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OTRC: Jillian Michaels praised by 'Biggest Loser' co-stars

Jillian Michaels in a promotional photo for 'The Biggest Loser'. (NBC)

Jillian Michaels has been praised by her "Biggest Loser" co-stars following her announcement that she will leave the NBC weight loss reality show after the upcoming 11th season.

The 36-year-old fitness trainer has appeared on most episodes since the series began in 2004. Michaels said earlier this month she plans on leaving "The Biggest Loser" because she wants to become a mother and focus on her charity work.

"Jillian is my best friend," Bob Harper, another trainer on the show, told People magazine. "I've loved working with her since the very beginning. Now she wants to focus on family. I get it, but she's going to leave a big hole in my heart and a big hole in the show."

"The Biggest Loser" host Alison Sweeney said Michaels "motivated me and inspired me and I'm so in awe of the woman I see today and what she sets her mind to."

Michaels launched her own program on NBC, "Losing It With Jillian", in June. The 11th season of "The Biggest Loser" is set to premiere in January 2011 and Michaels is set to be replaced by two new trainers - a former Golden Gloves boxing champion and a martial arts expert.

Michaels had told Women's Health magazine earlier this year, when asked about pregnancy, that she was going to adopt a child, adding: "I can't handle doing that to my body". She said on her Twitter page that she began wanting children two years ago.

"Season 11 of Biggest Loser will be my last," Michaels had said . "Have to finish out my contract. I want to take a year off TV and focus on becoming a mommy and doing more charity work. Shooting 'Losing It' also had big impact on me. Living with kids, I saw firsthand what I was missing."

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