Jillian Michaels Says Being an Overweight Child Was "Pure Hell"

Jillian Michaels may talk tough with the people who appear on her shows, The Biggest Loser and Losing It with Jillian, but perhaps that's because Michaels, 36, once went through similar struggles with weight. The trainer -- featured in the new issue of Redbook -- bares her belly on the cover and some of her childhood secrets in a revealing interview.

The now-svelte Michaels says she was misinterpreted a few months ago when she told Women's Health magazine that she would rather adopt than conceive children because "I can't handle doing that to my body." The comment sparked strong reactions and the trainer clearly recognizes the impact of her words now.

In the new interview, she also admits that she struggled with weight at a young age. She says that by the age of 12, she weighed upwards of 175 lbs. "Oh, my God, it was pure hell," she recalls. "I spent all of eighth grade in my classroom because God forbid I ever left. I was terrorized. And karate saved my life. It all stopped the day I broke two boards with a kick."

Weight problems weren't the only thing that plagued the reality TV trainer/life coach, as she admits she also suffered from night terrors ("I was a really disturbed kid," she says). Now, as an adult, Michaels admits she wishes that her contestants and viewers were a little less scared of her, and claims that the biggest misconception about her is "that I'm a bitch. I really don't have a mean bone in my body!"

Do you think overweight children and teens have it more difficult in school? Chime in below!

Like This? Read These:
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