'The Biggest Loser' winner Rachel Frederickson dodges "too skinny" questions
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/05/2014
Rachel Frederickson was crowned the fifteenth-season champion of The Biggest Loser during Tuesday night's live finale broadcast after she lost nearly 60 percent of her original body weight.
Rachel, a 5'5" 24-year-old voice-over artist from Los Angeles, CA, began the competition at 260 pounds and weighed-in at only 105 pounds during the finale -- giving her a 155-pound weight-loss that won her the show's $250,000 grand prize.
Her margin of loss was the highest percentage ever posted by any contestant in the history of The Biggest Loser. Because her new slimmed-down size 0/2 figure is so drastically thin, some viewers and former contestants have been questioning whether Rachel is now too skinny or maybe even struggling with an eating disorder.
During a media conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Rachel repeatedly dodged questions which attempted to ask her about such concerns and whether her current 105-pound weight is a healthy weight. Below are some highlights from the call.
Now, when you look in the mirror, what do you see?
Rachel Frederickson: Oh gosh, I just see a strong, confident woman, and you know, I feel great. I've never felt this great and it's very exciting.
Are you at your goal weight now?
Rachel Frederickson: You know, I am! I'm very excited to be in this next part of my journey as my body balances and it really kind of finds its rhythm in my own lifestyle. So I'm adding that to work. I've been working part-time for my voiceovers so I'm going back to full-time. I'm flitting around with the exercises I do and trying tons of new recipes.
So is your routine going to change after the finale?
Rachel Frederickson: It is yeah, you know, now I'm really in maintenance mode, so now it's going to be about finding either doing a yoga class this day or a spin class this day. I think I'm even going to try dance classes, because I don't have a lot of rhythm but I feel like it'd be a lot of fun to just add totally new things in.
After you left The Biggest Loser ranch, what did you do to reach your finale weight of 105 pounds?
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Rachel Frederickson: Sure, yeah. We go home -- we all head home after the ranch for, it's actually quite a long time. It's been three-and-a-half months.
And for me, I just continued to follow the support system that I had from The Biggest Loser -- [my trainer Dolvett Quince]'s plan, Doctor Cheryl's great nutritional advice, and I worked out a ton. So I just worked out, worked part-time, continued to eat super healthy, and now that I'm at maintenance, it's trying new things.
Do you believe you're at a healthy and sustainable weight now?
Rachel Frederickson: Yeah, you know, I think that I feel absolutely great. I've never felt this great before. I've officially found that proud, confident girl that I lost. I was an athletic national-level swimmer, and to have that athlete come back again, it's just truly an amazing feeling and I'm going to embrace the new me and continue this journey. And my body is going to balance and find its way with the new maintenance and it will be perfect.
I've talked to many The Biggest Loser winners who get extremely lean and down to the wire for the finale, but then as soon as the show's over, they start hitting the weights.
Rachel Frederickson: Sure!
What are your plans as far as body composition now that you won?
Rachel Frederickson: Yeah, of course. Well I am extremely proud of the way I lost the weight. I did everything so naturally and the athlete in me came back.
To just work extremely hard and eat healthy, I'm definitely going to continue on this path with the support of everyone at The Biggest Loser and make them proud while I'm in this maintenance mode of life now and finding balance with exercise and putting in work and eating. So absolutely I'm going to continue being healthy.
Obviously after the finale last night, there was a lot of talk online that you may be too skinny and have gone a little bit too far. What do you say to the people who have said this?
Rachel Frederickson: You know, I think I have been on this seven-and-a-half month journey on The Biggest Loser and I went to The Biggest Loser to find that confident girl again. I was that national-level athlete and I lost her and I missed her and, little by little, competition by competition, I saw her come out and I loved being in that triathlon and win that to be in the finale.
So I was very enthusiastic about the finale and I'm really excited about my life here going into maintenance mode. I'm going to try new exercises and continue on this path and see where it takes me -- finding that balance!
Were you able to see or talk to any of your trainers before the finale? It seemed like they weren't aware you had lost so much more weight at home. Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels were especially overwhelmed when they saw you.
Rachel Frederickson: Yeah, Dolvett was my trainer on the ranch and you don't see anyone -- no contestants -- so from the minute you walk through those doors, it's like, "Wow! Look at everyone's transformations!" It's truly overwhelming in the room anyways, and exciting, but then just to see everyone and how wonderful they look, it's just truly amazing.
There's been a lot of backlash on social media. A lot of people tweeting and stuff, saying that you've lost too much weight. How do you respond to that?
Rachel Frederickson: First and foremost, my goals are to be healthy and strong. I've been an athlete since I was a little girl. I went onThe Biggest Loser journey to find that confidence that I lost, and through the challenges and through the [triathlon] I fought through to get into the finale, I found that girl again.
And I'm embracing this new part of the journey and going into my life and balancing and adding more weight [workouts] and new exercises and truly just settling into the rhythm of my body, my life, my eating, and my exercise -- and creating a great lifestyle.
Some rumors are circulating that you might've developed an eating disorder in order to achieve the weight you're at now. What do you have to say about that?
Rachel Frederickson: Oh gosh, I didn't even see that! I feel like my journey on The Biggest Loser was my path and I followed the advice and has the support of the medical team at The Biggest Loser the entire journey. So it's just been natural and I've enjoyed every part of it. So I'm going to continue on that path and maintain this healthy lifestyle and just really enjoy this new life.
There has been a lot of talk about your drastic weight-loss and I feel we've been dancing around the subject. So could you please directly address the question of whether you've lost too much weight?
Rachel Frederickson: I think that with my journey, I truly found the person I want to be, so it's about the lifestyle for me. And now, adding in the maintenance lifestyle of adding work and finding the balance and adjusting the exercising, I think that this is all going to become a rhythm and it's going to be just so exciting.
Like I said, I never felt this great and I know I'm going to feel ever better, because this life is just so open to me and I can't wait to take charge, because that's what I gained back. It's confidence, it's assuredness of myself to just take charge and conquer this life.
I understand that, but do you think you've gone too far with the weight-loss at this point?
Rachel Frederickson: Um, I have had support systems in place the entire time I was on The Biggest Loser. We are given a calorie budget and I stuck to that. I've done lots of working out and the finale was very enthusiastic.
I won the triathlon to get into it, and now it's about how you're kind of on that pendulum swing and finding that balance. I went to an extremely heavy weight and now it's about finding that balance in my lifestyle and just maintaining this active, healthy, strong person that has come out through this whole seven-and-a-half month journey.
What was your daily schedule like once you got home from the ranch, leading up to the big finale? What was your day by day routine?
Rachel Frederickson: Sure, well, I work out really hard. So I'm a freelance voiceover artist, so I audition throughout the day. I actually have a walking treadmill that I can edit while I work out. While I'm working, I can be on my treadmill.
I followedThe Biggest Loser exercise and healthy eating routine, so I actually eat five times a day because it's better for your metabolism. I eat a protein in every meal, and then when I had down time, my butt was in the gym!
I was on the spin bike, I was at the exercise classes, I was swimming in the pool, and just connecting, too, with all the people in the classes -- which was my favorite part. I hid myself so much, so to be able to go to these classes and make connections with the motivation in the room, that was the best part about all of it.
Could you elaborate on your workout routine a little bit more, like how many hours a day were you pushing yourself leading up to the finale?
Rachel Frederickson: When I'm walking and I'm working on my treadmill, I work kind of all day. So, I'm walking or I'm standing. Before, if you saw my casting video, I was sitting and eating candy bars, so I put that stool on the treadmill. So now I've actually gotten good at dusting off and some work, and then I would take maybe three or four classes a day and just really have fun with all the people in the room.
It was pretty cool! I'd be in Zumba and then I'd be going to spin class, and actually, I never used to like running. And so now, I really like running. So I've been out running and I even went home over the holidays to Minnesota and I went running outside. I don't know how they do it because they get all those ice crystals on your eyelashes, and I'm like, "I don't know, it's too cold! I'm already a freeze bunny there."
That is a lot of exercise in one day though! Impressive.
Rachel Frederickson: Yeah, thank you. I just continued to do the same kind of exercises that we had at the ranch and continued to work out.
Did you have a certain number of calories you were trying to stay under every day for your diet?
Rachel Frederickson: Yeah, you know, I ate 1,600 calories. That's what my budget was from the support system that I had at The Biggest Loser. So they give us our calorie budget.