Shrugged Collective

How a recovering perfectionist can find health and balance (and still be fit af) with Jill Coleman — Muscle Maven Radio Episode #18

Jill Coleman coaches fitness coaches on how to build their business, find their passion, and balance their own health and happiness too. Coming from a background of fitness competitions and modeling, she’s certainly not the first fitness pro who’s struggled with dysfunctional attitudes towards eating and exercise and self-acceptance, but she’s done a fantastic job of doing the hard work that it takes to get unstuck from a cycle of shame, self-blame, and overwork to a place where she can help others as well as take care of herself. In this interview, we deep dive into how we can be a contributing, authentic part of the health and fitness industry without becoming obsessive; her experiences from fitness competitions and yo-yo-dieting to finding her version of moderation; how she grew from a scarcity mindset to one based on balance; knowing the difference between ambition and obsession; and how to snap out of a rut, be it in business, life, or fitness.  

Jill Coleman’s journey in health and fitness began when she got her first job at a gym at 15 (for the free membership). Jill earned a B.S. in Exercise Science from Wake Forest University and went on to earn an M.S. in Human Nutrition at the University of Bridgeport. While she learned a lot during her years of exercise science and nutrition education, fitness competitions and modeling, and having her work featured in SELF magazine, SHAPE, Women’s Health magazine, and more, she also found herself struggling with food and exercise obsession. Through a lot of hard work and introspection, Jill was able to work on making balance, moderation, and health a priority over six pack abs, and launched her personal brand at JillFit.com in 2010, which has since evolved from a fitness competition prep service to a range of comprehensive online programs and resources for women who want to break the cycle of shame, unsustainable diet, and punishing exercise to create a life they love encompassing mindset, fitness, and business.

Minute Breakdown:

7 – 23  Introduction to Jill and her work coaching and teaching other fitness coaches; her thoughts on how you can be a leader in the fitness industry without being obsessive

23 – 33 Her experiences with fitness and bodybuilding competitions, both positive and negative

33 – 47 A discussion of a key moment in her life (the discovery of her husband’s affair)  and how Jill escaped what she called a “blame culture” and worked on healing through introspection and sharing  

47 – 59  A conversation about how to tell your own story: knowing how to market yourself as a coach or trainer by being aware of what you can offer and what people are looking for  

59 – 1:07  How she made her way out of a creative rut by writing a full length romance novel – which she doesn’t plan on publishing!  

1:07  – 1:19 Finding the balance between ambition, challenging yourself, working hard, and enjoying your life; the importance of goal setting

1:19 – 1:28  Talk about the biggest challenges of fitness coaching (spoiler alert, it’s expectation management) Getting people to just keep showing up to the process.  We are in the trust business, which takes time to earn.

1:28 How to be useful, authentic, and interesting on the internet for your business, and why popularity on social media doesn’t necessarily correlate to coaching success; you have to know how to use it effetively. Why your mindset and approach to challenge is more important than the challenge itself   

Reach out to me on Instagram @themusclemaven to say hi and tell me what you thought of the podcast, head to ashleighvanhouten.com to sign up for my weekly health and fitness newsletter, and if you enjoyed the episode please share on social media and leave me a nice rating and review on iTunes!  

Beekeeper’s Natural

Learn more about how Beekeeper’s Naturals can support immunity, energy, and health for active people – check out beekeepersnaturals.com/musclemaven to see some of Ashleigh’s favorite products and use the code musclemaven for a 15 percent discount on anything you buy!


Doug Larson Fitness

Doug’s new website is live! Check it out at DougLarsonFitness.com

The Bledsoe Show

The Bledsoe Show (Mike’s personal show) is back! Check out new episodes and the new website at TheBledsoeShow.com

Check out our FREE 50+ page OLYMPIC WEIGHTLIFTING GUIDE! Includes: The Basics, Sample Programming, Links to Technique Videos, and more!


Train smart,

Mike, Doug and Anders



Anders Varner


  • Thank you for this interview and for this great job. It was a pleasure to listen to it. It seems to me that now we just need to find such wonderful, strong and motivated people so that they show us by their example that everything can be changed for the better if we put a little effort and desire into this. Thus, everyone will understand that in fact, successful people were the same as we are, they just had a penchant for something and fired up an idea. Therefore, I believe that almost everything is real if it strives for it. And this story just once again reminds us of this. So thank you for your motivation.

  • An interesting interview with an interesting person. It was interesting to hear about the problems and methods of finding the right solutions in fitness coaching. With 15 years in the fitness industry, this is certainly a tremendous experience.

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