Replacing one eating disorder with another

Y’all am I the only one in a bad place about the Biggest Loser Finale last night? That poor Rachel Fredrickson.

I think Bob and Jillian’s face summed it up perfectly when they saw her for the first time:


That’s a stank face and a half there. Shock, horror, disgust. Jillian even mouths, “Oh My God” and not in the good way.

I mean, sweet Jesus…look at this poor girl. Her eyes are sunken, her cheeks are hollow and she has no muscle. She’s all bone. It’s heart breaking.


For God’s sake – she’s so damn frail she fell up the stairs…


My heart breaks for this now underweight girl. Her BMI is now 18. She’s 5’4″ and 105lbs. You can’t tell me she looks healthy. Screw looking good – she looks sickly. She looks like she replaced one eating disorder for another. It really does break my heart.

As quickly as I want to say, “shame on Biggest Loser” I also realize something went terribly awry for Rachel when she got home. The trainers weren’t impressed. In fact, their look of horror and disgust and an overall “wtf” said what I think most of us were thinking.

Her TBL weigh ins weekly were good. She left the Semi Finale weighing 150. She lost about 7 pounds a week while she was at the ranch. In a world of nothing but diet and exercise and there being no real life to contend to that’s doable, I guess. No family or work distractions. You’re in the “cult mentality.” It’s crazy, but doable. This bitch went home and continued to lose about 4lbs a week for the next 3 months. That’s the insane part. The unhealthy part. I’m not being a hater, it’s straight up science – the thinner you are the harder it is to lose weight. The weight flies off of your when you initially change your lifestyle. The more to lose, the easier it is. She went home only 5lbs overweight. So, losing was bound to get harder. Especially pulling numbers like 4lbs a week. Hell – I RARELY lost 4lbs a week at my best.

Let’s do some math:
She’s 5’4″, 150lbs.
Her BMR is 1417 calories a day.
She lost an average of 4lbs a week when she got home.
She had to have cut/burn AT LEAST 2000 calories a day. A DAY. So, let’s say she ate 1417 calories a day and then burned her 2000…

She’d basically have to run a marathon a day – A DAY, PEOPLE – in about 4 hours while maintaining a 1400’ish calorie diet.

Oh – all in 12 weeks. You can’t tell me that’s healthy. I stand by my statement that she replaced one eating disorder with another.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching TBL for the fun of it; however, I also understand that it’s not realistic for anyone not living on a fat camp working out 8-10 hours a day, eating 800 calories. It’s not a good show for people that are easily influenced or have unrealistic goals. It’s a terrible example for children and doesn’t address the mental health aspect that often accompanies drastic weight loss. With all that being said, it probably wasn’t good for Rachel. She may have won the money, but I wonder how much counseling she needs.

23 thoughts on “Replacing one eating disorder with another

  1. Thank you for posting this. I followed Danni last year and was so happy for her win. This finale however left me feeling queasy. I can see how easy it is to become wrapped up in the weight loss… in one way its almost replacing one addiction for another, isn’t it?

  2. That’s just it – they never learn how to hold a job, raise a family, and function while losing weight at the same time. So they just trade one addiction for another.

  3. Wow this is certainly sad to see.. But maybe you are right. People that go col turkey on something usually replace their first addiction for another. People stop smoking and start eating. People stop doing drugs but start doing alcohol or start to gamble. Maybe the fact that she had so much control over her own body for maybe the first time in her life was just too much for her and she was way in over her head. Very, very sad..


    I’m so glad that Bob and Jillian had reactions the way they did. I also hope that after the show was done filming that they were able to pull her aside and tell her that she needs to gain some of the weight back. Great you won the show, but do you realize how much you have already hurt yourself?

  5. What are they supposed to say. She won the contest fair and square. She lost the most % of body weight. To my knowledge, there is nothing in the rules that says that you don’t become sickly looking ( because that is subjective ). It’s all in the numbers.

    If I remember right, Ali, from one of the earlier seasons said she lost about 15 pounds more than she wanted to just to win the contest, then put that weight back on to be at a controllable and maintainable weight. One can only HOPE that this girl only did the same thing.

  6. Millions of people watch this show. The winner needs to be someone who went from overweight and unhealthy to a healthy weight. The point of the program is to show that attaining a healthy weight is doable but not through starvation. The girl looks like skin and bones. No, I can’t look at a person and tell if they are healthy, but I know a skeleton when I see it. Her winning will promote that this is a healthy way to lose weight. I’m hoping the trainers speak out on this. Silence isn’t an option.

  7. PREACH! I could not agree more. I can tell that her eyes are sunken, her cheek bones are prominent and for a show that spends HOURS on weight training – she has no visible muscle definition in her arms.

  8. RO – Some people are more than capable of beating an addiction. That “addicts will replace one addiction for another” belief is fueled by the ignorance of those who have zero experience with addiction.

  9. I don’t watch this show, but I’ve seen articles about this today and the photos. She does not look good. I remember when I lost down to 119 once (I’m also 5’4″) and it was so hard to maintain.

    I also think she really had to restrict calories to lose so much weight in that period of time. When I lost down to 119 it took be months to get from the 140s down to the mid-120s (and I was doing normally exercise). Then I had jaw surgery and couldn’t eat solid food for several weeks which is how I got down to 119 (my goal weight was 125). That isn’t something I really recommend and, of course, I couldn’t maintain it once I went back to eating real food.

  10. I JUST finished watching the finale. When Rachel walked out I felt ill both mentally and physically. During commercials I almost cried. They showed her story before she came out and she looked so strong… Then when she walked out she looked like she could break in half so easily.

    I contemplated my own issues because I’m 5’2″ and I got down to 105 pounds at one point (I’m closer to 120 now, thank god) – I wasn’t suffering from an eating disorder but I wasn’t exactly at a healthy weight either. I felt weak. I didn’t stop to think about how I looked, so seeing her walk out and get weighed in like that hit close to home.

    I was reading some Facebook comments about it on Jillian Michaels and had a hard time reading some of the responses from people who didn’t see the problem and thought she looked “good”. I assume they meant healthy when they said that. It bothered me. I hope Rachel is ok in the end.

  11. Pingback: Day 146: “The Biggest Loser” does some more damage | Yankee Girl Gets Fit

  12. I had hoped she had only gone to extremes to win. Money can make you do crazy things. But I read an interview with her where she stated that 105 had always been her goal, and that she was looking forward to maintaining at that in the future. REALLY?!?! Being a fellow swimmer I highly doubt the girl could even get through a swimming event right now, she’s totally eaten away at all her amazing muscle. Tumi was the real female star of last night, she deserved the At-Home.

  13. Yeah, I thought maybe initially that she was trying to just go super low to win, but also heard that she said she was at her maintenance weight and 105 was her goal. She looked SO healthy when she was swimming before. She doesn’t have that build now. Tumi looked INCREDIBLE!

  14. Melissa, having quite a bit of experience with addiction – many people that struggle with addiction do so because they have “addictive personalities.” It’s very easy to fixate on something else instead of addressing the issue you are working to resolve. I 100% believe that I replaced one addiction with another initially and I am just now working to change that. I went from binge eating and no exercise to extreme calorie restriction and insane exercise. I never dealt with the mental issues or how to actually deal with food/exercise in a non extreme way until recently. Just my two pennies. 🙂

  15. I was reading her comments about following a natural plan set out by the BL nutritionists. I wonder if they educated their contestants about how low is too low. It’s pretty crazy to think that they never had rules about that, but at the same time I’m not surprised because I’m pretty sure they are in it for getting viewers more than caring about the health of the contestants.

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