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The Biggest Loser Finale

I love The Biggest Loser show because, contrary to what some people think, I believe it sends an overall positive message. The trainers, Bob, Jillian and Dolvett, push the contestants out of their comfort zones and into a life of fitness. Throughout this process, they help the contestants address and slay their personal demons. Overcoming mental blocks and emotional hurdles is a big part of succeeding with weight loss. I understand that the expedited loss of weight is unrealistic and, in some cases, unhealthy and that brings me to topic of this post…

Last night, as I do almost every Tuesday, I watched the latest episode of The Biggest Loser. I was especially ecstatic because this was the finale! Every year, the finalists come out looking healthy and happy. Knowing their stories and having watched their struggles, you get emotionally invested in them and you truly care about the person and their journey. As the contestants of this particular season came out, I was blown away with how amazing they looked. I cheered. I cried. After almost two hours of hearing inspiring stories and watching successful weigh-ins, it was time to see this season’s finalists.

First up was Bobby Saleem.  Bobby started on the ranch weighing 358 pounds. By the time of last night’s finale, he weighed 170 pounds for a total of 52% weight loss! Wow! That is staggering and unbelievable! I was amazed and I was happy for him. Again, yes, the weight was lost quickly, but that’s expected with this particular show. I was ready for the next contestant.

Last up was, my favorite contestant this season, David Brown. David weighed 409 at the beginning of the season. At his final weigh-in he weighed 187 pounds for a total percentage loss of 54%! An impressive number and certainly one that couldn’t be beat. Or so you’d think…

The second finalist to have weighed-in was Rachel Frederickson who was the favorite to win. Everyone loved her story of the former athlete who lost it all to weight gain. This was her second chance (also the theme of the season) at that person and at life. She entered the ranch weighing 260 pounds. Before I tell you how much she finished the show with, I want to share her side-by-side photo first.

Screen Shot 2014-02-04 at 8.07.55 PM

She lost 59% of her starting body weight for a crazy final weight of 105 pounds! I was aghast! Where did it all go wrong? Just a couple of episodes ago, Rachel looked perfectly healthy:

Twitter was abuzz with tweets regarding her health and appearance. Some were even calling her anorexic. Let’s be real, do you blame them? She does not look healthy. Rachel is 23, or 24, years old, but you wouldn’t really know that by looking at her in last night’s episode. What on earth could have possessed her to lose so much more than is healthy? Why didn’t any of her family members stop her? What kind of message does this put out there? These are just some of questions that The Biggest Loser, and Rachel, will have to answer in the coming days.

This is exactly the type of thing the critics of the show have been waiting for. My only answer to those people is, Rachel is the exception, not the rule. There is no justification for a woman or man to lose that much weight. I do not condone losing so much weight that you’re no longer healthy. I’m not a doctor, but I believe Rachel may have deep psychological issues that she needs to address with a professional.

I’m on my own weight-loss journey and I’ve been around a person obsessed with losing weight. I know the measures that person took to lose weight and they were not healthy. I can’t begin to imagine the lengths Rachel took to achieve her final look. I will use Rachel’s journey, not as an inspiration, but rather a warning of what can happen if I let myself get obsessed. Today I will weigh myself and I will be happy with my slow progress.

I hope little girls watching this show don’t think this is okay. No woman of average height (5’5) should weigh less than about 115-118 pounds. There’s so much to be learned from this and I hope that The Biggest Losers takes measures to ensure that something like this does not happen again. I’m of the mind that contestants that go below a healthy body mass should be automatically disqualified, but that’s just me.

I want to know what you think of all this. Did Rachel look fine? What do you think The Biggest Loser should do now? Will you stop watching the show? Let me know in the comments.

Until next time,

Carolina

Picture Sources: Here and here.

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About carolinafitness

Determined to succeed so that I can live the healthy and happy life that I know I'm capable of. Everything else there is to know about me will be aired in the blog with time.

14 responses »

  1. I wonder if Rachel has an obsessive personality. She pushed herself to swim. Then, she obsessed with food. Now, she’s come full circle and obsessed with dieting. I really like her. I hope that she focused on losing the weight to win the prize and plans on gaining some back.

    Reply
  2. I don’t watch the show because it always made me feel bad when I was losing just one pound a week. I think the focus on the show and the competition creates an unhealthy approach to it. But what doesn’t? If it works for some people I think that is great. I just never liked it because of how it made me feel about weight loss.

    Reply
  3. I totally agree with you and wonder if Biggest Loser will address it. I hadn’t watched for several seasons since the year with Conda because she was so mean. But I watched this year and they all seemed to get along and I enjoyed it until last night. I said to my mom that I sure hope that was only to win and that someone gets her some serious help if she thinks that is right. She did not look healthy at all.

    Reply
  4. I love the biggest loser too…but it´s because I feel skinny when I watch it! 😛

    Reply
  5. I believe that a show that equates weight as the sole determinant of health is wrong right from the start. Did you ever wonder why they don’t show former contestants very often? It’s because they gain the weight back, simple enough. Some bodies are predisposed to be fat, and the emphasis should be less on weight, and more on overall health. Of course, that wouldn’t get many viewers, since contemporary TV goes for the shock value, so they will parade fat people in front of the camera for viewers.
    Would I be concerned with someone who lost 59% of their body weight? I don’t think so, since it’s their body and not mine. Again, we should all strive for health. You can’t look at anyone on that show (whether it’s Rachel or any of the other contestants), and make a determination of their overall health. BUT, that’s what they do on the show, so it makes sense that when someone goes the “other way” and loses more than what was expected, the audience is going to concern troll on her behalf.
    This show should just go away, in my opinion.

    Reply
    • Completely agree!! This show does more damage and harm than it ever can help.

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    • I’m afraid I agree with “TheNatural54” here, having been someone who has lost the weight in biggest loser fashion. Slow and steady, focusing on your behaviors, learning about nutrition, and how to maintain and regulate the body are lessons people should be getting. Not who can lose the weight the fastest.

      Reply
  6. I don’t watch the show. I’m really trying not to think about weight loss so much. Like Lynda said yesterday, I want to think like a thin person. Reprogram my brain and I think blogging about weight loss and watching shows on it would work against that goal. I read once that the successful films made during the great depression were fantasy and horror films. They provided escape from the bleakness that was everyday life. It’s similar for me – I want escape from it when I relax for the night.

    Reply
  7. I can’t stand The Biggest Loser. I tried watching it once and knew it was wrong from the get go. Then, I did research and knew story after story, that this show not only pushes the wrong kind of weight loss, fast, unhealthy loss, but abuses the contestants. Person after person wrote stories about starvation on the show, being forced to exercise when injured for 4 or 5 hours!!! And those supposed wonderful trainers were right there watching it all. Let’s face it, anyone involved, working on the show only care about making money, they don’t care about people’s health or well being. This show is a fraud and only serves to harm people’s health. Sooner or later, someone’s going to get severely injured or worse.

    Reply
  8. As a certified personal trainer and fitness professional, I’m very vocal about my dislike for the show from both a professional and personal perspective. I won’t get into it here but my recent blog post “Stop the Fitness Insanity” lets my opinion be known.
    I think this is a perfect example of what can go wrong with a show like this. This woman is obviously not healthy both physically and emotionally. I think if the producers were responsible, they would’ve seen something was wrong and wouldn’t have showed her in this condition

    Reply
  9. I don’t have an issue with willing participants, so that’s not why I don’t like it. Sometimes I just need a break from thinking about weight loss and healthy eating. That would just remind me. (700)

    Reply
  10. I didn’t watch the show. But from what you described it does seem very troubling and has a very negative message to all of us trying to lose weight. We should have reasonable goals and focus and becoming healthier .

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  11. I thought she looked horrible!!!!

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  12. My thoughts are that she wanted to win. Maybe she had to prove something to herself that she could take that kind of control. I struggle myself with wanting to be thinner and thinner. I am s perfect weight now for my height. I’ve lost +130 lbs but want to go lower. Now, my love of food usually steps in and prevents that! lol I’m sure she will gain some of that back and be a good weight. I do think the Biggest Loser is an inspiration. 🙂

    Reply

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