Biggest Loser winner Rachel Frederickson went from 260 to 150 pounds in four months on the show. In the following three and a half months before the final, Rachel lost an additional 45 pounds to win the contest. She was the lowest weight of any contestant in the show’s history, and sparked concern and hang-wringing over her underweight figure. Frederickson assured everyone that she was fine, but admitted that she went to extreme measures to lose the additional weight, exercising around six hours a day while taking in just 1,600 calories. She did what she had to do to win.
In a new interview with The Today Show this week, Frederickson addressed the media controversy over her weight, and again said that she felt healthy. She looked it, too, having gained back some weight and looking much less extreme than she did on the finale just three weeks ago. Here’s some of what she said, and she focused quite a bit on having a positive self image.
On the talk over her extreme weight loss
I felt amazing on the stage. I felt like I shined in my dress. I got off the stage and… there was just so much chatter about it.
On if she was surprised about the attention she got
I was. I felt so proud of everything I had accomplished. My journey was my own and I loved it, I lived it. I felt really proud of what I did.
On if it was healthy weight loss
It was absolutely healthy weight loss. I dieted, exercised and did it healthy the whole way. I appreciate all the concern and I can see where it comes from… I was very unhealthy at 260 pounds and now I am the healthiest, most alive I’ve ever felt.
On her weight now
I am in the maintenance mode, which is just as hard as losing weight… Adding in family, and socializing and work and getting it all accomplished. It’s a big balance.
On if she fears weight gain
Of course, but I think that what I’ve learned is that I have an inner strength. I have a voice and I can trust myself. I didn’t trust myself, I was critical and I judged myself… you’re with you the rest of your life, so you better accept you and love yourself.
I enjoyed that interview and how positive Frederickson was. I think she’s absolutely glossing over how hard she worked to win that show, but it was a competition and she played by the rules. I don’t have an issue with Frederickson’s message, she’s doing her media duties, but I do have an issue with the way shows like The Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss portray such rapid weight loss as attainable. Those shows are entertainment, they’re not out to help viewers achieve the same. People can’t drop everything, work out all day and live in a controlled environment in order to lose weight. They can make healthier choices that’s for sure but I question whether Biggest Loser even inspires viewers to do that.