Jillian Michaels
Jillian Michaels image source

Jillian Michaels is an American-born personal trainer, fitness expert, entrepreneur, author, reality TV star and media personality. Back in 2004, Michaels gained national prominence as one of the original trainers on the debut season of the long-running reality TV show The Biggest Loser. She featured as a trainer in 11 of the total 17 seasons of the showThe fitness mogul has also featured as a trainer on the Australian version of The Biggest Loser.

Jillian Michaels equally headlined the short-lived Spike TV reality series Sweat, INC. doubling as host and co-judge. Michaels also had her own reality TV show Just Jillian which premiered in January 2016 on the E! network.

Who is Jillian Michaels?

Jillian Michaels was born Jillian Leigh McKarus on February 18, 1974, in Los Angeles, California. Her parents got divorced when she was pretty young. She survived a tough childhood as she battled with her parents’ divorce coupled with weight problems and self-esteem issues. However, her life was transformed at age 14 when her mother got her enrolled for martial arts classes. She earned a Blackbelt in martial arts and was able to put her weight in check. However, she remained a troubled teenager and eventually, she fell out with her mother.

Michaels had her college education at California State University, Northridge and there she began her journey as a professional fitness trainer. She holds personal fitness trainer certifications from the National Exercise & Sports Trainers Association (NESTA), The Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA) and the American Fitness Professionals and Associates (AFPA).

Jillian Michaels had a brief stint at International Creative Management (ICM Partners) working as a talent representative. She set up her own fitness training center Sky Sport & Spa in Beverly Hills, California in 2002. She landed a spot on NBC’s hit reality series The Biggest Loser in 2004 which marked a major turning point in her career. She served as the Red team trainer for the first 2 seasons of the show after which she departed. In February 2007, Jillian Michaels returned for the 4th season of the show and her 2nd spell lasted till May 2011. After a 2-season absence, she returned to the show in March 2014. After 2 more seasons, Michaels made her final departure from The Biggest Loser in June 2014.

The exposure offered on The Biggest Loser has helped establish Michaels as a leading health and fitness expert in the United States. In 2008, she founded Empowered Media, LLC. alongside her long-time business partner and manager Giancarlo Chersich.

Over the years, Jillian Michaels has gained a reputation as one of the United States foremost fitness experts. She has successfully built a health and fitness empire having authored numerous best-selling books and also produced several DVDs on various aspects of the subject matter. She also has 2 video games Jillian Michaels’ Fitness Ultimatum 2009 and Fitness Ultimatum 2010 and a fitness mobile app to her name.

Family

Jillian Michaels was born to JoAnn, a psychotherapist, and Douglas McKarus, an attorney. Her father has Syrian/Lebanese ancestry and her mother has Italian, English and Russian ancestry. She was raised alongside one sibling, a younger sister named Lauren Michaels. Her parents got divorced when she was 12 years old and the split took a huge toll on her. She remains estranged from her father since he left home.

Is Jillian Michaels Gay?

Jillian Michaels is gay (or better still, a lesbian). According to the fitness guru, she assumed she was bisexual when she turned 18. Much later in life, she eventually came to terms with the fact that she is gay. Jillian Michaels credits the controversial video of Madonna’s 1990 single “Justify My Love” as having helped in her long journey to self-discovery. Jillian Michaels’ most prominent relationship yet was with yoga instructor Heidi Rhoades and it lasted for 9 years.

Is She Married? Partner

Marriage may be in the plans of Jillian Michaels for the near future. However, the fitness guru has come really close to getting married. She was in a longterm relationship with professional yoga instructor Heidi Rhoades. Michaels and Rhoades have 2 children together and they resided in a farmhouse on the outskirts of Malibu.

In May 2012, the couple adopted their first child, daughter Lukensia Michaels Rhoades (born in 2010). That same month, Rhoades gave birth to their second child, a son named Phoenix Michaels Rhoades, born on May 3, 2012.

Jillian Michaels
Jillian Michaels, Heidi Rhoades, and their kids

The couple got engaged in 2016 at a private movie theater. The proposal was broadcast during the March 8 season finale of Michaels’ Just Jillian reality show on E!. However, they didn’t make it down the aisle as they announced their split in June 2018.

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