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.
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,