Photo Credit: Trae Patton/NBC
It may not be easy and it certainly isn’t popular, but it’s Jillian Michaels' way.
And as far as the fitness and health expert is concerned, the Jones family will have no choice but to abide by it on this week’s episode of Losing It With Jillian.
Composed of a 53-year old mother and her two pre-teen children, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Jones family is simply next in the long line of families featured on the reality series that Michael’s will impart her wisdom regarding healthy living habits on.
Michael’s goal by playing hardball with these struggling families? To uncover the issues that plague each family member, the ones that affect their happiness and well-being, and “arm them with the tools necessary to make life-altering changes.”
In the case of Deborah Jones, the mother of 12-year-old Isabella and 10-year-old Jordan, Michaels sought to help her move past the loss of her husband, Gary, who died of a heart attack in 2004.
Jones, who weighed 239 pounds at the start of the show, had developed diabetes and high cholesterol after following the same unhealthy eating habits that led to her obese husband’s untimely death. She is also putting undue pressure on her two young children by neglecting her household and maternal responsibilities.
After Michaels meets the Jones family for what seemed like an expedited hello, the family is rushed off to a nearby gym for a training session. This first training session, which is nearly identical to others shown in the show, is both unpleasant and uncomfortable to watch.
Jones is forced to jump rope, run on a treadmill, lift weights and perform basic callisthenic exercises. After admitting that she hadn’t exercised in 20 years prior to this, the overweight Jones struggled mightily and routinely begged Michaels for a rest. These requests are denied by Michaels and instead are met with stern remarks that motivate a teary-eyed and frustrated Jones to continue exercising.
After addressing Jones’s fitness needs, Michaels’ returns to the family’s home and insists that the filthy, cluttered home be organized. The taut and chiseled physique of Michaels is an intimidating presence inside the small home as she races down each corridor, expressing her disgust at the messy rooms she witnesses. The softer side of Michaels is finally revealed during the house cleaning. In a one-on-one discussion with Jones, she explains that the family does not deserve to live in such poor and cramped conditions.
In a climactic moment toward the end of the show, Isabella and Deborah attend a dance class together and return home to cook a healthy meal that they enjoy with Jordan. In this instance, it is clear that Michaels’message about staying active and eating properly has had an impact.
There is little doubt that Michaels’ impact on a family is profound while she and her watchful eyes are living in close quarters with them. Yet, the ultimate test is to see how the families perform without the well-known lifestyle expert. Six-weeks after the completion of the show, it is revealed that Deborah has lost 32 points and has registered to participate in a 5K race. Michaels is overjoyed at this news and she heartily embraces the Jones family, congratulating them on a job well done.
It was a tough road for the Jones’, as it will be for many other families since they appear trapped in their unhealthy ways. Michaels is stoic and relentless in her pursuit of lifestyle changes but the benefits are tremendous for the families who are willing to try it her way.
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