Another Biggest Loser season has come to a close, and this one is not without controversy. Last night, Rachel Frederickson was crowned the winner of the competition, after losing 155 pounds, or 60 percent of her body weight (a record for the show). While Rachel celebrated winning the $250,000 grand prize, many in the audience were criticizing her current weight of 105 pounds, down from 260 at the start of the competition, saying her low weight and high-percentage weight loss was too unhealthy.
Rachel, 24, a former competitive swimmer, started the show with a compelling story. After receiving a full college scholarship (and being in "the best shape of her life"), she gave it all up to follow her then-boyfriend to Europe. But when the relationship failed, Rachel ended up 100 pounds heavier as the years went on. She joined Biggest Loser in part, she said, because she was too embarrassed to face her family again after gaining so much weight.
When Rachel debuted her brand-new body at last night's finale, many were shocked to see her size 0/2 frame — down from size 20 when she started the show. At 5'4", the National Institutes of Health puts her body mass index (BMI) at 18, which falls in the underweight category; anything 18.5-24.9 is considered normal weight. However, keep in mind that BMI is not the most accurate way to measure how healthy you are. It doesn't, for example, take into account things like body fat percentage, where you carry your fat, and how much muscle you have.
While some may say Rachel's slight frame and surprising transformation is sending the wrong message, Rachel herself says that her new weight has given her confidence and control over her life. "I feel so wonderful. What a life-changing experience," she said after winning the competition. "Not only have I gotten the athlete back, but I've gotten this inner strength and this confident girl back."
What do you think about Rachel's 155-pound transformation?