LOS ANGELES -- Jillian Michaels didn't think she had another weight-loss book in her. She'd already written several, including "Master Your Metabolism," "Winning by Losing" and "Making the Cut." What else was there to say?
Plenty, as it turns out. Her latest book is "Slim for Life," and it represents Michaels' most accessible approach to health and fitness. Not exactly what you might expect from the star of NBC's "The Biggest Loser," known for ripped abs and a no-excuses, take-no-prisoners approach to diet and exercise.
You see, Superwoman has been transformed into Everywoman.
Michaels' life changed dramatically last May when she became a mother to two: Lukensia, 3, whose adoption from Haiti was finalized the same week that Michaels' partner, Heidi Rhoades, gave birth to their son, Phoenix. Cue the missed workouts, less-than-ideal snacks and -- surprise, surprise -- not enough sleep.
And 5 extra pounds on the scale.
Now that might not seem like much to us mere mortals, but it gave Michaels a glimpse into the lives of millions of Americans struggling to wedge healthful food choices and exercise into lives packed with work and family obligations.
"It used to be that I didn't accept 'limitations,'" Michaels said over breakfast one recent morning while dining on a bowl of fresh berries at Le Pain Quotidien on Ventura Boulevard, where she was virtually unrecognizable -- no makeup, ball cap, sweats and flip-flops -- to the diners around her.
"I was like, 'It's a state of mind! No excuses!'
"But adding kids to the mix added a whole 'nother layer of responsibility, of time management, of financial obligations, of no sleep. It definitely made me understand."
It was a point driven home on one day in particular when she looked at her schedule and realized that she had only three hours to spare once she carved out time for work, travel and sleep. "I was sitting there thinking, 'Am I going to work out, or do I spend the time with my kids?'"