January 06, 2013 10:00 AM

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Less than two years after Jillian Michaels announced she would be taking time off from TV to focus on family, she became a big winner, welcoming two children with partner Heidi Rhoades.

But despite all her off-screen successes, Michaels fans were missing one thing: her role as tough-loving trainer on The Biggest Loser.

“No matter what I do — and I do everything: radio shows, DVDs, books — there’s something about the show that gets in people’s heads in a way that other mediums just can’t,” Michaels, 38, tells TV Guide.

“I went to see Madonna in concert and she played all this new music. And everybody just wanted to hear ‘Holiday.’ I realized this is ‘Holiday’ for me.”

But for those expecting that her Haitian-born daughter Lukensia, 2½, and son Phoenix, 8 months, have melted this mama‘s heart, guess again. In fact, season 14 contestants on The Biggest Loser, premiering Sunday at 9 p.m. on NBC, might just be in for the biggest surprise of all — both on and off the scale.

“Everybody was like, ‘You’re going to be so much softer.’ And I really wanted to be, but it’s not the case,” Michaels says.

“I feel like aspects of my business and home life are being sacrificed for me to be here, and I need that sacrifice to be worth it. It’s worse than it’s ever been, actually.”

This season not only marks her debut as a working mother, but also her first time on the show since the previously private Michaels’ went public with her personal life.

“My agenda is trying to help people live a better life. My life is my business,” she explains. “But the minute you bring kids into the equation, you kind of don’t have a choice. What was I supposed to do? I materialized a newborn. I didn’t know how else to manage that one.”

And while the couple ultimately decided to open the doors to their home — discussing both their relationship and their new family of four — they weren’t quite prepared for the reaction they received from the public.

“I was surprised. People were pretty supportive. We’ve got it all going on in our household — two moms and a black daughter — so I thought we were going to get it from every angle,” Michaels says. “But for the most part, people basically said, ‘God bless. Congratulations!'”

From continuing her career on The Biggest Loser to reveling in her motherhood role, life has come full circle for Michaels, who openly admits she’s “the biggest kid” in her home.

“I have these moments when I say, ‘Whose life is this?'” she shares. “You know your life has changed when a baby pees on you and you just leave the shirt on. You think, ‘He’s just going to puke on me in a minute.’ But it’s worth it in every way.”

— Anya Leon

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