BEFORE & AFTER Biggest Loser winner Rachel Frederickson sparks weight concerns

Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper react to Rachel Frederickson on Biggest Loser finale

Coaches Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper’s faces said it all: When Rachel Frederickson stepped out on the stage during last night’s Biggest Loser finale, her weight loss was more than dramatic. It was downright shocking.

Rachel, 24, began the show at 260 lbs. She steadily lost weight throughout her time at the ranch, which was all monitored by physicians. After advancing to the finals in mid-October, Rachel left the ranch to continue dieting and exercising at home. She weighed 150 lbs.

^ Rachel Frederickson at the start of The Biggest Loser and during makeover week.

Last night, Rachel barely tipped the scale at 105 lbs. At 5’4″, that gives her a BMI of 18, which is considered “underweight” by the National Institutes of Health.

Rachel Frederickson - Biggest Loser Weight

Before joining the show, Rachel was a three-time state swimming champion with a strong, athletic build. She received multiple offers to complete in college, but turned them down to follow a boyfriend to Germany.

Rachel Frederickson Swimming - Biggest Loser
^ Rachel as a champion swimmer in high school.

When that relationship ended, Rachel turned to food and ended up gaining 100 lbs.

“I was very hard on myself for some of the decisions I made. I’m ready to become that strong and confident girl again, to free myself from the past, live in the present and make the changes I need to be happy with myself and live the life I always imagined,” she said for her Biggest Loser bio.

Rachel Frederickson - Biggest Loser After

The problem is, obsessing about food and exercise is the antithesis of living “in the present.” I know. Although we don’t know how Rachel went about weight loss in the comfort of her own home, the end results are deeply concerning — and not just for Rachel.

Writing about her reaction to Rachel’s transformation, recovering anorexic Meredith Turtis wrote for Bustle she immediately began obsessing about her own weight.

“If a look at her, someone for whom confetti rained down and to whom a quarter-million dollar check is doled out, can have that effect on me, I wonder what it can do to someone who’s even more fragile. I’d rather not know.”

Rachel Frederickson - Biggest Loser Reveal

The Ashley, who attended the finale, said Rachel’s new form was even more shocking in person.

“Her legs were painfully thin… It was really sad actually. She’s literally just bones,” The Ashley tweeted. ”

For now, Rachel is dismissing concerns.

“I’m at the maintenance point now… I plan to try new exercises and just continue on this path and see where that takes me,” she told Ashley, who wrote an article for Today. “I am extremely proud of the way I lost the weight on the show. I did everything so naturally.”

I will echo what many others are saying: Rachel isn’t to blame for this backlash. She was a competitor on a show that rewards people for losing weight, pure and simple. She lost the most. She won $250,000.

But, what if she replaced emotional eating issues with similarly harmful restrictions? What if she continues to lose weight? And what if there are others who were set on destructive paths?

I just hope NBC comes up with answers before The Biggest Loser loses even more.

site stats

Pin It
  • LaLa84

    Looks a big anorexic to me.

  • LaDy

    She could probably stand to gain 15lbs, she looks almost ill.

  • KnowTheLedge

    And this is the image of health? She looks emaciated….

  • anjealka

    I watch this show every season & this is the first year I let my daughter watch(who was rooting for Rachel), when Rachel came out I was shocked and my daughter asked if she was sick. I have read that contestants do extreme things right before the show to win(and gain 10 lbs back fast). Last night sure looked like these 3 were in a heated competition & ignored health for winning. Rachel went from inspiring to a cause for concern.

  • Geniya

    In America you win money for starving.

  • Peepers

    Chicken wings have more meat on the bone. Disgusting!

  • amberc88

    i think she is anorexic. that is not what normal healthy weight loss looks like, she just looks like skin and bones and not healthy at all! I mean i give her props for loosing weight, but I dont think it was done in a good way when she got home. you can tell the people who eat a good diet and work their butts off and loose tons of weight and the ones that look like they are suffering from malnutrition and starvation.

  • JA

    My eating disorder started with normal diet/exercise too.

  • Whoa!

    I’ve never watched this show so I’m uninformed of what time period the contestants diet and exercise are at the complex while being monitored by physicians. But if she lost 110 lbs while under the watchful eye of a medical professional and no one thought that was an extreme amount of weight to lose during filming (perhaps only a matter of months) who the hell is the physician looking after these people?? 105 lbs should not be where she’s at in her maintenance range. She has seemingly zero body fat and NO muscle mass.

  • texas

    I watch every season of biggest loser. Love the show. But when she walked out my jaw dropped. She was soo thin. I understand she trying to win but I hope she gain some weight now that the shows over.

  • Maiko Higa

    Obviously she is competitive. She took it to the extreme. Any way you get there in that time frame is not healthy, and she does not look healthy.

  • ameliaBedelia76

    why are people keep saying that this woman isn’t to blame? Who is blaming any one? She was in a competition for $250K, she won. She is too thin and looks ill, period. She did it and if she didnt want to she could have said the prize $ isn’t worth my health but she obviously wanted to win & she did.

    • awoman

      Basically yeah. She played to win. This was the game. It isn’t a game based on health. It is a game based on losing the most body percentage.
      Hopefully she gets to a healthy place quickly.

  • Rachel Searle

    Maybe as a society we shouldn’t watch fat people compete to lose the most weight for entertainment purposes. It all seemed okay until it was taken too far.

    • H

      Thank you!

  • NataliaG

    Does not look like she’s found a healthy balance. She looks an easy 15-20 pounds underweight to me. It’s hard to say that because I’m sure being overweight and then losing feels great for her and now she’s being criticized for it. While people may have her best interest at heart, it may not come across that way to her.

  • cathyn518

    I have always cringed when seeing clips of this show. Fat people made to do grueling workouts for our amusement.. Now we see this spindly walking skeleton woman as representative of the healthy outcome of this show.

  • A.J.

    That is WAY too much. I keep looking at her arms and legs, they’re like matchsticks. There’s nothing wrong with healthy, guided weight loss; depending on a person’s goals and metabolism, some people can shed a large amount of pounds. But she took it to another level, one where she, frankly, looks like she’s sick. Furthermore, because the show is all about awarding the person who lost the most amount of weight, she’s basically getting praised for going too far, and that sends the wrong message to the audience. A healthy weight does not mean borderline-anorexic (no offense intended). It’s disturbing that none of the people who helped her with her transformation seem to have suggested that this might be too extreme.

  • indyfan2007

    Rachel was so emaciated that she could barely lift her once strong legs up high enough to walk up the steps without falling…maybe lack of food…I wish people would understand that STRONG is the new skinny.

  • Samantha

    I lost 110 lbs 3 years ago while on weight watchers. I got to my goal level within a year and have successfully kept the weight off. I remember while I was loosing the weight it was addicting to constantly hear how great I looked or how skinny I looked. I fully see how easy it is to become anorexic-thankfully I never got to that point and remained at a healthy weight for my height. I really wish Rachel the best and hopefully she can gain some of the weight back, I fear that she may be relishing in all the attention-good or bad, and will stay at this unhealthy weight :/