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Dan and I got back from vacation in San Francisco on Saturday. In addition to the amazing photographs, delicious food (Humphry Slocombe ice cream = nommm), scenic landscapes and unforgettable wine (Gundlach Bundschu = mmm), the trip also delivered serious peace of mind. One reason: I went to the Owning Pink Center as a patient of Dr. Lissa Rankin’s, who you may also know as the author of the book that comes out today (and which you should own ASAP!) What’s Up Down There? Questions You’d Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend (St. Martin’s). See, the thing is, she actually is my very good friend. That’s just one reason why I wanted her to also be my doctor, because last month, I realized that I’ve been grappling with hormone-related symptoms for far too long…

Rewind to two days after my 27th birthday. My regular OB/GYN—who had ben a piece of cake to deal with when I was on the dreaded Pill—began to strike me as standoff-ish. Her in-and-out in 5 minutes flat attitude wasn’t going to cut it. I decided that I needed to sit down with someone wise, compassionate and interested in treating me holistically—as a whole person, not just a handful of acute symptoms. Enter Lissa.

This is one doctor who doesn’t wear a white coat and stand and preach while you sit and listen. On Thursday, Lissa wore a purple dress while we sat in her cozy office’s plush chairs and discussed my sex life, my stress level, my blood work and my fertility. It’s definitely easier to open up about all of these topics when your doctor is your friend. But even if she isn’t, you’d probably feel immediately at ease simply because her office is a warm, welcoming place.

We weren’t more than 20 minutes into our session—Lissa devotes an hour to each patient—when she looked at my labs that I had done in March with my NJ endocrinologist. “Wow, your TSH level!”

I said, “Wait, what?”

In the moment, I was so focused on Nonclassical Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia as the epicenter of all of my ailments that I couldn’t remember what TSH was. Lissa explained that it’s Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone, which the pituitary gland overproduces when the thyroid is sluggish in producing thyroxine, a metabolism-stimulating hormone. And while my levels are in the realm of what clinicians consider “normal,” Lissa noted that most people at my level tend to not feel very well.

Fatigue = not OK. (Image via obo-bobolina/Flickr)

Then, she asked me some follow-ups… How is my quality of sleep? I heard myself say, “Bad.” (Whoa, I thought to myself! I never really said that out loud before, but I guess my sleep isn’t really what I want it to be… I want to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep better. I told her this.) How is my skin? Combo/itchy sometimes, too. How is my energy level? Poor. I never met a nap I didn’t want to take. Just about any time of the day. I’m especially tired around 3 p.m. daily. And by the time I get home from work, I just want to throw myself on the couch. I’ve always chalked that up to stress, sitting all day at work, the wrong or nonexistent snacks perhaps. But, no, it’s more than that. Do I wake up feeling energized? Rarely. Have I had a ridiculously hard time trying to lose a small amount of weight? YES! Does anyone in my family have a history of thyroid problems? (It can be genetic.) Yes, yes, YES. My Grandma E, who I am pretty sure I take after biologically, was diagnosed with hypothyroidism at…get this…age 27!

Soon, Lissa concluded that yep, I’m symptomatic of hypothyroidism, or a sluggish, underactive thyroid. Treatment could get the gland chugging like it should, in turn, bolstering my energy. Not to mention the other symptoms… The thyroid and metabolism influence so many other body processes. In fact, hypothyroidism can prevent effective weight loss, cause weight gain, cause thinning of the hair, increased sensitivity to cold, muscle aches, dry skin, etc. I’d been wondering why I had been dealing with various symptoms – I had been wishing and hoping for answers. But none came, until I saw Lissa as a patient.

I read later that many people with thyroid problems don’t have any stand-out symptoms other than feeling “off” overall. So why isn’t it something that most doctors regularly look at or take into consideration more frequently? Why do numbers on lab work have to be astronomically high or deliriously low for them to do anything for us? Lissa explained that “normal” hormone levels are based on a given healthy population; most docs won’t treat you unless you’re in the lower 5th percentile or upper 95th percentile. But she’s found that patients may not feel very well when they’re on one side of the extreme (say, 60th-90th percentile). And they do fantastically with treatment.

Image via Son of Groucho/Flickr

I’m the opposite of Rx happy, but when Lissa suggested treating me with bioidentical (meaning the body can actually recognize the drug as identical to what the body produces) thyroid hormones, I could have shouted, “Sign me up!” It was like she found a missing puzzle piece, and I was stepping back to look at the completed masterpiece…

…Well, not quite. There’s still the NCAH, which I plan to work on with Lissa’s naturopath/partner, Lisa Brent, N.D. And other puzzle pieces that are floating out there. But I am confident now that I’ll find them, and that I have the support I need now to feel fully vital.

I’ve said it before, but I feel more strongly than ever now that we all deserve doctors who will will treat us as whole people, not just numbers on a chart. We deserve to be heard and to have our concerns validated. We deserve doctors who will look out for us as if they were our best friend. If that doesn’t describe your doctor, and you have concerns about any aspect of well-being … I strongly encourage you not to settle and to keep searching until you find the right doctor. She or he may help you find answers to questions that you didn’t know you’ve been asking all along.

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My whole life I’ve been told that in order to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, I’d have to eat less and move more. From the time I was hmm, 5 until I was maybe 12, I took dance classes. I hated ballet and tap, but I loved jazz and hip-hop. I also liked old-school aerobics type classes. I even took a few at the local recreation department one summer when I was maybe, 13. My classmates were all 35-50 years old. But it didn’t matter, because I was a fat kid and I needed to lose weight, so I had to “work out.”

Jillian kicks my ass. (Photo via jillianmichaels.com)

 

Now, at 26, when I think about having to work out… 85% of the time, I’m just not enthusiastic about it at all. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t push myself to actually do it. This morning, I couldn’t sleep past 5:45 a.m., so I dragged my butt out of bed and fired up Jillian Michaels’s DVD, Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. I did 35 minutes, and I admit it felt good during and after. But maybe it was slightly more rewarding and less painful because I’ve been making an effort to exercise more in the past couple of weeks. Since early March, I’d been on somewhat of a “I don’t feel like doing this so I’m not gonna” hiatus. One BIG factor at play: When I was working out 3-4x a week, I’d get on the scale and be up .4, down .2, up .4… over and over and over again. So I thought, If it’s not going to get me results on the scale, what’s the point?

Weight ain't nothin' but a number. Right? (Photo via sabob.com)

 

I was lamenting to my little sister that I just didn’t “wannnaaa” work out, and being the wise beyond her years 21 year-old that she is, she said that it sounded like I wasn’t looking to exercise for the right reasons. You know, feeling good, being healthy, being fit, not to mention that there are other body benefits for me personally to gain from exercise, like keeping my core strong and lower back pain-free. (I had a severely herniated disc and microdiskectomy surgery in early 2008.) But, I was zeroed in on The Scale as the be all and end all endgame. And that’s just silly. In over 8 years of Weight Watching, I’ve learned that results and rewards of exercise go above and beyond the scale. And that if you’re dedicated, well, your efforts should eventually pay off on the scale. Even though I know these things, it’s really easy to get sucked into The Scale Game.

I’ve read that when it comes to what you should do for exercise and what you should do for your career, it’s best to look to what you loved to do as a kid. What did I really love when I was a kid? Reading and writing. Being sedentary. Snacking. haha But, yeah, I also loved dancing. I’m just not a huge fan of most dance workout DVDs. I get frustrated when it’s like “Oh, here, learn these moves and then, do them.” No, I’d rather be moving the whole time, getting my heart rate up, getting the most out of my 30-40 minutes of exercise. So, as cheesy as it may sound, I’m thinking of getting my fill of old-school dance aerobics by incorporating Jazzercise into my exercise plan.  

(Photo via theboard.byu.edu)

 

Also, I’ve been thinking of challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone by doing Couch-to-5K. Having been inspired by Gina’s experience, I’d love to mentally say, “BOOM” to all the P.E. teachers who ever laughed in my chubby adolescent face when I would attempt a mile run, huffing, puffing, crying, red-faced and on the verge of vom. I would also feel so empowered by knowing that I could run. That I’m strong. That I can accomplish something that I’ve always hated and never felt I could do, because I, too, have been that fat girl who can’t run.

But either way, I just want to incorporate exercise into my life as something that without thinking, I do, naturally and happily. Instead of feeling like I have to push myself so hard to do something that is work. (Side thought: Maybe saying “working out” is just like saying “diet.” It’s got such a negative connotation, and it’s not really reflective of working toward long-term wellness.) Of course, it’s also about shifting gears with my endgame. My motivation to move can’t be about a stupid number that appears on a digital scale every week. It has to be about feeling good, taking care of the one body that I have in this life and really, at the heart of it, having fun. And it’s hard to come up with excuses for not having fun. 🙂 

What kind of exercise isn’t work to you? What’s your motivation?

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Gina Guarino has been overweight for the majority of her 27 years. It’s been a long, sometimes uphill journey, but she recently lost 85 pounds by following Weight Watchers and adopting a fitness regimen that her high school Phys Ed teacher once told her she’d never be able to do. Nonetheless, Gina still copes daily with her body image, weight-loss plateaus and staying on track. Her successes and her struggles are what makes her, in my opinion, an everyday heroine. Healthy weight loss and positive body image go hand-in-hand. But for many of us, like Gina, who have battled both for most of our lives, weight and body image harmony will always be a work in progress. Gina talked about her personal progress with The Body Logic…

The Body Logic: How long have you struggled with your weight and relationship to food?

Gina: My weight issues started as far back as I can remember, since I was probably 6 years old. I was always eating seconds or thirds (and trying to keep up with my father and two older brothers), so the weight just kept packing on and packing on. Because my mom tried to control my eating habits, I would just go to bed so hungry all the time. But then, I would actually hide food under my bed, in my closet, in my dresser, so that when I went to bed I had comfort food, and I went to sleep happy. I even remember getting up when my parents went to bed and very quietly I would go into the kitchen and make Toll House chocolate chip cookie batter (over time, I memorized it and got very good at being quiet and very clean, so it was not noticeable) and just sitting up in bed watching movies and TV in my bedroom until the whole thing was finished. Food was a big comfort for me back then, it was really my only true friend.

What were your first attempts to lose weight?

Gina: In junior high, I experimented with weight loss pills of all kinds, laxatives, a friend’s mother’s prescription of Fen-phen, and I also went as far as becoming bulimic to lose the weight. I remember joining my very first real weight loss plan the summer of my junior year: Richard Simmons. It was rough to stick to, and I lost about 35 pounds just in time for my senior prom. But I don’t remember even being happy with the weight loss. I was still a size 14, which to me back then was obese compared to other girls at school.

How did your struggles progress into adulthood?

Gina: After high school, I worked as a waitress at night and on the theatre circuit, auditioning during the day. The weight gain started right away. I was eating at work constantly, and I was eating on the go much more frequently, as well. I became a fast food junkie. Before I knew it, I was 20 years old, and I had ballooned up to about 210 pounds and I was a size 18/20.

My best friend and I decided to join Weight Watchers. I was very dedicated, and I ended up losing 47 pounds. For the first time, I was in a size 10. When we both had gotten comfortable with the program, we decided to stop paying every week and do it on our own. Bad idea. Within a couple months, the weight started packing on again. Soon, I was bursting out of my 18/20 and had to buy size 22/24 pants.

Was there a “a-ha” moment, a turning point that turned things around for you?

Gina: I was in a production of Thoroughly Modern Millie, and I remember that costume week was the worst week of my life. They could not find any costumes to fit me. My doctor said that I was borderline diabetic, and my weight was a whopping 287 pounds. I had a meltdown and decided something had to be done. I decided to give Weight Watchers another try; and this time, I was even more dedicated than the first time. I began losing, and after I hit the 50 pound mark, I just remember thinking, I don’t want to stop now, I can do so much more, and I accomplishing so much. I will never be the weight I was ever again. And from that point on, I stuck to the plan.

At her highest weight vs. 50 pounds down

What do you like most about Weight Watchers, compared to other plans you’d tried?

Gina: I could buy my own at the store if I wanted to, I could still eat out, not feel I was on a “diet” and I could still cheat here and there and have snacks when I felt the urge. Weight Watchers just seemed so much more natural than the others, something I could follow for life and not just for a few months or a year.

How have you dealt with weight-loss “pleateaus” during your Weight Watchers journey?

Gina: I have plateaued twice. I was hardly working out in those first 50 pounds—it was all just eating right and cutting my portion sizes. I decided after about two months of no loss, I had to do something. So I started doing aerobics at home, going to the gym sometimes and walking. That helped jump start my metabolism again to break the plateau and lose another 37 pounds.

The second plateau happened to me about five months ago. My body just stopped losing all together. But a friend of mine who has lost over 60 pounds was on this running kick, and she really wanted me to start running with her. I’ve always hated running—did not want to run unless I was being chased. But she told me it will help and encouraged me to just give it a chance.

One afternoon, I joined my friend for a run, and I told her to cut me some slack and take it easy. We literally would just sprint from point A to point B and then walk, sprinted then walked. I didn’t exactly enjoy it or want to keep doing it. I just knew running wasn’t for me. In high school, my P.E. teacher told me that “fat girls can’t run,” and ever since then, I believed it.

Even though you hated it, what made you decide to keep trying?

Gina: My friend told me that she was going to do a half marathon. She really wanted me to just try to do a mile straight through without stopping, staying at an even pace. I only agreed, because she was my friend, and I knew I needed exercise anyway. So, we went to this indoor track, and I had my iPod, and I said to her, “One mile, then I am done.” So, I was running around this track at a good pace and listening to music, feeling a little winded here and there and walking a bit, and before I knew it, my friend turned the corner and held up 5 fingers. “5 miles!” I was shocked! I just ran 5 miles? Oh my God?! So, I figured that since I wasn’t dying, I could keep going. Before I knew it, she said, “7 miles!” Except for the fact my body could hardly move the next day, I felt great! I became addicted to using an outdoor track that’s not far from my house. I enjoyed being outside in the nice weather, while doing something wonderful for myself and my well being.

How has your body image changed since you’ve lost weight and started running?

Gina: Well, I will be honest. I still see myself as a fat girl. There are still times when I walk into a clothing store and head straight for the plus sizes like I am on automatic pilot, cause that is still in my head. I do know I look better than before, and I feel so much healthier, but I still have a really hard time appreciating the work I have done and looking in the mirror and saying, “I’m happy.”

Gina: Then & Now

What do you think about using the scale as a measure of success?

Gina: Scales are the devil. When I was a dedicated Weight Watcher, I only weighed myself at my meeting, once a week and didn’t even own a scale at home, and I had no problems. The minute I decided to do it on my home with a home scale, it made me go nuts. I found myself weighing myself when I got up, after work, after I ate, before I went bed. Every chance I got! After a couple months of that, I knew I had to either hide the scale or get rid of it. I told my boyfriend to hide it and only bring it out to me once a week. The best thing I ever did! I have come to the realization that the number on the scale should not bring happiness. I need to take my own advice, and be more happy with how my clothes fit than what number I see on the scale. Success should be measured on how you feel, not what size you wear, how much you weigh – but, it’s hard to think that way with how programmed we are to look at the number.

What keeps you motivated to stay on track, to keep running and pushing yourself even further?

Gina: How I want to see myself and how I want to feel in the future. I don’t want to be 30 in the next couple years and be unhappy with everything I wear and every time I look in the mirror. I also think about how unhappy I was when I was almost 300 pounds and how I never want to get that big again. Feeling healthy and more vibrant helps, too. Also, I’m motivated by friends around me who have lost a significant amount of weight and are working hard toward their goal.

What would you recommend to a girlfriend who is frustrated with her weight or is struggling with a plateau?

Gina: I would suggest digging deep to figure out where the weight gain came from. What makes you eat at 1 a.m.? What makes you go up for the second or third plate? There is a lot of self-searching that comes along with losing weight. It’s more than just changing your eating habits. It’s changing your life for the rest of your life – a complete lifestyle change. And you also have to make sure that you are ready for it and that you want it for you. No one can make you or help you lose weight but you.

Struggling with a plateau is hard. What I can offer is that you can’t nuts over the gain-lose-gain-lose process, it comes with the territory. You just need to keep pressing forward. Do not let it bring you down and hinder your success.

You can read more from Gina on her personal blog, Are We Ever Thin Enough?

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I bought June’s issue of Marie Claire for some light airplane reading. Must admit I was lured in by SJP and promises of inside dish on Sex & the City 2. (So excited for May 27!) I was satisfied withafter 16 years of being hopelessly devoted to women’s magazines, I guess I should be comfortable with the patronizing tones that proliferate the glossy lines. Nonetheless, I’m usually caught off guard by one article that makes me do a double-take and mutter outloud, “What the hell?!”

 

(Photo via JustJared.com)

 

 

Case in point: this issue’s story entitled, “Freeze Your Fat Away.” Sounds like a bad “advertorial” section, right? No, no, it’s actually a first person piece written by a woman on a mission to eradicate her “secret fat: a stubborn slab across my lower abdomen that no amount of running would remedy.” I assume she means that area just above her pubic hair and under her belly button. An area of fat that can become more cumbersome after pregnancy (the writer notes she has two kids), but that also serves a purpose—to surround and protect the female reproductive organs. Most women, (unless you’re Jackie Warner) have what the writer calls her “band of blubber” and “roll of shame.”

The writer truly felt this that it affected her self-esteem to sport a belly pooch months after her last pregnancy. She says that it became emotionally draining to accept this one, stubborn annoyance on her otherwise fit physique. (Boo hoo.) She wonders if she’s being vain or insecure to go running to a dermatologist’s office for a noninvasive, in-office procedure to do away with it. In the end, she has an epiphany: “Who cares?”

I’m all about experimenting with various types of cardio, weight training, yoga, pilates, whatever to be fitter and more satisfied with your appearance. But a getting zapped by a “fat freezing” machine that runs $1,000 per session for two or more treatments? Really? Yea, yea, MC and the like often feature handbags, stilettos, models and apparently cosmetic procedures that are “aspirational.” But for most women in America, expensive, in-office cryolipolysis (which supposedly works by “extracting heat and cooling the skin so the fat in cells crystallizes, then is slowly eliminated over two months”) is hardly an affordable or practical option.

 

Agggghhh, I can't stand my lower belly fat! (Photo via islandcrisis.net)

 

 

Tell me: What happened to just doing some good, old fashioned spot-targeting crunches? According to the Mayo Clinic, with enough exercise and proper nutrition, you can reduce the appearance of fat on your lower stomach. Well, the writer asserts that she’s an avid runner and had done her homework at the gym, but was still cringing at her vacation photos. Still, is running off to get her fat frozen her only option? Furthermore, I want to know how the average 18-35 year-old MC reader will benefit from this “skinny J Brand jeans”-wearing writer’s tale? I highly doubt she will benefit whatsoever. She’ll probably just sigh, grab her lower abdominal “bagel” and think to herself, “Wow, I wish I had $1,500 to spend on freezing my fat.” Ugh. That makes me really sad.

What do you think… Do stories like these actually intrigue, inspire or help you in any way? Or do they make you say, “What the hell”?

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Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser fame admits that she’s been called “TV’s toughest trainer.” Some say she’s just a bully with a penchant for the click-click-flash of fame.

TV's toughest trainer or a Tinseltown bully? (Photo via Esquire)

I personally think she’s a wise and bad ass wellness guru. But I admit that the woman does have many faces.

To explain how I came to this conclusion will require that we rewind to about a year ago. I had just finished a trial membership to a gym that was neither convenient nor welcoming in that it was filled with The Situation wannabes. I decided to try to get results in my small-ish apartment. Someone suggested I try Jillian Michaels’s 30 Day Shred , which consists of three different 30-minute interval training workouts. Being that I’m always short on time and patience, I want the most bang for my calories-burned-per-minute buck! So, I tried it, and I was hooked. I had very limited prior knowledge of Jillian until then (never watched The Biggest Loser), so to me, the First Face of Jillian came off as tough, but likable. She laughs and calls herself crazy to incorporate a difficult move that requires simultaneous squatting and a V-fly with hand weights. She sympathizes (“I know that this isn’t easy…”) , but she also implores you to make every minute count and push yourself. I don’t want my trainer to pussyfoot around the facts: Working out is hard. But, of course, I never want to have a flashback to jr. high P.E. class, hearing Coach Boehm bark, “Brown!” when I sat out a round of squat thrusts. I thought Jillian struck that balance in Shred, and I found her demeanor encouraging.

A couple weeks into my love affair with Shred, I mentioned that I was doing it in my Weight Watchers meeting. Members and the leader looked at me aghast. “But she’s so mean!” they exclaimed. Err, really? Maybe Second Face of Jillian/Reality TV Jillian was a meanie, but not my Jillian. I dismissed this assault of character pretty quickly.

My Jillian had a Third Face on the horizon…as an author. I was eager to read her new book, Master Your Metabolism: The 3 Diet Secrets to Naturally Balancing Your Hormones for a Hot and Healthy Body!, mostly because of that key phrase, “Balancing Your Hormones.” I’ve always intuited that my wonky hormones may have been exacerbating my weight struggles. For years, my mom had pleaded with me to cut back on “all that chicken!” because she asserted that because the birds were plied with hormones, my grilled chicken salad addiction was probably throwing my delicate levels into a tizzy. Master Your Metabolism simply confirmed my mom’s suspicions…and then some. Here’s the jist: Processed foods, preservatives and environmental toxins are screwing with our endocrine systems, causing us to be sick and preventing us from being 100% healthy and of course, losing weight. Some of the key offenders include high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, artificial sweeteners, etc. Before reading MYM, I worshipped in the Temple of Splenda on a daily basis, I ate snack bars filled with ingredients like fructooligosaccharides, and I thought nothing of scarfing pesticide-laden tomatoes, Romaine lettuce and berries. In MYM, Jillian puts your overall health habits in perspective, and asserts that weight loss comes with eating whole foods (whole grains, lean proteins, mostly organic veggies) that your body actually recognizes and knows how to digest. And yes, hard workouts. It’s not rocket science, and it doesn’t require that you spend an arm and a leg (in which case, you’d lose at least a couple pounds anyway, ha).

But, then here comes Marc Ambinder hating on Jillian in his piece in The Atlantic. He appears to have a Fourth Face in mind, as he writes: “I flipped through Michaels’s book, and discovered that the real secret is…exercise and painstaking dieting. Michaels’s book argues that our physical environment messes up our hormones, which in turn affect our appetite and energy level. Eat a little of this and some of that, she tells us, but never this and only a smidgen of that. Don’t let stress rule your life. “GO ORGANIC.” “Prepare food to minimize toxins.” You want to know her secrets, but you quickly realize that her day job is her secret; her celebrity status, which lets her see top-flight endocrinologists, is her secret; the freedom her status and position in life give her to follow a diet, that’s her secret.”

I don’t agree. I’m not a celebrity, and I can follow a diet made up of foods that nature intended us to eat. I’m not on the cover of Self this month, but I can make a point to reduce stress. I don’t star on primetime reality TV, but YES, I CAN and I WILL “go organic” when it comes to certain fruits and veggies, because their conventional counterparts are drowned in manmade chemicals proven to be carcinogenic or endocrine disruptors. The sad part is, the lifestyle changes that Jillian advocates in her book, should not be “secrets” to anyone who cares about their well-being. But plenty of people (hey, even the FDA) are still unaware or unconvinced that microwaving veggies in a plastic bag could decrease fertility. Or that Splenda may actually encourage weight gain. So, MYM turns out to be a valuable resource, and not nearly the preachy, rigid diet that some bloggers have made it out to be. Of course, I’m not one to follow any diet book or menu plan from a diet book to a tee. I’m more about the big-picture concept. And the overarching message of MYM (eat real food, move your body) is a valid and life-changing one…at least for me.

And yet…I was betrayed. A Fifth (yes, fifth!) Face of Jillian emerged:

Take me to burn lots of fat! (Photo via New York Daily News)

Spokesperson of a weight loss…supplement??? Noooooo!!! It can’t be. My wellness guru, who sung the praises of organic, from-the-ground foods was now pointing at me from inside my TV and Web browser, shilling for pills meant to burn maximum amounts of fat! Make it stop! I trusted her so much after reading MYM that I thought, “Well, maybe these supplements are actually full of natural plant-derived ingredients that actually support healthy weight loss?” No such luck. Ingredients like Chinese rhubarb, buckthorn, dandelion and uva ursi may be derived from nature, but turns out they’re just glorified diuretics and laxatives. Sad face.

I lamented to friends who had bonded with me over their shared love of Shred. How could she? Was she a total sell-out? Was she just in the fitness/wellness/Biggest Loser game to make a quick buck?

I don’t think so. She’s just a celebrity trainer who has been given—and rightfully taken advantage of—the opportunity to market herself on various platforms. In workout DVDs, she’s more encouraging than on reality TV where she gets up in competitors faces for dramatic effect… In her book, she exposes the harmful nature of manmade ingredients and chemicals that could ultimately be leading us down the path of obesity or disease. And well, as for the supplements… I don’t know. Maybe she wanted to offer a quality product to certain people in search of a “supportive supplement” to complement their already healthy regimen. Maybe she believes that’s exactly what these $40 pills do. I’m not making excuses for her, cuz I’m really opposed to those more than anything else she does. But there is a market for it, and the marketing people sell it any way they can. At the heart of all of this, I really truly believe that Jillian Michaels is a wise fitness expert with a genuine interest in helping Americans take control of their health—not just a fame whore in Spandex. But hey, you know what? If you don’t like her schtick, there’s always this guy.
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