"The Biggest Loser" star Jillian Michaels says juggling work, motherhood and fitness is harder than she ever expected. The key to staying in shape and being productive, she says, is combining exercise with daily chores and maintaining an attitude of gratitude.
"Every day I tell myself how blessed I am," Michaels told the April 2013 issue of Fitness. "I can't b*tch about it, because this is what I wanted. I just thought I'd be able to manage it better. My new motto: 'As long as I'm winning more than I'm losing, I'm still winning!' "
Jillian, 39, is raising two children with partner Heidi Rhoades: Two-year-old daughter Lukensia, whom she adopted from Haiti, and a baby boy, Phoenix, that Heidi gave birth to in May 2012.
Michaels says she regrets having been so hard before on moms who say they don't have the time or energy to exercise, because she's finding out how hard it is to maintain a regular workout schedule while being a hands-on mother.
"People can rub my nose in it, because it is so hard — so hard — to take care of yourself when you're a parent," admits Jillian. "I used to say, 'If you're going to exercise, then you do it, and you do it 100 percent.' Now if I've got to answer e-mails while I work out on the StairMaster, well, then that's what it is."
Still, Michaels says it's important to find some time to exercise every day, even if it's for just a few minutes and while multitasking.
"In my previous life, I could enjoy a long workout, go see a movie, order in," she recounts. "Right now I'm juggling two sick kids and trying to squeeze in a quick run or shower before one of them starts puking again.
"It's definitely best for me to work exercise into other things I'm doing that day. I try to bike to work or take a long walk-jog on the beach with the kids. If you can do only 20 minutes on your treadmill at home while you check your e-mail at the same time, it matters. I used to rip people apart for that, but you just get it in where you can, and that's all you can do."