up. Her moral responsibility to help others and improve their quality of life seems to come from what she experienced with her father and siblings.

Jillian Micheals and her partner PC: AfterEllen
Jillian Michaels and her partner, Heidi Rhoades
PC: AfterEllen

Michaels tries to spend as much time with her family as possible and explains her guilt when having to leave for appearances or other business trips. In a serious moment during the first episode, she explained that because she is being pulled in different directions and everything in her life needs attention, eventually something would have to give. However once she returns home and is greeted immediately, things seem to be back to normal.

Michaels is the exact representation of a modern day woman who can have it all, but is not afraid to express her concerns and admit when some days are harder than others. Stepping away from the platform that first introduced her to the public in order to build a larger brand in no way seems like an easy task. However, it does not appear she has neglected any responsibilities and has a strong support group that is willing to help her reach her goals.

Michaels with her children PC: Jezebel
Michaels with her children, Lukensia and Phoenix
PC: Jezebel

Two of the most important people on her team are her business partner Giancarlo and assistant Nichole. They work day-to-day keeping things organizing and solving problems. Based on their close relationships with Michaels, they really understand her and her needs. To show her appreciation, Michaels actually surprised Nichole by giving her the option of exchanging her old, dirty car for a brand new car for the same price.

Best known for her yelling and often stern looks, it was also quite a surprise to discover Michaels possesses a refreshing sense of humor. Her best jokes are made when she is trying to make an understanding of relatable situations, like homework and buying furniture. There is no question that Jillian Michael’s will successfully change the public’s opinions of her. The interactions she has with her fans and the admiration they have for her prove that process has already begun.

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