Dear Jillian,

First and foremost, I have been a follower of yours for about five years now.  In fact, you are the reason I started viewing exercise differently.  30 Day Shred and No More Trouble Zones made strength training fun for me.  I went from being a total cardio queen to someone who actually enjoyed picking up a pair of dumbbells.  Thanks for that.

When I learned that you had a podcast that I could listen to every week, I was beyond excited.  After experiencing for myself what your fitness philosophy can do, I was eager to learn more.  So you and Janice accompanied me during my long commute home.  And I have to say that while your blunt and abrasive style probably offends some people, I don’t mind as long as I’m learning something new.

However, Jillian, after listening to your most recent podcast titled “Jillian and The Sushi Chef,” it is my opinion that you need to stick with what you’re good at.  And that for you is health and fitness.

You started this particular podcast by talking about how Amber, your assistant, made a reservation for you and Heidi at a specific sushi place.  Amber informed you that this was a chef’s choice restaurant.  After learning this, you still decided to go because you wanted the experience.

Jillian, I don’t think you understand what chef’s choice means.  It means that the chef gets to decide what he serves his guests.  There is no menu, there are no options, and usually everyone pays one set price for their meal.  People know this going in and want to eat the food even though they have zero control over what it will be.

When you got to the restaurant, you were seated at the bar where the chef prepares the food.  You didn’t ask to be seated elsewhere.

You also mention that this restaurant serves traditional Japanese food, like what you would find in Japan.  You state that you’ve been to Japan and have tried this very traditional food.

Also, before I go on, I just have to say that you should also stay away from accents on your show.  You said that you didn’t want to offend anyone by speaking in a Japanese accent, but you still proceeded to say some words with a slight (what I believe was a Japanese) accent.  Just don’t.

Anyways, after being served food that you clearly weren’t expecting and did not want to eat, you started hiding said food in your napkin.  What?  Who does that?

You really had no idea what you were getting into, did you?  I mean, you mentioned something about the restaurant not serving spicy tuna rolls.  If I were going to pay hundreds of dollars for a meal, you better believe my research would have been done way ahead of time.  Not only would a few minutes on the Internet have saved you $500, it would have probably led you to a restaurant more suited to your taste where you could have fully enjoyed your meal.

Eventually, the chef took your plate away and stopped serving you.  Ok, so I get that his reaction was a bit extreme.  But I have to believe that your behavior was not only rude but totally inappropriate for him to do that.  The poor guy was probably as shocked as I was at the fact that you were sitting in his restaurant where you had no interest eating his food.  And only because you had no clue what you were doing.

You then state that when you got the $500 bill you were shocked – “There is no menu, no way of knowing.”  Again, if you had done a tiny bit of digging around, you would have known exactly how this was going to go down.  But of course you can just “chalk this up to being lucky that [we] can take this hit financially.”

You then go on to say that you tried so hard not to upset the chef who was very mad.  I mean, hiding food in napkins is totally normal, right?  And all you wanted was to eat something “less radical.”  That’s exactly why people go to chef’s choice sushi restaurants.  It’s like someone signing up for a Jillian Michaels workout and not getting the 10 water breaks he/she deserves.  Right? [SENSE THE SARCASM].  (Thanks for the example, Thea!)

But you didn’t stop there.  You went on to talk about the “lesson” in this whole weird situation.  Something about bridging gaps between cultures and how the chef didn’t even try.  And the concept of certainty (people holding on to their beliefs) being related to issues of insecurity.  You sort of ended it by saying that there is no one path to any end goal and if you understand this you can be more connected to others.

So Jillian, in my opinion, the chef wasn’t the one with the problem.  While I agree that he shouldn’t have stopped serving you, you are the one that decided to eat at his restaurant because you “wanted the experience.”  What experience did you think you were going to get?  If anyone needs to be more open to other cultures, it’s you.  Maybe you need to stop projecting YOUR own insecurities and flaws on to others and take some responsibility for your behavior.  You didn’t take the high road.  You actually ended up taking the low road by not looking inward first, especially because everything that went wrong in this particular situation had to do with you.  And only you.

And finally, after talking about this for 15 minutes plus, you say that because the meal was $500 you had to bring it up on the show.  No one gives a s***.  I promise.  You sounded like someone who just likes to listen to herself talk or someone who wanted to say that she spent $500 on a meal that didn’t go her way.

As a long time follower, I have one piece of advice for you, STICK WITH WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT.  That is pretty much the only lesson I learned during the first part of the podcast.  Thanks for that.


P.S. I’m still going to follow you because I really do like your overall fitness philosophy.  And your workouts have done good things for my mind and my body.  However, one more segment like this and I may change my mind…or write another open letter.  Haha.  So again, please please please just stick with what you’re good at.

By Parita

15 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Jillian Michaels”
  1. Oh wow I had no idea about this experience but I am kinda let down. I’ve always been a big fan of JM & her podcasts too, but never expected this from her. I guess we all have our preferences BUT if we voluntarily sign up to embrace another culture, we have to be fully willing to- not simply try and mould into the culture we are used to. I really hope she reads this- more than taking it as an insult, she can use this open letter as a tool for self-realisation & growth.

    1. I was let down too! As abrasive as she can be, I just didn’t expect this from her. AND like you said she didn’t use the example to share how people can expand their world views and be more open to other cultures..SHE BLAMED THE CHEF!! Don’t even get me started!!

  2. Yikes! This podcast would have actually numbed the sting of my long and congested commute! I agree with you and Khusgboo, she definitely should have researched what she was going into first before voluntarily participating in it and then dogging something because of her lack of knowledge on it.
    Shashi @ RunninSrilankan recently posted…The Writing Process Blog Tour…My Profile

    1. Honestly, Shahshi, you would’ve been so upset! It’s like she just started talking without thinking anything through. Ugh!

    1. HAHA! You crack me up. But yes to the entitlement and daddy issues. I can see why no one is giving her her own daytime show!

  3. It’s funny you bring this up… since the same thing actually happened to me where I lost a bit of respect for her after seeing her on The Doctors show. She was distastefully mocking a vegan diet (that I follow) without using any facts. She simply said- “I felt like crap when I tried it”- her opinion really makes an impact so it was frustrating for me to see her be so dismissive! I love her workouts, but I certainly agree with you… at times she can really be inappropriate. Thanks for the post 🙂

    1. She needs to be more responsible about what she says because hundreds of thousands of people hang on to her every word. I totally agree! My respect for her is slowly dwindling!

  4. Woah what a shocker and why would she podcast this experience? Not only has she shamed and embarrassed the chef she has done so for herself. She is good at fitness and health, motivation and tips on how to live a healthy lifestyle beyond that who knows..

    Love C

    1. Hi Courtney! I have no idea why she even brought this up. There was no lesson. Frustrating! Thanks for reading!

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