Jillian Michaels thinks pregnancy ruins your body

My good friend Leigh Peele, passed this on to me today.

Apparently Jillian Michaels has been quoted in Women's Health magazine saying that she won't have her own biological children because it will ruin her body.

What crap!

That woman drives me nuts and this just put me over the edge!

I will admit, that when I first got pregnant I was completely worried that my body was never going to look good again and that I just going to turn into a rolly-polly ball of mush. However, I was dead wrong.

I stayed so active during my pregnancy that I actually LOST body fat and improved my fitness! I only gained 15 lbs and have now lost it and MORE just three and a half weeks after having my child.

True, my tummy is a bit soft, but heck, give me some time to make it tight again! Considering it was recently just stretched out like a beach ball, I'm feeling pretty good about how I look.

Jillian shouldn't be allowed to comment on things she knows nothing about. First, go through the process before you judge. There are plenty of women that look incredibile after having children, so don't go telling me that it ruins your body. That's idiotic.

Also, I must say that it's great that she's considering adopting as I myself am also an adopted child. BUT, I worry about the sanity of her child. That kid is going to have body issues galore before she's even able to walk. Damn!

 

 

Posted Apr 22, 2010 by Cassandra Forsythe.
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Comments for This Entry

GravatarKristen04:32PM on April 22, 2010

What a shame she feels that way. I would have hoped that she, of all people, would understand the notion that fitness is about what your body can DO, not how it looks. There is no reason pregnancy and childbirth should have any negative impact on your fitness. And outside of stretch marks, there's really no reason it should ultimately have any negative impact on how your body looks.

You look amazing, Cassandra! Your abs will be back before your daughter is eating cereal and sitting up :) Congrats on your daughter and getting back to your classes.

GravatarRoland09:57PM on April 22, 2010

well, she doesn't seem like the motherly type by the way she freakin' screams at her trainees.

GravatarIris11:39PM on April 22, 2010

I am totally with you! Just two weeks after giving birth I looked more or less like pre-pregnancy (except that my timmy was softer, as you said, but that went away once I started exercising). I guess it was partly a genetical thing for my mother left the hospital in her pre pregnancy clothes as well without exercising when pregnant but exercising definitely helped me to feel good about myself! Actually, women whose body is "ruined" are the wast minority among the ladies I know! Some have snapped right back and others have a little fat left to lose or a tummy that needed some time to get firm again but nothing that cannot be fixed! Even stretch marks seem to strike only the minority of women! I got some during my teenage year but not a single new one with pregnancy, I was sooo sure to get a lot of them! I am getting angry when people tell a woman that she "looked good for having kids" - why does everyone expect a mother to look unfit and saggy??

GravatarSarah08:25AM on April 23, 2010

Jillian Michaels is an ill-informed idiot. I, too, exercised through my pregnancy, gained only 17 lbs and lost it within 10 days of giving birth. AND I found a side-bonus, which seems undocumented in scientific literature but which other women have agreed happened to them - my endurance capacity increased *hugely* just by having a baby. Prior to getting pregnant I kind of sucked at running, but even though I wasn't able to keep up with the weight training post-baby, I have periodically gone on running jags and found that running a 5K is not the gasp-inducing hell it once was - and I'm technically *less* fit than I was pre-baby! I will take ability over looks ANY day. Also, there is nothing like lugging a kid around to build upper-body strength. Only caution - if you use a sling, SWITCH SIDES frequently or you will become a chiropracter's new best friend. Otherwise, they rock.

GravatarJosh11:50AM on April 23, 2010

This is a quote directly from Jillian on her facebook:

"There is a misunderstanding circulating in the press on my personal choice to not get pregnant. I think that pregnancy is admirable and selfless. For myself, I have remnant body issues left over from childhood which leads me to make adoption my personal choice down the road."

Shame on you Cassandra. She never said ever ever said that it would "ruin her body" she stated that she couldn't put her body through that. BIG difference. Maybe you are the one ill-informed on this subject?

GravatarJoleene11:53AM on April 23, 2010

I agree - she's nuts! I think my 4 pack after 2 kids (1 c-section, 1 VBAC) is proof she's wrong. I'm in better shape now than I ever was before pregnancy and birth. Nothing like wanting to set a good example, not to mention trying to keep up with active boys, to inspire you to work out and eat well.

GravatarAmber12:27PM on April 23, 2010

I'm with Josh. She didn't say anything about "ruining" her body. It's a personal choice for her and it seems many have twisted her words into something more negative.

GravatarJennifer01:22PM on April 23, 2010

I'm so glad you commented on this. I read her "quote" earlier today and my jaw hit the floor. I can't believe she actually said that outloud. She should be forced to have a sit down with Julie Lohre.

GravatarCassandra02:27PM on April 23, 2010

She stated she couldn't do "that" to her body by getting pregnant. To me, that implies she feels pregnancy will change her body drastically from where it's at now. However, she should learn from the hundreds of successful post-pregnancy beautiful bodies that it's very possible to look just as great afterwards.
I too thought before becoming pregnant that it was going to "ruin" my body, but now have learned much differently! So, for the benefit of the doubt, we'll allow her this comment out of lack of experience.

GravatarJosh03:15PM on April 23, 2010

Cassandra,

You are making a gross assumption though. When she said she couldn't do "that" to her body, she wasn't necessarily talking about permanent damage. For all we know she has some sort of serious hormonal imbalance that a pregnancy could do permanent damage to her health, not just her looks.

Everyone assumes when Jillian says body she means the physical appearances, but she could (and often does) mean things such as composition, hormones, etc. I think you are reading far too much into a single word ("that".)

GravatarAmanda03:29PM on April 23, 2010

I also saw that article and about lost my stack. But then I saw this too http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/23/giuliana-rancic-completes_n_549869.html and died a little inside.

I worry a lot about losing my body during pregnancy and following your blog really changed my mind. I mean, even without the reassurance I wouldn't just NOT have a kid, but thank you so much for just showing us all what is possible. You really opened my eyes. Even if I do not do as well as you, I feel more confident about at least bringing my body back after the fact.

GravatarAmanda03:29PM on April 23, 2010

I also saw that article and about lost my stack. But then I saw this too http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/23/giuliana-rancic-completes_n_549869.html and died a little inside.

I worry a lot about losing my body during pregnancy and following your blog really changed my mind. I mean, even without the reassurance I wouldn't just NOT have a kid, but thank you so much for just showing us all what is possible. You really opened my eyes. Even if I do not do as well as you, I feel more confident about at least bringing my body back after the fact.

GravatarAmanda03:35PM on April 23, 2010

Well having read the posted comments, at the end of the day its none of our business what Jillian wants to do. I think no matter what, my heart goes out to her as planning a pregnancy dredges up not just how you feel about yourself but how you viewed your childhood and the family relationships you have now. Its complicated. That much said, I can't help but think "pregnancy will ruin my body" is a concern a lot of women have, and for those who choose to get pregnant - I think getting good information is very helpful vs say a societal attitude that if you want to preserve your body don't have a baby. Might be more productive to move a culture towards less unrelaistic ideals of women's bodies...but ANYWAYS...

GravatarLeigh Peele09:44PM on April 23, 2010

Josh,

While it seems Ms. Micheal's is making the rounds claiming her statements were taken out of context or twisted by the publication, it doesn't change the overall tone of the article that Cassandra posted.

Article title: Do Babies Ruin Bodies? 'Biggest Loser's' Jillian Michaels Won't Give Birth

Jillian's Statement: “I’m going to adopt. I can’t handle doing that to my body.”

The context in which it is written, and Jillian's attitude in general makes it understandable why criticism has been brought forth on her statements. Trying to shake a "tsk tsk" finger at Cass isn't called for given the data in place.

The other added problem, is when you have such a large following glued into your teachings, it is your responsibility to be well informed on the topics of your work. To say something so flippantly about pregnancy allows millions (yes, millions) of women to question what that statement means. She is an alarmist in general and if you have ever read her material, she will make you afraid of everything from pregnancy to household cleaners. I don't judge her personal fears, but I do judge her putting them on her followers.

With power comes responsibility and Jillian has shown to not take that responsibility seriously. She is a role model, like it or not, because she chooses to be. If you play that role, your statements should reflect what you mean.

GravatarCassandra06:54AM on April 24, 2010

Leigh - eloquently quoted.

All - I wasn't able to respond in greater detail yesterday because I was traveling down to a funeral service last night and my only reply was quickly via my Iphone while breastfeeding my baby. But, I have a moment now to expand.

As Leigh said, it's not as if I made the word "ruin" up with regards to JMs statement. I was repeating what Fox News had titled their news report. So, if someone is to be ashamed, it's not me. Blame Fox for bashing her.

And, if there's anyone in the world that should complain about hormonal imbalances in response to pregnancy or "stretching" out one's body, it sure in the heck shouldn't be Jillian.

She has all the money in the world to hire the best doctors to correct any hormonal imbalances she might have (thyroid, or reproductive hormones, whatever), to have Nannies help her raise her baby while she gets her flat tummy back, to have plastic surgeons to correct any stretch marks she has (but, if she really was heavy as a teen, stretch marks would have happened then and not during pregnancy - I too have none from growing a baby inside me), and have access to the best psychiatrists she'll need if she suffers from PPD (depression).

So, don't give me this "poor Jillian" stuff and accuse me of picking on her.

My whole point of this post is that it's horrible to think that an icon like Jillian can go out there and put this idea that pregnancy has a negative effect on a woman's body - hormonal or physical or whatever - when the negatives of pregnancy usually only occur if a woman doesn't find the time to keep up her exercise and good eating during and after the baby. Yes, we all need to be good moms, but we can still find the time to eat well, exercise and ensure we have good people around us to help us with this new life journey and keep our positive attitudes up. Post-baby it's a bit hard to find exercise time initially, but it will come and at the same time you get to set a good example for your child - showing them that exercise, instead of sitting in front of the TV is fun.

When all is said and done, if women don't get pregnant, babies aren't born. Thank your mother (or birth mother) for bringing you into this world because the days of test tube babies haven't happened yet.

Gravatarrita01:59AM on April 25, 2010

I don't think it's such a big deal. She can say whatever she says, and the media is going to represent her as a crazy f$#k regardless. She chose superstardom, she's going to have to deal with the media.

But Jillian aside...I don't plan on having children for my own reasons (and yes, one of the reasons has to do with my body - I have enough trouble keeping on my toes with nutrition and lifting as it is, I don't need any more stress in that department! We all can't do it as well as you Cassandra!!) and I really resent the idea that all women need to be mothers, and any woman that chooses not to procreate (or is unable to procreate!) is somehow inferior.

GravatarCassandra07:17PM on April 25, 2010

Rita - you're correct. Choosing to have children is one's own choice if they're able to have them. Many people who want children aren't able, which is very sad especially how badly they want it. Either way, we're all free to choose babies or not, and no one said here that if you decide not to, you're inferior.

My pregnancy was completely unplanned and pretty unexpected - I was told a few things my whole life that made me think having babies was never in my future. First, I have a broken spine, so I was told by 2 different sports med doctors that I'd be a in wheelchair for much of my pregnancy... that scared the crap out of me. Then, I didn't have a period for 7 years and was told I'd probably never be able to have kids - I was even on bioidentical hormones for over a year just to have a normal period.

In the end, I realize that becoming pregnant was a miracle and I don't know if I'll be able to have any more, even though I'm now thinking a second would be nice (I love my sister and feel April would love one too).

But, it's not for everyone and I'm cool with that. If this didn't happen to me, I probably wouldn't have had one either. Things happen for a reason though.

Gravataronline training07:43PM on April 25, 2010

I am so glad I am not the only one that finds her crazy and annoying. Look at the women that look amazing after kids! Jillian is not a great role model for women and I would find her quite offensive if I have had kids yet!

GravatarJaya Dixit08:14PM on April 29, 2010

This post has generated some great/diverse comments. I love a healthy debate! Having just begun rehabilitating an injury after 7 months of absolutely no exercise (including even walking) I can happily say that I have been able to develop a much broader concept about what quality of life and true health mean. My injury concluded my 15 year career as a high performance athlete, but it definitely taught me that physical fitness is just one manifestation of health, beauty and strength. I respectfully disagree with said fitness celebrity on various grounds, but mostly on perpetuating the idea that a beautiful body fits within a specific set of culturally-determined parameters. I've probably dropped 100lbs off my deadlift and squat, but my life revolves around a lot more than body metrics...at last.
Cass, I love that you kept active during your pregnancy and defined your concept of "right" and "wrong" based on your own self-concept. My Mom only got fitter and healthier with each subsequent child, just by sticking to what worked for her.

GravatarGalya11:39PM on April 30, 2010

Being a model of fitness that J.Michaels has become to the public, she needs to be aware of certain responsibilities to her admirers. A ton of girls could take her statement ''out of context'' (or not), but would still be left with the general idea of pregnancy doing X bad thing to your body. The brain doesn't do a three paragraph logical analysis of what Jillian meant, if she did mean something else. In that regard, I strongly disagree with how Michaels handled the topic. As a model of health and fitness and a female one on top of that, there are certain values and scientific truths that you carry with your image and your work. I hope we see less negative images of pregnancy and fitness. As someone who works with pregnant and recovering girls every day, I have to say we have had some amazing bodies built, recovered and enjoyed and many lives improved. We also have happy optimistic babies with a great desire to kick around and laugh:) What Jillian says can do nothing to the enthusiasm I work with, just makes it stronger :)

Gravatarmodestyblaise10:56AM on July 29, 2010

What horse***t. I had my daughter at 30, was skinny fat beforehand, ate healthily but had pre-eclampsia and ballooned to the size of a house..had to have a c-section becuase my daughter got stuck. I started training hard and eating well when she was a year old and was taking part in my first figure competition nine months later. Now I'm 40 and my body out-bangs the 20yr old, childless women I teach!

GravatarGetting Pregnant05:10PM on September 14, 2010

That's crazy! I have seen so many woman have children and they have AMAZING bodies after giving birth. This woman doesn't know what she's talking about.

GravatarDarah Oxford09:52AM on September 30, 2010

I would say my body IS different after babies, but not necessarily in a negative way....just different. It seems appropriate that the role of a mother is to care for her children above all, even above herself. Trying to even wrap my head around weighing the looks of my body....................against my sons seems insane at best. I'm sitting here trying to visualize a giant scale with my body image on one side and my sons on the other side, no question in my mind which is more valuable...

GravatarChi-Chi12:08PM on January 07, 2011

I don't put much stock in what Ms. Michael's says but on my bad days, I do feel like pregnancy ruined my body. I wish I knew just how different my body would be after having children. I've done a lot of hard work to improve my physique but there are still some things (like sagging skin and a diastasis) that I won't be able to get rid of without surgery. I think with things like stretch marks and skin elasticity, genetics come into play. Sometimes I have to try hard to not to smirk when folks say I look so good--like I "never even had kids" because I feel they only say so since they can't see me naked!

You never know exactly what your body will look like when you're done with pregnancy and nursing. However, on my good days, I can look at my strong arms, legs, the muscle underneath the saggy belly skin, my strong back and really wholeheartedly feel that my body is not ruined, it's actually stronger than it was before children. I think it's okay to acknowledge that you might not have the body you had pre-pregnancy no matter how you try. And it's okay to mourn that and be a bit self-conscious (I'm still working up to running in just a sports bra during the summer). But you have to, at some point, start to really appreciate your body and embrace it and work hard to keep it strong and beautiful.

GravatarMack03:51AM on January 31, 2011

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GravatarMarsha08:31AM on February 03, 2011

That's ridiculous - yes it takes some work to get your body back after pregnancy. Of all people she should not be afraid of a little hard work...I am 42 and have 4 children. I am very proud of all the work I did after each pregnancy to remorph my body into pre-prgnancy shape. I actually think that I am stronger than ever !

GravatarTubal Ligation Reversal11:24PM on March 10, 2011

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Here I would also like to share some information on Tubal Reversal.
Its a process to get pregnant after tubal ligation.

GravatarSmart Lipo01:51AM on April 21, 2011

Pregnancy affects every woman in a different way. For some, it changes very little as far as outward appearance, and for others it changes the entire makeup of their body. You might be different than most, however If I were you, I would reserve your opinion as to whether or not it changes your own body until after labor.

GravatarTheresa Romano--Ross07:38PM on May 25, 2011

Cass, I am getting in late on this topic, but just saw it and had to comment. This has been recent topic during Nursery school drop off in the mornings among the mommies. All the mommies are complaining about their bodies, their out of shape tummies, the extra skin, etc. Then they look over at me and say "you look like you are going to the gym" are you going to the gym AGAIN"? They tell me that the gym and working out is not going to help get rid of my baby tummy. I tell them otherwise, we discuss total body workouts and that you can't do spot reduction, they ALL think I am insane. Supposedly Dr. Oz just did a show on this topic and now they all believe they need tummy tucks to help flatten their stomach. And yet, they all keep telling me that I am looking GREAT! Having 3 babies in 4 years was a lot on my body, but I feel so strong in the gym and my workouts are some of the BEST I've EVER had in my 20 year gym career! As you know, I couldn't work out during pregnancy, so essentially I took 4 years off. Thank Goodness for Muscle Memory. I'm getting my legs and guns back and FAST. I've got a 2 pack but working on a 4 pack. The tummy area is a bit slower process, but I'll get there with HARD work! :)

GravatarTheresa Romano--Ross07:38PM on May 25, 2011

Cass, I am getting in late on this topic, but just saw it and had to comment. This has been recent topic during Nursery school drop off in the mornings among the mommies. All the mommies are complaining about their bodies, their out of shape tummies, the extra skin, etc. Then they look over at me and say "you look like you are going to the gym" are you going to the gym AGAIN"? They tell me that the gym and working out is not going to help get rid of my baby tummy. I tell them otherwise, we discuss total body workouts and that you can't do spot reduction, they ALL think I am insane. Supposedly Dr. Oz just did a show on this topic and now they all believe they need tummy tucks to help flatten their stomach. And yet, they all keep telling me that I am looking GREAT! Having 3 babies in 4 years was a lot on my body, but I feel so strong in the gym and my workouts are some of the BEST I've EVER had in my 20 year gym career! As you know, I couldn't work out during pregnancy, so essentially I took 4 years off. Thank Goodness for Muscle Memory. I'm getting my legs and guns back and FAST. I've got a 2 pack but working on a 4 pack. The tummy area is a bit slower process, but I'll get there with HARD work! :)

GravatarTheresa Romano--Ross07:38PM on May 25, 2011

Cass, I am getting in late on this topic, but just saw it and had to comment. This has been recent topic during Nursery school drop off in the mornings among the mommies. All the mommies are complaining about their bodies, their out of shape tummies, the extra skin, etc. Then they look over at me and say "you look like you are going to the gym" are you going to the gym AGAIN"? They tell me that the gym and working out is not going to help get rid of my baby tummy. I tell them otherwise, we discuss total body workouts and that you can't do spot reduction, they ALL think I am insane. Supposedly Dr. Oz just did a show on this topic and now they all believe they need tummy tucks to help flatten their stomach. And yet, they all keep telling me that I am looking GREAT! Having 3 babies in 4 years was a lot on my body, but I feel so strong in the gym and my workouts are some of the BEST I've EVER had in my 20 year gym career! As you know, I couldn't work out during pregnancy, so essentially I took 4 years off. Thank Goodness for Muscle Memory. I'm getting my legs and guns back and FAST. I've got a 2 pack but working on a 4 pack. The tummy area is a bit slower process, but I'll get there with HARD work! :)

GravatarTheresa Romano--Ross07:39PM on May 25, 2011

Cass, I am getting in late on this topic, but just saw it and had to comment. This has been recent topic during Nursery school drop off in the mornings among the mommies. All the mommies are complaining about their bodies, their out of shape tummies, the extra skin, etc. Then they look over at me and say "you look like you are going to the gym" are you going to the gym AGAIN"? They tell me that the gym and working out is not going to help get rid of my baby tummy. I tell them otherwise, we discuss total body workouts and that you can't do spot reduction, they ALL think I am insane. Supposedly Dr. Oz just did a show on this topic and now they all believe they need tummy tucks to help flatten their stomach. And yet, they all keep telling me that I am looking GREAT! Having 3 babies in 4 years was a lot on my body, but I feel so strong in the gym and my workouts are some of the BEST I've EVER had in my 20 year gym career! As you know, I couldn't work out during pregnancy, so essentially I took 4 years off. Thank Goodness for Muscle Memory. I'm getting my legs and guns back and FAST. I've got a 2 pack but working on a 4 pack. The tummy area is a bit slower process, but I'll get there with HARD work! :)

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