The Biggest Loser’s finale was marked with shock as 24 year old contestant Rachel Frederickson weighed in at 105 pounds. Her trainer Dolvett Quince admitted to People Magazine that he was shocked by her size 0-2 appearance.
While Rachel no longer has to deal with the stigma of being obese; she is now dealing with the backlash of her extreme weight loss. Some even suggesting she now suffers from Anorexia.
The former high school athlete became an emotional eater after what she describes as a bad breakup. During the show she confessed to eating bags of Twix bars, pints of ice cream, and pizzas in order to numb her pain. Her journey had less to do with food and more to do with finding herself, realizing that food was a temporary fix to her problems.
Rachel lost a reported 155 pounds through a seven month period, which equals to roughly five to six pounds a week. According to the Mayo Clinic, the recommended weight loss in order to achieve lifetime success is two pounds a week, which is achieved by cutting down or burning an average of 500-1000 calories a day. Rachel reported to E Online that before the finale she was taking up to four exercise classes a day, along with walking on the treadmill, this being an impossible feat for the average American who works 40 plus hours a week. What average person has the time to exercise five hours a day?
The backlash can now be understood, losing 155 pounds in seven months is indeed an almost impossible task for the average American, therefore, seeing Rachel as not only a bad example, but a person that has become obsessed. She may in fact have exercise bulimia, which is a disorder in which people schedule their lives around exercise. Taking Rachel’s five plus hour regime into consideration, she would be easily diagnosed under this condition and so would the rest of the contestants on The Biggest Loser. Seeing the audience viewership and support of the show, it can be assumed that it is not the weight, nor the excessive exercise that people are worried about. The true worry is the number 105, a number that seems unhealthy for a 24 year old former obese woman.
Contestants on The Biggest Loser make this their full-time occupation; most with the intention of losing weight, but there is no denying that the $250,000 winning prize has to be on their minds. So when push comes to shove, starvation and compulsive exercising in the weeks leading up to the final weigh in cannot be ruled out. Yet, according to the executive producer of the Biggest Loser, Rachel passed all of the tests to qualify her as healthy. Whether these tests where done before, during, or after the finale has yet to be determined. Weight aside, one thing is for sure, the person that walked into the weight loss ranch is not the same person that won the contest.
The greatest question is what happens next. Rachel states that she is now on the maintenance faze of her weight loss journey, consuming 1600 calories a day. Not to mention adjusting to working out less and enjoying a social life. Rachel admits that even with all of the backlash she is happy to have found herself again.
By Dony Lugo
The Biggest Loser TV Series