Last month Jillian Michaels surprised the fitness world when she announced suddenly that she'd be leaving The Biggest Loser before the 16th season starts. Now, in a new interview with People, Michaels reveals the reason behind her decision. "I had to take a hard look at my work," she said. "I made the decision that moving forward I need to be able to have an impact on the outcome of what I do."
Elaborating, Michaels admitted that she's afraid fans have the wrong impression of her, saying that while she felt early seasons of the show demonstrated both the "tough" and the "love" of her tough-love approach to weight loss, more recent seasons have focused on her being one-sided and harsh. "You saw none of the relationships, none of the bonds that I built with my clients," she said.
Michaels also feared that the warped negative perception of her started to affect her kids as well: After being accused of cheating last season by allowing her contestants to take caffeine pills, she says she picked her daughter up at camp one day and learned someone had told her, "I know who your mom is. She's a cheater—I saw it on TV."
The controversy over season 15 winner Rachel Frederickson's weight loss was the last straw, Michaels said, and she hopes fans won't think she's jumping from the show to seek greener pastures. "I really am so grateful to the show and so sad to leave," she said.
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