Look Good Naked: Learning from the best


Jillian Michaels’ brought her “Maximize Your Life” tour to the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh on Mar. 19 to an audience dying to know her secrets to health, fitness, and living a positive lifestyle.

The presentation started out with a shocking video, meant to alert and appall the audience of what they put into their bodies every day. Michaels’ made the point that the human body needs the proper fuel the same way a car needs the proper gasoline. Eating clean has a different meaning than most people think, however. Many confuse eating a balanced, healthy diet with eating clean. Cleanliness has everything to do with how organic food is, and though organic has the reputation for being expensive, it can be done for just $20 more a week.

On her website, jillianmichaelslive.com, she lists the 10 most toxic additives to avoid; such as artificial colors and growth hormones. She also lists the “clean 15” fruits that are resistant to poisonous pesticides and the “dirty dozen” that have thin skins that allow the chemicals to seep through.

Exercise is part of the equation that cannot be left out. The magic number when it comes to exercising is your Basil Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is the number of calories a person would burn even if they did nothing active all day. Once that is known, it is easy to estimate the amount of calories needed daily. The other magic number is to take 85% of a person’s maximum heart rate (calculated by subtracting age from 220). For exercise to be effective, the heart should be beating that fast. Exercising 4-5 times a week for 30 minutes is optimal, and 1-2 days of rest is required to allow the body to repair.

The last part of the show was about focusing on the self and finding motivation to become unstuck in life. One of the most powerful and effective methods Michaels’ suggested was periodically evaluating mood throughout the day on a hot and cold scale. The purpose of this is to try and find consistent high points, and keep repeating what is causing the happiness. She preached following dreams and natural talents to get the best out of life, and always focusing on moving forward. Though Michaels got her start through health and fitness, she had much to share with the audience about what everything underneath physical appearance means.

It takes two weeks to change your life. Actually, it takes two weeks to form habits that change your life. By counting calories for just two weeks, finding time to fit exercise into a normal schedule, and seriously evaluating what brings happiness to an individual, they can work toward a better life. Forming habits and making well-being a permanent part of a lifestyle is everything, and two weeks is all it takes.