Jillian Michaels Maximize Your Life Tour When: 7:30 p.m. April 18 Where: Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater Tickets: $49, $59 and $75; VIP tickets, which include a post-show Q and A with Michaels, are $150. They are available at http://www.rutheckerdhall.com%20or by calling (727) 791-7400.
Jillian Michaels doesn't relish scaring people.
Yet she does it, over and over and over again. The ultra-fit, in-your-face drill-sergeant trainer on NBC's "The Biggest Loser" calls her infamous screaming challenges a tool to get overweight contestants to step it up in the gym. It works: Her latest contender, Danni Allen, won Season 14, which wrapped up March 18.
But there's more to those moments than a "great two minutes of TV," Michaels says.
"When I'm screaming that you have to do this or get out, what I am saying is that we are - going to have this success right now and you're going to break through - I am not going to allow you to continue to play out the same pattern," she says.
Michaels, 39, is convinced her formula of hard work, determination, motivation and, yes, intimidation works so well she's hitting the road to preach it in person. She'll be at Clearwater's Ruth Eckerd Hall with her "Maximize Your Life Tour" on April 18. This event won't be "edited or manipulated or filtered" like episodes of "The Biggest Loser," she says. And it will apply to more than people struggling with weight.
"I can teach you to lose weight in five minutes. Literally. If you can do math, I can teach you to lose weight. It's not what the tour is about," she says in her matter-of-fact, confident staccato.
"I need to create an epiphany. I need them to have that 'aha moment' where they say, "Oh, my gosh, this is what I've been doing, and this is where I have gone wrong, and this is how I can fix it." "I literally need to wake them up and give them the tools so they feel inspired to make that change and they feel capable of making that change."
The two-month, 35-city tour is Michaels' summer break from "The Biggest Loser," and she's bringing her partner, Heidi Rhoades, and their two small children along. Their daughter, Lukensia, is 3; son Phoenix is nearly 1.
By the time they arrive in Clearwater, the family bus will have driven through the Canadian cities of Winnipeg, Calgary and Edmonton, as well as Las Vegas and Phoenix. Glamorous stops at five-star resorts are not on the itinerary.
"It's like the ultimate hellish family road trip," she says. "I don't know how else to do it. I can't leave my family."
Michaels says 30 minutes of the two-hour talk will debunk weight-loss myths and discuss the science of metabolism, nutrition and 'cutting-edge fitness.' The rest of the time will be whittling down the greatest tips from hundreds of self-help books she's read and the ones she has written.
The key, she says, is helping people understand why they aren't happy/losing weight/ advancing career-wise/creating healthy relationships. "We need to address why – when this information is so simple and so accessible – why people aren't engaging in this," she says.
But don't expect Michaels to suggest a group hug or meditation time for her audience. She's critical of self-help gurus who suggest only positive results and no consequences. Reaching goals depends on hard work and accountability, she says.
"There are some books out there – 'The Secret' is one – that I believe are doing real damage and harm," she says. "Because 'The Secret' is not a book that advocates action. 'The Secret' is a book that makes, in my particular belief, false promises. It's like a diet book that says don't count calories."
Her approach isn't soft, but it's not as scary as reality TV fans may believe, Michaels says. All she wants is to see people succeed, in body, mind and spirit.
"People can achieve anything if they believe they are worth it and the goal is worth it, and that they are capable of achieving it."