Jillian Michaels / losing weight / making healthy changes

Losing It Again with Jillian

Doesn’t this woman look nice?

She is unless she needs to come to your house and kick your butt.

Losing It wasn’t on last night, but lucky for me I had last week’s episode to catch up on so I was able to get my Jillian fix. 

If you saw last week’s episode I think you will agree that the Alvarez family was in particularly bad shape.  Dad, David, weighed in at 328 lbs (his ideal weight: 180) and his sleep apnea index was 64 (30 is considered severe).  He was literally not breathing, while asleep, for up to 32 seconds at a time; the doctor told him it was like he was drowning each night.  Mom, Carmen, was not in as bad shape, her ideal weight was 109 – her actual weight was 170, but their son, David Jr., at 9 years old, was very overweight and had 3 times the normal insulin level; as a result of his weight, he was being teased at school and his reactions to the teasing were landing him in trouble.

The doctor showed David Sr. and Carmen a weight/age progression of their son at the end of high school.  It was sad to see that picture.  He looked just like his father.  

Jillian definitely had her work cut out for her with this family.  She needed the father to admit that David Jr. had a serious weight problem.  He also needed to admit that as his son’s role model he was at least in part responsible for David Jr.’s pre-diabetic state and for the suffering he experienced when being teased about his weight.  On top of all this, David Sr. was in such bad shape health wise that his heart rate could not be raised above 140 bpm, which made Jillian’s trademark “break them during their workout” strategy impossible.  

What did Jillian do?  I think the quotes I collected from last night’s show tell the story:

“As soon as this guy gets cleared to workout, I am going to crush him.”  ~JM
“How do you think a nine year old becomes pre-diabetic?  Is he buying the food that’s killing him?”  ~JM
Jillian to Carmen: “I don’t hear your voice.  I don’t hear anything.  I just hear you suffering and whimpering.”  ~JM
“Can’t isn’t going to be an option anymore.”  ~JM

It took sometime, and some serious rethinking of what continuing to eat food laden with grease and sugar would mean to the family, but Jillian was able to get the Alvarez family to come around. 

As with many families, the food they were eating was literally killing them.  Their excuse, “This food is a part of our Latin culture — we have been eating it for a long time.”  How many times have we heard that excuse this season?  First, the food they are eating today is not a part of the original Latin culture, second, just because you have been doing something one way for a long time, doesn’t mean that you should continue to do so, if it’s hurting you.

The turning points: changing the way the family thought about their food, requiring David Sr. to wear his sleep apnea mask (he did not want to wear the mask because it made him feel bad about himself and it was one catalyst for him to change), and for David Jr., it was Karate.  Jillian took David Jr. to a martial arts class and everything changed. 

I think we can boil it down to this: Lifelong health and fitness is about finding what you love.  Maybe you decide you love yourself more than the food you think you need to eat.  Maybe you find an activity that makes you want to workout because you love what you are doing — when this happens it is no longer work.

After 6 weeks of making changes the Alvarez family looked fabulous – they really did.  The dad lost 54 lbs (he looked like a new man and was off his blood pressure medicine; he still has his cpap machine, but he is on his way to getting rid of that), Carmen lost 25 lbs, and looked gorgeous, and David Jr., lost 25 lbs.  He looked like a healthy, happy ten year old who no longer needed to be tested for diabetes.  David Jr.’s best quote: “I’m changed from saying I can’t to I can.”

On that note…who’s up for brownies?  I hate to do this to any of you who are brownie lovers, like I am, but these aren’t just any old fabulous, delicious brownies, these are Jillian’s brownies, with healthy subsitutes for some of the traditional brownie ingredients that raise the calorie count and are unhealthy (refined sugars).  Anyone want to give it a try?

Jillian’s Fudge Brownies
Olive oil spray
2/3 cup mild honey, such as clover or orange blossom
1/3 cup natural, unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray an 8″ square pan with olive oil. Set aside.

Place the honey in a large glass measuring cup. Microwave on high until the honey is runny and just bubbling, 45 to 60 seconds. Add the cocoa and stir with a fork until well combined. Let cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, place the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.

In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, oil, egg and vanilla. Whisk together until well blended. Add the honey and cocoa mixture, then whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and stir until no traces of flour remain. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until the surface looks dry around the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging to it, about 25 minutes. Do not overbake. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing into 16 two-inch squares. Store the brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 86.2 kcal
Fat: 2.2 g
Protein: 1.3 g
Carbohydrates: 16.0 g
Sodium: 63.6 mg

Have superduper Wednesday!


10 thoughts on “Losing It Again with Jillian

  1. I don’t have everything in the house for those brownies but I would like to make for the hubby!

    Great workout this morn! WEIGHTS & cardio.. core/abs of course too!

  2. Today my plan is no traditional exercise. I started work early and I plan on stopping at about 1:00pm, but if things get crazy and we get a ton of orders and I hope we do, I will adjust my plan.
    After work I plan to do yardwork, housework, clean the car, and maybe work on my old bike, doing all of that in the St. Louis heat I should get a good cross training workout in.
    Have an Inperspired day.

  3. You would think we lived in St. Louis today. It is really humid of us people that live in the dry country. Went for the walk with our friend, with the temp. around 80 degrees he was so hot he couldn’t wait to get back home.

    Our Alyx (Dana’s daughter) is on her way for a visit for a few days. (not long enough). Can’t wait to get her back home. See ya. M.

  4. Hey – Welcome back Mary (see her comment from yesterday)! I am so happy to hear that you have healed and will be able to work out today. We missed your voice. I am not sure if you saw my post about Stacy tearing her calf muscle (that is just painful to even write) while Zumba-ing, but she did and won’t be teaching this Sunday, but a new person will take her place. I hope to see you there! Yay!

    Okay, for the brownie lovers, and I see that we definitely have two :), if/when you try these let me know, and I will do the same. I am planning to make them this weekend.

    I am taking the day off exercise today, although I was hoping that we might go for a long walk tonite, I am afraid that our humid might put the kibosh on that.

  5. Hi, Karma! Thanks for the warm welcome back! I missed you guys, too!!

    Thanks for the brownie recipe! I thought that was a great Losing It episode and the brownies looked awesome, but I didn’t have the recipe…until today! 🙂 You are so resourceful!

    I did do an hour of weight/resistance training…then an hour of Zumba. Yes, Stacy was wearing her boot, poor thing.

    Hoping to see you at Zumba on Sunday!
    It felt great to exercise again today! Woo-hoo!!!

  6. okay I had a day full of excuses but ended with lunges and squats with arms…….Today after school I went to work where it was seemingly a slow typical Wednesday and then at seven everybody was hungry, yay for me! School is going good, I like the structure it gives me. AND September 2 is the last of this quarter so I’m close to having new classes, it’s interesting to me how much i’ve already learned, and relearned for some things.
    Ah, goodnight:)

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