It’s the time of year when you’re likely to be indulging in lots of rich food and calorie laden drinks. Advertisements illustrating incredible before and after transformation photos hope to snare motivated dieters looking for radical results and drastic weight loss.
And what better example of drastic weight loss than the winner of the Biggest Loser, Rachel Frederickson. During the finale in February, Frederickson stood next to an old version of herself and literally left fans and the trainers gobsmacked.
I don’t care what people say about her being unhealthy, very inspired of her weight loss: http://t.co/bMMeDAh5qb
— Smithy (@feelingsmithy) February 7, 2014
At the start of the show, she weighed in at 260 lbs. By the end of her journey, Frederickson had lost 155 lbs and her skeletal frame registered only 105 lbs on the scales. Trainer, Jillian Michaels was extremely concerned, intimating that something happened in the break between filming at the ranch and the season 15 finale.
“Nobody told me, like, ‘Oh, hey, Rachel is very, very thin.’ Bob [Harper] and I had no idea. Nobody had told us. Nobody had said anything to us. So yes, I was stunned. Obviously, I thought she had lost too much weight. I was immediately concerned and wondering how this happened.”
The backlash and search for answers to such an unbelievable weight loss transformation was immediate. Is such drastic weight loss in a reasonably short time frame healthy? Is it achievable without resorting to dangerous methods? And more worryingly, is it an obvious sign of an eating disorder?
— Stacie (@SparksinKY) February 5, 2014
Michaels believes that Frederickson’s weight loss is a manifestation of the same emotional issues that caused her to previously gain so much weight.
“With that said, anybody who gains too much weight or loses too much weight, ironically these are manifestations of the same issue,” she claims. “It simply means that somebody is utilizing their relationship with food to manage emotions that are painful, hard, difficult to face or control.”
After the show finished, Rachel’s trainer, Dolvett Quince, issued a telling statement that appeared to acknowledge others’ concerns about the effects that such drastic weight loss might have on her health and of how she arrived at that point.
“Rachel’s health is and always has been my main concern and her journey to good health has not yet ended!!”
But what does this tell us of the mindset required to achieve abnormal levels of weight loss? Was Rachel Frederickson’s drastic transformation the result of a fired-up contestant being just “a little too enthusiastic?” Or was she harboring an eating disorder that meant she literally starved herself down to her new weight? Either way, the subsequent negative reaction to her incredible weight loss opened up old wounds.
“The comments were hurtful and people tried to bring me down and succeeded.”
As you’re about to embark on your New Year’s diet, will you be using Frederickson’s astonishing, drastic weight loss as inspiration? Or do you regard her transformation to be the result of dangerous and unhealthy habits, fueled by the same emotional issues that landed her on the show in the first place?