Today, the star of NBC’s The Biggest Loser lives happily with partner Heidi Rhoades and her two kids, 2-year-old Lukensia and 8-month-old Phoenix, but is still grappling with unwanted attention – only now it’s from nosey photographers.
“I can’t hide two kids, but I wish that I had somehow found a way now when my daughter’s saying cheese to the paparazzi,” she recently said at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Pasadena. “I haven’t yet figured out how to manage that.”
Like any celebrity couple, Michaels and Rhoades try to shelter their children from the press, but worry that the kids will grow up feeling the family has something to hide.
Between dealing with paparazzi, running a company with her business partner and shooting The Biggest Loser, she wonders how well she fulfills her parenting duties.
“I do feel like it is hard to leave the kids and there is some guilt in that,” she confessed. “So, that’s a challenge for me personally.”
Like many parents, she fawns over her children to a nearly ridiculous level, going so far as to explain to her baby why he has to wear a diaper. “I’m like, ‘Listen, I know you’re really mad about this, but it has to go down this way. You’re gonna pee everywhere and we can’t have that!”
Following her parents’ divorce when she was 12, Michaels struggled with her weight during her teens, but has since adopted a healthy diet consisting of mostly organic foods – eating habits she’s passed on to the rest of her family.
“It’s just about balance,” said Michaels, adding that Phoenix eats homemade baby food, but his big sister, Lukensia gets a broader choice. “If she doesn’t like this vegetable and she likes butternut squash, then that’s what she’s gonna get. And when she’s a good girl, she gets a treat after dinner and it’s things like an organic graham cracker.”
But then again there’s nothing to keep grandma from stopping by with a carton of ice cream. “We’ll pick an ice cream that doesn’t have growth hormones in it, that’s natural, with none of that garbage, and she has a small-sized portion,” smiled Michaels. “It’s just about teaching the kids balance, that’s all.”
The Biggest Loser airs Mondays at 8PM on NBC.
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