Catching Up With Jackie Warner


By Kevin Downey

Is this the first time you're an executive producer?
It's the first time I've been an executive producer. I like to say Work Out happened to me and I made Thintervention happen, and that's the truth. It's fascinating and scary. From the moment of inception, I've been on board with every decision that goes on, including the editing process. Before, I'd watch a finished episode of Work Out, literally, maybe two weeks before everybody else saw it. And I couldn't change anything. What was there was there. Now, I am involved in every step of the process.

On the show, you work your clients pretty hard -- sometimes to the point that they vomit. Why do you work people so hard?
I believe it's not about "how long," but "how strong." There are three chemicals that are released into the brain that make you addicted to working out: endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin. You have to release those chemicals in a fast and hard way in order to get people connected to their body and the workout process. I have a new DVD coming out that's called Xtreme Time Saver Training. All my DVDs are very, very successful. Why? Because I break it down into small workouts, but intense workouts. In 10 minutes, you'll sweat. In 10 minutes, you'll feel sore. So, it's about making a mind-body connection in a very fast, hard way. It's the same thing when I put someone on a diet program. They have to lose weight the first week. Why? They have to have an incentive. If they don't drop weight the first week, they won't work as hard the second week.

The eight people you chose to be on the show are really funny -- the kind of people you'd like to hang out with in West Hollywood. How'd you go about selecting the people on the show?
We want people who are passionate about changing their lives. We believed they were at the point where they really wanted to make a big change. You know, shooting a show is hard, hard work. It's a six-day-a-week process. The show comes before everything else for those two-and-a-half months. We were asking people to completely throw themselves into this project. So, we looked for that level of commitment. But also we looked at their personality -- a depth of personality that would make them interesting to watch.

The clients also go through group therapy. Is that only for the show or is that something you recommend for your clients?
I'm into metaphysics and one thing I love that Bravo allows me to do is talk about things like visualization tools and positive energy. You have to deal with emotional issues before you can make a major life change. Anyone can take weight off for six months. Anyone can do that. But can you take it off forever? That's the question.

So, group therapy is part of your approach to losing weight?
I don't think you can achieve long-term results without therapy -- I really don't -- whether it's anonymous therapy, group therapy, or one-on-one therapy. You have to have a sounding board, a person you can talk to about where these issues come from. You always find with people addicted to food that it stems from an experience in childhood. I've noticed this for years of group therapy with clients. It always stems from some issue in their childhood. Therapy is very, very important.

After Work Out ended, you were the subject of innumerable online posts. Many of them were not flattering and that had some of your fans thinking you'd ditch the high-profile life -- but you haven't. You released a book. You're releasing another workout DVD. You have your new Bravo show. How come you didn't quietly walk away and reclaim a private life?
First of all, I'm a fighter and always have been. When someone corners me, when I'm at my lowest point and have nothing to lose, that's when the fighter instinct in me comes out. That's when the best parts of me come out. It's a blessing in disguise. I may not have been as driven [if that didn't happen]. I may not have worked as hard. I have been quite busy since Work Out ended. The book took me a year to write. It was a passion project. Thintervention is based on the book. I have a lot going on. I have a great team around me. I have a lot of positive energy around me. My life has changed greatly. I love what I do. I am passionate about what I do. I want to help people, so if that's what drives you, you have to go for it.

Thintervention premieres September 6 on Bravo at 10 p.m. ET/PT. For more on Jackie Warner, visit her official website.

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Tags: Television