What’s the ideal mindset for someone whose future includes significant changes to their body and health?

Progress. That is the key. If you expect perfection, you only set yourself up to fail. Any progress, no matter how minimal, is a huge success. You have to understand that, not only are you not stagnant, but you are not going backwards. And that’s huge. 

What’s the greatest mental roadblock to making healthy changes?

Self-destructive behavior. When we engage in self-destructive behavior, it isn’t because we are weak, lazy or dumb. It’s because it affords us something—control, comfort, connection, et cetera. So giving up these bad habits represents a “loss” in another part of one’s life. That’s why it’s so difficult to do. And that’s why I try with my new app to offer a sense of community and support for people, along with personalized meal plans and exercise regimens. The app has been a year in development. It literally allows me to be your personal coach, trainer, and nutritionist.

What were your goals in developing the new app?

Making fitness and healthy eating affordable, accessible, fun, customizable and effective. There are over 550 different exercises, and hundreds of different workouts with different timeframes for people of all fitness levels. And it’s completely interactive. You can swap out exercises to personalize your workouts, increase or decrease the intensity at any time and it will respond.  

What’s a proper balance between going for immediate results and the “long game” in achieving fitness goals? 

Short-term wins add up to long-term successes. It’s about taking one step at a time.  

What types of goals do you set for yourself?

It depends. It could be personal improvement, like working on being more vulnerable. It could be a fitness goal, like running a 10K. It could be a business benchmark. The key is to keep moving forward and, even when we fail, learn from the past and look to the future. EDGE

Editor’s Note: The new Jillian Michaels app is available on her web site, jillianmichaels.com. Gerry Strauss conducted this Q&A with Jillian. Be sure to check out his interview with Hank Azaria, star of the IFC series Brockmire, on page 33.