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Winning by Losing

Drop the Weight, Change Your Life

Winning by Losing by Jillian Michaels
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Drop the weight and change your life with Jillian Michaels’ Winning by Losing. The fitness expert on the smash hit NBC TV show “The Biggest Loser” and “Losing It,” Jillian offers her unique, comprehensive, no-nonsense health and fitness program that can help anyone lose unwanted pounds and keep them off. Losing never felt so good!

HarperCollins; April 2009
271 pages; ISBN 9780061564444
Read online, or download in secure PDF format
Title: Winning by Losing
Author: Jillian Michaels

Chapter One

Getting Real: Planning For Success

Your first step on the road to total health and your best life is simple: you can't achieve success if you are not moving toward something, so before you do anything else, you have to establish a long-term goal. Sounds easy, right? Not so fast. It's easy to say to yourself that you want to look like an action hero or a supermodel. It's a little bit different to arrive at an ultimate goal that is at once ambitious and attainable.

What exactly do I mean by attainable? In our day-to-day lives we are bombarded with images of supposed perfection and beauty all the time; it's easy to let the media and the world at large dictate how you feel you should look and consequently how you feel about how you do look. I'm telling you right now, that's got to stop. You know those articles about how to get J-Lo's toosh, Gwyneth's arms, Brad Pitt's rock-hard abs? Forget them! Even Cameron Diaz doesn't look like Cameron Diaz. Those photos we see in magazines are shot after hours of hair and makeup sessions, then airbrushed

to perfection.

Unrealistic aspirations to live up to these impossible standards lead nowhere except to poor self-image, self-loathing, and disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. Lizzeth from my Biggest Loser season 1 team had suffered all her life. And I know because I've been there, too. When I went from being a chubby kid to a chubby teenager, I became obsessed with my weight, falling into a cyclical pattern of self-hatred and low self-esteem fueled by the bogus images of women in magazines or on TV. I struggled desperately, obsessively, with the desire to be as skinny as Kate Moss. In my worst years I starved myself and even went for a liposuction consultation. I would spend hours in front of the mirror picking myself apart, analyzing my every flaw, beating myself up over every imperfection; my body became a screen onto which I projected all my negative feelings.

It wasn't until I started to accept and love my body -- and work with it rather than against it -- that I got real results. I might not look it on TV, but I'm short and stocky. Period. I even have cellulite on my butt. I am a real flesh and-blood woman with plenty of imperfections. And I happen to look and feel great -- I have learned to be the best me that I can be. I'm healthy and strong and in the best shape of my life because I accepted the reality of my body. I will never have the petite, slender frame to which I aspired for so many years, but now I don't even want it. Once I let go of that unrealistic notion of what I thought I should look like and realized that I could be a sexy, voluptuous woman, I was able to look at myself honestly and see what could be done to make me look and feel my personal best.

Take a good hard look at where your negative feelings about yourself are coming from. Whatever the source may be, whether it's media brainwashing, judgment from family or friends, or maybe a bad relationship, you must recognize it so that you can begin to let it go. Forget perfect. Perfect is boring! Our bodies are beautiful, no matter how narrow our cultural definitions might be. Embrace your perceived imperfections -- they make you unique -- and love who you are. It's the only way to move forward.

So what is a realistic expectation of an ideal you? Below are three basic body types -- identify the one that best applies to your body. It is important to understand your shape and what you can and can't expect from it.

1. The apple shape. The apple tends to store fat in his or her upper body, so if a person is carrying extra weight, it is usually around the belly. Fat stored in the upper body can lead to cardiac disease, so it is important for apples to be health conscious. Apples have evolved to store fat in this way to adapt to long periods of famine.

2. The pear shape. Pears hold the majority of their fat in the lower body: hips, buttocks, saddlebags. Pears are mostly women. This shape has evolved because fat stored in these areas aids in fertility and breast-feeding. This type of fat is not as much of a health risk as abdominal fat, but it is harder to lose.

3. The proportionate shape. Lucky proportionates have fat cells distributed equally throughout their entire body. When they gain weight, they gain it everywhere. When they lose weight, it comes off evenly.

As you can see, your basic shape is just a result of your particular pattern of fat deposits. With proper diet and exercise -- the kind that I lay out and personalize for you in the “Science” and “Sweat” sections of this book -- you can do a lot to alter your shape, but it's important that you get a grip on the fact that you can only win against genetics up to a certain point. Once you understand this, you can let go of unreachable goals and replace them with real


After identifying your shape as one of the three basic types, you need to establish a realistic weight for your specific build. You've probably heard of the body mass index. The BMI is used to determine the amount of fat you have on your body according to your weight and height. Here's why you're not going to use it: it fails to distinguish between fat and muscle, so the BMI will ultimately give you an incomplete sense of your ideal weight. The medical industry has most recently set its weight guidelines according to the waist-to-hip ratio method, which is a much more accurate way of arriving at an ideal goal weight. Follow these steps to find yours.

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