**this post contains content that may be a trigger for anyone recovering from an eating disorder…if you yourself can relate, or know that numbers and images are extremely difficult for you to handle, please pass over this post and stop back tomorrow**
Whether or not you watch NBC’s The Biggest Loser, I’m guessing that by now you’ve heard of the controversy surround Tuesday night’s season finale episode.
The grand prize ($250,000) winner was 23-year-old Rachel Frederickson.
(from Minnesota, whoo!)
Rachel had an awesome journey, and it was really great to watch her build confidence and strength (both physically and mentally) throughout season 15.
There was nothing controversial about her until the live finale show.
Rachel started the show at 260 pounds, and at the finale show weigh-in, she had dropped down to 105 pounds, resulting in a nearly 60% drop.
If you’re interested in watching the episode (skip to the end for Rachel’s part), you can watch it HERE for free.
I really aim to be non-judgmental about how someone looks and how that relates to their health, so I want to say that this post is not out of judgment, but rather stems from pure concern.
As I watched the episode on Hulu last night (we don’t have cable anymore so I saw it a day late), I couldn’t help but feel a queasiness in the pit of my stomach. And the reactions from Bob and Jillian when Rachel walked out?
If you ask me, their faces express concern as well – unlike the usual giddy excitement when contestants are revealed at the finale.
The awkward silences that ensued once Rachel was out on the stage were enough to make me want to cry, too.
I know that the ultimate goal of The Biggest Loser is to change people’s lives and to make them healthier and happier. I don’t love that they focus on numbers – that’s an effective tool for people who are very overweight or obese, but they don’t tell all – and I’m not a fan of the cheesy, less-than-ideal food sponsors the show so openly promotes (I mean, the news about Subway wasn’t exactly a surprise). But yes, I do believe in the ultimate goal of getting healthy and staying healthy.
I don’t like numbers, as many of you know, but since The Biggest Loser stresses them, I’m going to discuss them for minute….
okay, so here goes…
I’m 5’5″, and last summer, I weighed in at 115 pounds.
At this point in my life, I felt fine, I was loving running and covering a lot of mileage each week, no one ever said a thing about my appearance except for very rare compliments, BUT I wasn’t getting a period, and I was dealing with other hormonal imbalance issues on a daily basis.
I’m currently going through recovery, and am now weighing in at about 125 pounds, but still have yet to obtain a ‘regular cycle.’ I’m also continuing to struggle with hormonal imbalance (caused by more than just my weight though, of course).
Rachel Frederickson is 5’4″ and now weighs 105 pounds.
And more than the amount of weight she lost, it’s the short amount of time that she lost it in that’s a factor in this as well.
I know that every. single. body. is different. So I really don’t know! Maybe this is the weight that her body is going to thrive at! I honestly hope that she’s found that “set weight”/sweet spot.
But my concern is that, what if it isn’t her thriving weight?
Did she take the weightloss too far?
And if so, who let her do that?
I know that she was “on her own” for the past 2 months, but all of her weightloss, according to Rachel and the network show, is closely monitored by a professional team. So if she is now below a healthy weight, did the show fail her? Is she now going to have to overcome disordered eating from the other end of the spectrum??
I really hope not. I really hope she’s okay – her confidence shines through so brightly, which is so beautiful – so I hope that her body is being truly taken care of. I can’t help but wonder, is there someone there for her now that will help her find and maintain a truly healthy balance??
I feel bad for Rachel, that her body is under so much scrutiny (and yes, I understand that I’m now part of that attentive group).
But do you know what else I’m upset about? Why the show really let this happen in the first place.
If Rachel is now underweight, why was that okay to air on a show that’s supposed to show America how to become healthy?
Less is not always better, and if health is the priority here, then something needs to be fixed in their program. All of those contestants deserve direction to find their own, personal, healthy balance – and I’m not just talking about their weight anymore either.
I’m starting to ramble…I just have so many thoughts on this!!
what’s your opinion of this whole situation?