2014 Biggest Loser Finale: Is the show going too far?
I was so excited to watch the season finale of one of my favorite television shows, "The Biggest Loser". It may not be as popular with my friends as "The Following" or "Breaking Bad", but I've watched this show since it started when I was 12 and was always inspired by the stories.
I flicked it on and was immediately hooked by the "at home" contestants, who were eliminated from the show but were still in the running for $100,000 after continuing to lose weight at home. It was so great seeing how far they had progressed.
Then it came to the three finalists. Bobby and David came on and everyone was so impressed, including the trainers, who hadn't seen the finalists since the regular taping ended (the finale is live). Bobby and David looked amazing. David was one of my favorites as he had overcome so much with his first wife passing away and his being so dedicated to his daughters.
And then came out Rachel. I was really impressed with her during the show because of her drive. She had been an athlete before and I could see that determine coming out again.
But when I saw her coming out on stage, I know I was not the only one who had a sick feeling in my stomach. She was so so thin that she looked sickly. I noticed it right away and I couldn't look away, hoping that maybe I had caught a bad angle of her and maybe she hadn't lost THAT much weight.
But she did. When she weighed in she had lost 59% of her original body weight - at at 5'4" she now weighed 105 pounds. I am 5'4" and I while I hover between 115 and 120, I honestly feel fantastic. I really couldn't imagine losing another 10-15 pounds.
But that's the thing...
I DO know what it's like to weigh less than 115 pounds at my height. About 8 years ago when I started college, I was basically anorexic. I lost a lot of weight in a short amount of time and thought it was okay because a lot of other people were doing it in college too.
Or at least I thought they were. My perspective was totally warped. I saw people working out and eating better than I was used to, and I took it to the extreme while most everyone else had a good balance. As a result, I lost so much weight that I was getting bad grades and losing focus. I forced people around me to eat in my presence so I would feel better about myself, and I wasn't fun to be around. I didn't lose so much weight to look like a skeleton, but I actually lost my period because I was so thin and my body knew it wasn't natural. My mom was freaking out and called the doctor - thank goodness I had her looking after me.
Is Rachel too thin?
So when I saw Rachel walk out on that stage, so many things were running through my mind.
"Does she know she looks sick? I know she thinks she looks great, but someone needs to tell her."
"Why does her family look so happy in the audience? Don't they know this is too much?"
"When is someone going to say something to her?"
I was relieved when the camera panned to Jillian and Bob and I saw the shocked and horrified looks on their faces. Jillian mouthed "Oh my God" and neither smiled. I know they know it was too much and was glad that they were aware and not trying to make these contestants as small as possible. When Rachel left the taping she looked so much better and healthier, and that was the last the trainers had seen of her. They had no intention of this happening. I have never seen it happen (admittedly I haven't seen many of the last few seasons when I didn't have TV and when I had night classes).
So now what?
I'm hoping NBC issues a statement that this drastic weight loss is not healthy and that "The Biggest Loser" does not condone this, and that they are going to help Rachel however they can.
I certainly didn't expect anyone to stop the show and say, "Whoa, this isn't right, Rachel is too thin and she shouldn't win!" What I was hoping for was that someone, Jillian or Bob or someone, would say during a break that maybe something should be said on air not to humiliate Rachel but to point out the importance of losing weight in a healthy way. But since the show is live I'm sure no one was sure what to do at that moment. It was one of the least exciting winning celebrations when the confetti fell down. I was honestly disgusted.
I'm keeping my eye out for statements from NBC or from Jillian or Bob. I was disappointed when after the camera panned to them and we all saw their horror, that it looked like they were enjoying themselves again. And on the Biggest Loser website, there on the main page is a huge picture of Rachel saying "Congratulations" (see photo at top of page). I wish they would downplay it, even though I know she worked hard to win. I really hope they say something not to save their image and keep fans like myself, but to show the public and other people who could be susceptible to an eating disorder that this should not be celebrated - this is not healthy.
I was glad to see after I finished watching the finale that there were a lot of others online who felt the same way. I knew I needed to post as well on this.
I don't think Rachel deserves to be humiliated over this. I definitely know what it's like to get wrapped up in the glory of losing weight and to really feed off the energy people give when they say, "Wow, you look great!" Especially when you're on a television show where the whole point is to lose weight for a better life. I hope to goodness that no one is telling Rachel that now - nothing makes me more upset that when I see someone complimenting someone who is way too thin (that's when I step in). Clearly being bigger really affected Rachel in a negative way and she will do anything to keep from going back to that lifestyle, but this is not the way.
Rachel, you've got so much ahead of you and there are people who can help, or people who are willing to talk about it if you want to, including me. Don't be afraid to reach out - that's what I had to do.
- Biggest Loser Finale: What Happened to Rachel? | BlogHer
- 'Biggest Loser': Uproar as winner appears 'too thin' at 105 pounds - latimes.com
'The Biggest Loser' is facing a backlash after fears that Season 15 winner Rachel Frederickson went too far in dieting her way down to 105 pounds.
- 'Biggest Loser' season 15 finale recap: Rachel drops to 105 pounds for the win - National w
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- AOL.com Article - Did 'Biggest Loser' Rachel Frederickson lose too much weight?
Article - Did 'Biggest Loser' Rachel Frederickson lose too much weight?
- Free BMI Calculator - BMI Calculation
Use this free BMI calculator to calculate your BMI index. Simply put in your height and weight, and we'll do your BMI calculation.
- Anorexia nervosa - National Library of Medicine - PubMed Health
Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that makes people lose more weight than is considered healthy for their age and height.
- Anorexia Nervosa - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment for Anorexia
Anorexia is one of the most common eating disorders.
- National Eating Disorders Association
- The Biggest Loser | NBC
Fifteen inspiring contestants, including the show's first celebrity player, Ruben Studdard, an uplifting "Second Chances" theme, and fun, new creative elements ignite Season 15 of NBC's popular series "The Biggest Loser," premiering Tuesday, October