Jillian Michaels: Won’t Ruin Her Body With Pregnancy

By Mike Howard

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Jillian Michaels (and celebrity trainers in general) are a double-edged sword. They have the ability to inspire literally millions of people towards changing their lives for the better. The flip side: they earn the trust of the public at large and consequently, people hang on their every word – the good and the not-so-good.

In the latest issue of Women’s Health, Jillian said she wouldn’t get pregnant because she is afraid of gaining baby weight. In her words,

I can’t handle doing that to my body.” Source

I am anxious to hear people’s thoughts on this one. In the meantime I’ll give you my uninitiated “guy” perspective, and even play amateur psychologist for a minute.

A while back, Jillian’s supplement endorsement was met with some controversy. Many individuals described the move as “hypocritical” and “selling out”.

I don’t know how to tip-toe around this topic, so I’ll just come right out and say it. People who are afraid of getting pregnant because of the weight gain smacks of body image issues, and perhaps even narcissism.

To be clear, I realize that pregnancy is a life-changing and oftentimes scary event. And understandably, women will experience some anxiety and fears. Look, I rub a towel over a scab the wrong way and I come pretty close to tears. So, let me just say that as a vicarious participant in two childbirth experiences, you (ladies) are my heroes.

JM’s childhood seems to connect the dots of my theory, as she confesses she turned to food for comfort when her parents divorced at the age of 12, pushing her weight to 175 lbs.

From this, it’s easy to see why she would be borderline obsessive about not gaining any weight, even if it’s through a very natural phenomenon such as pregnancy. (Besides, I’m pretty confident Jillian of all people could lose the baby weight.)

This begs the question however, is this the kind of mentality you would expect from someone who is supposed to be a role model? It’s my opinion that being a health role model isn’t just about the 6-pack, the high-decibel motivation, or the physical transformation. It’s about the whole package, including (and especially) a mindset of acceptance and positive body image.

What do you think — Was Jillian’s comment out of line or no big deal? Does this change your opinion of Jillian?

137 Comments

  1. elizabeth

    women can have any reason they want to not have a child. its their bodies. its not narcissistic to want to keep the body you have and by doing so avoid having children. explain to me how that comment is “out of line”. Like omygod how dare she not want kids for her own personal reasons!!

    Reply
  2. Tebo Shepherd

    Caring about yourself is not narcissism. Any woman who would allow herself to become pregnant has absolutely no self respect or gives a damn about her own health. Girls can stay strung out on heroin/meth cocktails for 9 months and always come out the other side of it better off than a woman who hates her own body enough to use it to harbor a PARASITIC TUMOR. We are a technologically advanced species and we can grow babies in big vats with tubes connected if this society wasn’t ran by men who hate women and want them to get pregnant so they are locked in the PSYCHOLOGICAL CAGE of motherhood. Jillian Michaels has the right attitude, and she’s been around long enough it’d be nice to see her come out and tell the truth about the matter and outright tell all the mothers to go ahead and walk out of her class because they obviously don’t give a damn what they look like anyways.

    Reply
  3. Loops

    I had a little boy 2 years ago and got back to my pre-pregnancy weight after a year. In fact, I love my body more than ever! My boobs looked amazing when breastfeeding and really balanced out my natural pear shape. I feel more womanly since giving birth, and hence more sexy (not right after giving birth, I must say!) it’s like I was just a girl before I gave birth and I was quite vain. I actually like myself for who I am and my natural self. I also think that aging comes to us all whether you have kids or not. I know people who have had kids and look fantastic and people who haven’t and look haggard. I think genes have a lot to do with it as well as your mindset. Women will never be happy with their bodies and if the only reason you don’t want kids is coz you might ruin your body, it’s a shame. Becoming a mother is amazing. I have found true love. That is real. It is the only thing that is real. So what if you live your whole life with a perfect body? What does that mean? Does that mean you have lived your life and loved and felt every real feeling you can possibly feel? I don’t think so. I have absolutely nothing against people choosing not to have children. It isn’t for everyone. But to choose something as shallow as your ‘perfect body’ is just sad.

    Reply
    • elizabeth

      im so glad that you have that happiness but not every women feels the same. so calling it a “shame” and “shallow” is ridiculous bc maybe they arnt looking for that happiness. maybe other people have other loves. not every woman wants kids and whatever reason they have for not having kids is 100% valid.

      Reply
  4. jl

    I am of the opinion that it is a woman’s prerogative if she wants to go through all of the changes and risks of carrying a fetus. Looking from a medical stand-point, pregnancy is almost always life threatening and is ALWAYS life changing. There are so many possible, probable, temporary and permanent side-effects to pregnancy. People glamorize pregnancy so much, but I can’t deny statistics and facts. My mind is too naturally analytic for that.

    I also respect that she is willing to come out in the open and risk the inevitable hostility that could come from this type of statement. I think it is awesome that she recognizes her own reasons behind why she wouldn’t want to have a child. I have heard so many women just complain and complain about pregnancy weight while and after they are pregnant, but she’s just coming out and saying that she doesn’t want to go through it. Not all women want to have that happen to their bodies. It could put their minds in a bad place, body-image wise.

    I agree that, with how hard she’s obviously already worked, if she were to want to have a child she wouldn’t have too many problems getting back to her pre-baby body, especially if she were to only go through it once (as from what I have heard from the numerous mother’s in my life, it’s much easier the first time around). However, on the same note, she’s worked so hard to make her body the way it is and to become happy with how she looks. I think she has the right to choose not to have pregnancy change the way she looks and make her unhappy with her body-image again if she doesn’t want to.

    By the way, I love what it says right under this text box- “Be nice. There’s already enough mean people in the world.”

    Reply
  5. Beth

    If she does not want to get pregnant because she does not want a baby, thats okay. Not everyone wants children. But if its because she is afraid of ruining her body?? I just feel sad for her. Children are awsome, worth all the pain and sacrifice. If she lets her fear get in the way it is just sad. I hope a decision she will not regret when she is older and unable to have children.
    I think she can still be a good role model as long as she is honest. A good role model should be able to admit they have flaws and insecurities, it is how they deal with them.

    Reply
    • bee

      I have the same exact reason. Ruining my body, my insides, my life. I’m 16, and worked HARD for this body, and quite frankly, i have NO maternal bone in my body (even when I was a little girl, I used to throw away baby dolls and go play with telephones). When i was a little girl growing up, I didnt give a rats behind about baby dolls, i had a period where i loved BARBIES (big diff). I feel sad for you that you THINK its “selfish omggeee” to not want to have kids because you care about your mental health and the way you feel about yourself. Whats the point of kids when you hate yourself and your body? Imma adopt when I get older IF i ever want kids, I will never bore one out of my own thing. Mnay poeple say “oh you’ll change your mind youre seww younggg”. Umm, Jillian isnt young, but she still hasnt changed her mind.
      it is NOT A FLAW to not want to bore a child. What is a FLAW is the disease like thoughts you lot get when you think somethings wrong and selfish with a woman who doesnt want kids to become like you. I guess its part of the jealousy factor. ahah

      Reply
      • Tebo Shepherd

        I love that attitude. You’ll like it at reddit.com/r/childfree It’s people patting themselves on the back for being smart and not contributing to the problems of the world and sharing funny stories about people who ruin their lives with ‘crotch fruit’ among other things, I call them parasitic tumors mostly. They are cancerous, We should all go extinct but look good doing it. I seriously cannot understand how a woman can care so little about herself to do that to herself. But it’s the brainwashed society they’re raised in to think its normal and ok to give your body a horrible disease. They remove tumors and they’d call you crazy not to, but the second it’s gonna be a walking talking crapping snot slinging tumor they act like that’s somehow a good thing. You keep on bein’ sexy, you got a long way to go, gets harder to stay in shape outta the teen years, but keep on bein’ smart.

        Reply
  6. doug

    amen. your review was on point 100%. glad to see someone out there has a level head. it is highly detrimental to society as a whole and to women’s role in society to think that having children is a job for every woman. we aren’t repopulating after a flood anymore. More women ought to be like Jillian and have higher goals than just mindlessly reproducing. Having kids is a responsibility, and a tough job that not all women are cut out for. Many females in society view kids as puppies, they just want one because everyone has one. it’s sickening.

    Reply
  7. August

    are you serious?? she’s clearly a woman. You’re rediculous. Maybe you’re just used to women that don’t take care of their body and don’t have a Voice.

    Reply
    • bee

      exactly!!!! I feel like theres this huge jealousy factor coming in with women who gave birth and no longer have their bodies, and adult women who havent had kids. Wonder why they say “oh wait till you have kids”…thats the way they console themselves ahahah. Pregancy is a woman’s choice, no one has the right to dictate others.

      Reply
  8. ash

    I think she was very honest about her reasons to not want to have a child! My oldest son is 3 and my twins are two. While I did not blow up, I am over weight in my eyes. It’s very hard to bounce back and some of the damage can be irreversible unless you have thousands to dish out for surgery(hernias, split abdomen muscles, organ damage, back issues ect’)
    Not everyone is cut out to be a parent, even people we look up too. We should respect one another’s differing opinions and move on. It doesn’t effect me personally if she chooses not to procreate.

    Reply
  9. Stacy

    I was a person who was afraid of getting pregnant and ruining my body as well. Doesn’t make me a bad person. I in fact did have a child and lost all the weight I put on by eating healthy, running, biking and the help of Jillian Michaels DVD. Not only am I back into all my old cloths, but I am a fantastic loving mom!

    It is her right as a woman to feel that way. And anyone who judges her for it has nothing better to do with their lives and is possibly jealous of her fantastic body!

    Reply
  10. Rachel

    Ann,
    Not everyone has the opportunity to have a child. Sometimes things just don’t work out and then you are forty and single. Very crappy judgemental comment to say “It’s your loss” I guess everything worked out just perfect for you and you never really have had any loss in your life. Ugh! some people.

    Reply
  11. Ann

    I agree, that is a lame excuse. When my son was born I was 9 lbs heavier then before pregnancy and he was 6.5 of that 9. So, is Jillian saying that she can’t lose less than 5 lbs after having a child? I know it’s not that way for everyone, but not everyone becomes a cow either. If you don’t want to have children, don’t. That’s your loss, but don’t pretend it is because of weight.

    Reply
    • bee

      Not everyone gains 5 lbs love. And preganncy doesnt only make you gain weight, it changes everything, You vagina becomes loose, your boobs saggy, stretchmarks, hair loss, permanently bigger waist/ribcage, peeing ur pants etc.

      Hell no am i going thru that.

      Reply
  12. Debra

    I’ve never had children, but from talking with my friends and other women, they enjoyed the experience of being pregnant; and didn’t care about the weight gain.

    Reply
    • bee

      I’m pretty sure they did, but they didnt show it.

      Reply
      • Loops

        You are wrong. If someone is unhappy with their weight or looks, they probably weren’t happy in the first place. Not everyone is obsessed with drooling over the latest celebrities six pack. I can vouch for the fact that I am happier with my body since giving birth.

        Reply
  13. sam

    I have had a beautiful baby, and my body is certainly different. I am not happy with my body, but honestly, I wasn’t before I got pregnant. The only thing about it all now is that I am in the same predicament, with not liking my body, as before–but at least now I have a cutie pie little boy to distract me from it most of the time. I was 105, considered malnourished by my doctor for my size, gained exactly 35 lbs during my pregnancy, and now I am 110, almost two years later…My hubby says I look beautiful all the time, that I look no different than before but I don’t feel that way when I look in the mirror, but again, I can look at my little boy who is gorgeous and be proud of my body and what it’s been through. What scares me is some of the commenters who have plainly mentioned not wanting kids, and not wanting their lives ruined..I hope you are not sexually active, if that is how you think kids will affect you. You have no right to get pregnant, not when I know 4 people currently struggling to bring their own little life forms into the world…and there you are, talking of little precious things ruining your lives. I don’t care if you do or don’t want kids, but if you absolutely don’t..I hope you don’t have sex, or risk getting pregnant at all.

    Reply
    • bee

      None of your business to dictate whose having sex or not. WOuld you say that to you “cutie pie” son to “not have sex”. Do you have a daughter? Do guys need to also “not have sex” because you think it would be bad if they didnt want kids.

      Reply
  14. megan

    mother…

    Reply
  15. megan

    She has her right to her choices. I love her shes honest. Im a moter of four and I see what she means. Besides, shes a lesbian.

    Reply
  16. Laura

    I’m not looking forward to gaining weight when I have kids, but I am looking forward to certain changes in my body (breasts getting bigger, more shapely hips, etc.) Like some of the other women on here mentioned, some women look better after having children.

    Also, there’s an overlooked issue here:
    I’ve read on MANY occasions and in many different medical resources that if a woman does not “utilize” her body to make a baby her risk of certain cancers goes up. I’m a little nervous about this because the age in question seems to be 30 and I’m a little over that. So, Jillian might be keeping the weight off only to have a worse battle on her hands…

    Reply
    • bee

      *breatss get bigger AND saggier. and many women get bigger boobs with preganncy, to just have them deflate and even become smaller afterwards. oh yea, and it also sags.

      Reply
      • Loops

        So what? You haven’t explained why this is the worst thing that could happen to a person? The person you reply to has said that there is more chance of getting certain cancers if you don’t give birth. Oh, of course saggy boobs are worse than cancer!

        Reply
  17. Michelle

    I am not sure if it the same article but I read an interview with her and she talks about wanting kids but maybe adopting or if she finds the right women she could carry the child, she says that she is bi-sexual. She just doesn’t know if she wants to carry the child. Maybe she is just hiding the fact she knows she can’t carry a child. I think using gaining weight as a reason to not want to birth the child is selfish.

    Reply
    • elizabeth

      how SELFISH of HER to decide WHAT SHE DOES WITH HER OWN BODY. like how does it affect you? how is it any of your business. its HER body. so who are you to decide whether her reasons to not change her body are right/wrong/selfish. why are you so entitled?

      Reply
  18. Berzerker

    Oh yeah, and what also really smacks of narcissism to me is people that, instead of adopting, feel they need to biologically have a kid because the need to pass along their DNA, or something equally asinine. The world is overpopulated, and humans are destroying the earth; the worst thing you can do for the environment is have a fricken kid! Want to go green? Don’t breed.
    VIVA VHEMT

    Reply
    • Loops

      Your parents bred. Maybe they shouldn’t have?

      Reply
  19. salo

    i read this and i am shocked…i am 16 year old i was overweight 4 years ago.so i started exercise ,dieting,massages now i am almost anorexic.:))) i am fruitarian and tell you what i love my body and i am freaking out every minute am i fat?but when i stand on scale and see that i am weighing less i smile,i really love my body.i am not eating no fat foods.sometimes i inludge a little tiny tiny feta cheese.do i want cola?of course i want so i am drinking diet cola but also 1 hour later green tea.fewcups so that toxins will be flushed out.i know wvwrything about dieting,food calories,exercising .EVERYTHING.but i am NOT afraid of having babies in my future.pregnancy does NOT mean pigging out on fatty food.during pregnancy one must add only HEALTHY 300 calories to diet.and this 300 calories MUST NOT BE FROM ICE CREAM,CHOCOLATE AND BIG MAC.jeez,people are crazy.one can exercise during pregnancy use creams ,massages and sea salt baths for cellulite and eat healthy and control calories.that IS pregnancy.not sitting and munching on everything in eye-sight.i am not afraid that my baby will ruin me something.i know i have will and i will be in shape in no time,and this woman must know this that child is most precious thing in woman’s life.most strong bond you have ever created.it is miracle itself.

    Reply
    • Loops

      You are absolutely right. Very wise at 16!

      Reply
    • elizabeth

      keep in mind not all ppl feel that way abt children and thats ok. so they are not a universal “miracle” to everyone. surpise surprise people have different opinions.

      Reply
  20. O.

    I can’t speak for everyone, only myself… but my problem was with Jillian saying that she didn’t want to get pregnant BECAUSE she wants to keep her body nice…

    Because fact is she could be in a car accident tomorrow and be parylized and there goes the hot bod.

    And I speak from experience as a woman who was almost completely bald for three years due to psoriasis.

    I’m lucky that it wasn’t alopecia and my hair eventually grew back….

    But you can’t base your life around your looks because it can all go “poof” in a second.

    So you need to base your life and you decisions around something more substantial. The statement seemed petty.

    Reply
    • Loops

      Absolutely.

      Reply
  21. Sara Page

    Why is a “body image” or “mental” issue to be honest and say you don’t want to run the risk of things changing in/on your body because of pregnancy? I think if more women were really honest with themselves about what they are/are not willing to give up to have kids, there would be less parents with regret over having kids/kids having to live with knowing their parents regret them. Obviously Jillian Micheals has worked extremely hard to get her body where it is now, so who cares if she wants to keep it that way? Is it better for her to have a baby and saddle the kid with the emotional burden of its parents issues?

    Reply
  22. RS

    Oh boy. Well, as a woman who has HAD a baby, I wonder what Jillian could possibly know about the challenges a pregnant body can present? Everything literally changes and morphs into a slightly different version of its former self. I think it would be behoove of Jillian to go ahead and experience that for herself and THEN speak with authority about how to get rid of it.

    Reply
  23. OCFitMom

    Upside to the birthing experience, it actually realigned my hips and I no longer have hip flexor pain. I tore my hip flexor 6 years ago in kickboxing and it’s never been the same. My chiro told me sometimes when you hips open during childbirth, it can realign everything back to where it was or adjust it back into it’s normal position.

    Also, don’t have children with someone who doesn’t love you for you! My hubby always wanted me, even 25 pounds overweight, so he didn’t care if I gained more to bare our child.

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  24. OCFitMom

    Totally agree with you!

    Reply
  25. OCFitMom

    I heard her say in an interview that the claim is false.

    Even if she didn’t want to “ruin” her body, then that’s her decision. Having a baby is sacrifice. You don’t know how “your” body is going to handle it and before having children, you need to deal with the idea that your body will change. My husband told me, “who cares, having a child is the price you pay, so what if you get stretch marks, that’s part of having babies.” I didn’t get any stretch marks or varicose veins.

    I’ll admit I have fought my weight my whole life and was a little nervous to get pregnant. The Lord must have had mercy on me. I was 25 pounds overweight prior to getting prego and only gained 20 pounds. I have lost all of my baby weight along with an additional 18 pounds. I have about 5-7 more pounds to go, but look better than I have in years.

    I actually like my body better after having a baby. My hips are a little more curvy and my stomach is smaller. I can see all my muscle definition and haven’t been this weight since highschool. I don’t care what the scale reads, it’s all about BMI and body fat %

    Reply
  26. Rej

    I think it sends the wrong message. But some men have also sent the same message by making women, who have sacrificed their *perfect* bodies in order to have children, feel like they are now inferior or no longer sexy.

    Reply
    • Loops

      It’s not just men who do this to women. In fact, women are far worse to each other.

      Reply
  27. bseguine

    You would think that if Jillian knows all the things to do to get thin…. Becoming pregnant and gaining baby weight should not play any factor!!!
    Sorry for her loss; my body & body image IS important… But my children have changed my life! I can not imagine not having them just for vanity.

    Reply
  28. liz

    pregnancy doesnt ruin your body…its the food that we eat…she should know better than any of us…anyway…who cares.

    Reply
  29. kb

    Thank you! No comment thus so far has been more accurate.

    Reply
  30. Blake P

    Men get really upset when they hear that a woman does not want to submit and go through a traditional feminine ritual. I was surprised that anyone was surprised about Jillian’s decision…and I repeat Jillian’s decision. She has always been ambiguous about her sexuality and it is obvious that she doesn’t identify with traditionally feminine sentiments. She is like most men…they don’t want to get pregnant either. What is wonderful is that she is planning to adopt. No one concentrates on that selfless and honorable statement for long, it is much easier to harass her about her passion and, might I add, livelihood. Yeah, she might have issues, but who doesn’t. I mean, we have issues for commenting on her issues on a blog and thinking anyone really cares about our opinion. In addition, I do not see people continually berating George Clooney for his James Bondish ways and his lack of initiative regarding fathering an heir. The only thing peope do about George Clooney is vote for him continuously regarding sexiest man alive contest and mediocre movies (yeah, I said it!). Finally, the issue here is double standard, plain and simple. A man can choose not to procreate, but a woman must, if given the opportunity. I, as you can tell, disagree with this entirely, for where would we all be if Jane Austen had decided to marry? lol:)

    Reply
  31. pjw

    the whole tone of your response is nasty and judgemental i think its great she wants to adopt there are millions of children starveing neglected and abused and to save 1 child from that is a wonderfull thing

    Reply
  32. Berzerker

    “People who are afraid of getting pregnant because of the weight gain smacks of body image issues, and perhaps even narcissism.”

    It is a valid argument why not to have kids. This doesn’t change my opinion of Jillian at all, she’s being smart in realizing that if you’re not 100 percent ready to have kids than it’s just going to be a screwed-up environment you’re bringing them into.
    In fact, my father wanted me aborted and left a five-year marriage with mom because a kid (Me) would have cramped his style with the ladies. I guess he was extremely good-looking. And a cheater. So, how’s that for narcissism? It’s not just the ladies who can be narcissistic about these matters.
    I just tell people he’s dead since I haven’t seen him in over 20 years anyway. I wish he would die soon; I think I may have some money coming to me.

    Reply