Jillian Michaels' 2 Kids: Everything to Know

Jillian Michaels is a mom to two kids: Lukensia and Phoenix

Phoenix Michaels Rhoades, Jillian Michaels,and Lukensia Michaels Rhoades arrive at the World Premiere Of Disney's "Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil" at El Capitan Theatre on September 30, 2019 in Los Angeles, California
Photo: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

Jillian Michaels' journey to motherhood was a whirlwind.

In the same month, the fitness trainer and her then-fiancée Heidi Rhoades welcomed their daughter Lukensia, 14, via adoption from Haiti, and welcomed their son, Phoenix, 10.

Becoming parents of two simultaneously wasn't in the plans for the former couple, but when Rhoades was in labor, Michaels received a text that Lukensia got her visa and she would be able to adopt the then 2-year-old. Reflecting on the "hectic" period of her life, she told PEOPLE in September 2012, "It's been hectic, chaotic, confrontational — all the things you imagine it would be, but it's also been magical, meaningful, and rewarding."

While Michaels and Rhoades announced their split in June 2018, the pair still co-parent their two children together. The Biggest Loser star has since married fashion designer DeShanna Marie Minuto as well.

Jillian Michaels family
Jillian Michaels/Instagram

Over the years, Michaels has become an expert at balancing her family life with her busy career. "With two young children, I had to figure out a way to balance my days," she told PEOPLE in April 2015. She went on to explain that she sets aside 12 hours a week with "no kids allowed" to focus solely on her own personal demands. "This way I can spend five to six hours with the kids and work for the other eight hours. If I have any extra time, it goes to the kids," she explained. "Things seem to work out, and it keeps me sane!"

Motherhood also inspired Michaels to write the pregnancy book Yeah Baby! The Modern Mama's Breakthrough Guide to Mastering Pregnancy, Having a Healthy Baby, and Bouncing Back Better Than Ever. "Every parent deserves access to the most honest, sound, current information to utilize and nurture their own health and that of their baby," she told PEOPLE of the book.

Keep reading for everything to know about Jillian Michaels' two children, Lukensia and Phoenix.

Lukensia Michaels Rhoades, 14

celebrities who adopted
Jillian Michaels/Instagram

Michaels and Rhoades welcomed daughter, Lukensia "Lu" Michaels Rhoades, via adoption from Haiti on May 12, 2012, when she was 2 years old. The former couple brought home their daughter just days after Rhoades gave birth to their younger child, son Phoenix.

The adoption process was "not an easy one," as Michaels told PEOPLE in 2012. However, the trainer, who was diagnosed with endometriosis as a teenager, never gave up hope. "I felt the calling to adopt," she said. "You just know in the deepest part of your being that you are meant to find this little soul and guide them through life."

Michaels first applied for adoption in 2010 through the Democratic Republic of the Congo. After not hearing anything from the agencies for a year, she found out that there were children in Haiti up for adoption. She and Rhoades met Lu when she was 18 months old while Rhoades was pregnant, however, they still had a long road ahead of them to make the adoption official. In the end, though, Michaels said it was all worth it.

"That moment of getting Lu out of Haiti and the wheels of the plane touching down in New York … she was an American citizen after two years," Michaels recalled to PEOPLE. "It was a heavy moment."

Reflecting on her emotional adoption journey during a November 2019 interview for PEOPLE's Me Becoming Mom podcast, Michaels opened up about how difficult it was to leave Lu in Haiti before the adoption was finalized. "The second time I went [to Haiti], she stayed with me at the guest house — they call it the guest house. So she wasn't in the orphanage," she explained. "So they kept telling her like, 'This is your mama, this is your mama.' And she was like, 'Rad, you're my mama.' She liked me right away."

During an interview with Redbook when Lu was a toddler, Michaels discussed her parenting style and shared how she was encouraging her daughter to be independent and confident.

"Kids are accident-prone; they're going to tumble. As long as I know [Lu] is not going to die or get badly hurt, it's okay," Michaels said. "We'd rather her be adventurous and fall and get back up, than helicopter around her and make her feel fragile."

The fitness trainer also encourages her kids to live a healthy lifestyle, which includes eating healthy — with a weekly "treat day" — and being active.

"Lu loves horses, so I take her to the stables, and she loves dancing, so I put music on and she dances around the house," Michaels shared with PEOPLE in 2013. "We run on the beach with the dogs and take her out to ride her tricycle. We just have a healthy lifestyle — we play!"

Growing up, Lu also spent time on tour with her mother. In 2013, she and her brother accompanied their mom on her Maximize Your Life tour and even celebrated her 3rd birthday on the road.

Now that she is a tween, Michaels "talks openly" with her daughter about food and her relationship with it. "My daughter really struggles with food, she has all the same issues with food that I had," Michaels revealed during an appearance on PEOPLE Now. She added that the mother-daughter duo "talk about food in a way that is healthy."

Phoenix Michaels Rhoades, 11

Jillian Michaels family
Jillian Michaels/Instagram

The former couple welcomed their son, Phoenix Michaels Rhoades, on May 3, 2012. Michaels and Roads found out that Lu's adoption was finalized as Rhoades was going into labor and days after Phoenix was born, they brought her home. At the time, Michaels joked to PEOPLE, "We're swimming in babies over here."

Even as a baby, Phoenix took after Michaels when it came to his personality. When he was 8 months old, the fitness trainer told PEOPLE that he would get "frustrated" when he tried to talk to people but couldn't, adding, "He's a fiery little sucker, he's just like me. I'm like, 'You were supposed to be like Heidi!' But he's not. It's not good, not good."

Phoenix also appears to have a passion for fitness like his mom. In August 2016, Michaels posted a video on Instagram of her then-4-year-old son doing one-arm push-ups. "Start em young 😁 who else's kids think they're Olympians?" she wrote in the caption.

Earlier that month, Michaels let Phoenix get his ears pierced after he was inspired by his older sister's jewelry. She explained her decision on social media, writing on Instagram, "His sister got hers pierced and he wanted his done. I wasn't about to say 'that's for girls.' "

Throughout the years, Phoenix has also rocked several different hair colors in addition to his natural brunette locks. In 2021, his mom showed off his green hair on Instagram. By September 2022, his hair was buzzed and bleached blonde as he posed for a photo with Michaels' wife, Minuto, at a New York Yankees game.

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