Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Biggest Loser Finale - Season 15

I still enjoy watching The Biggest Loser.  Season 13 drove me nuts with the whiny contestants and the people who walked out when they did what thy do every year - and give people who got voted out the chance to come back.  Other than that I have enjoyed the show.

This year had quite a few people that I was rooting for all season long.  That included the winner Rachel Frederickson.  But I do have one issue.

At the finale she weighed in at 105 pounds.  It was the biggest percentage of weight loss in a season at 59.60% (she started at 260 pounds).  My problem is that this final weight put her BMI into the underweight zone.  She looked unhealthy at the finale.  Her arms, face and neck were so thin that it made me think of anorexic Karen Carpenter.

If you look up the healthy BMI range for a 5'4" woman (like Rachel) - the lowest is anywhere from 108 to 117 pounds.  I tend to turn to Weight Watchers that has 114 pounds as the lowest weight for a small framed woman.

If you looked at the weight loss for the other two members of the final three - Rachel could have ended up at 118 pounds and still been declared the winner.  I think with an extra ten pounds or so she would have looked much better. 

My hope is that now that she has won she will find balance and gain back 10 to 20 pounds (I think she looked awesome at makeover week - at 155, and when she left the ranch at 151 she was almost at a healthy BMI).

I also thought that past winners Olivia Ward (Season 11, BMI of 19.5) and Helen Phillips (Season 7, BMI of 18.9) were very thin at the finale.  Still, it was not as drastic looking as Rachel.

Obesity is definitely a real problem in our society (here in Canada and in the US), I know as my BMI is in the Obese range.  What I don't want is young girls and woman to see Rachel and think that they need to be that thin to be healthy.

My goal weight of 165 pounds would put me at a BMI of 24.  This would be the high end of the scale, but perfectly acceptable to me.  I am proud of the fact that I have gone from a BMI of over 46 to a BMI of just over 39.  I am working towards weighing 200 pounds, which would put me down to the overweight category.

I would want the producers of the show to address this, but most likely they will just brush it off.  They should take the opportunity to discuss healthy weight loss and weight goals.  And as of this morning there was just a statement from NBC about support and healthy weight loss blah, blah blah.  I like that Dolvett said that Rachel's journey has not ended yet.

I know that the weight loss on The Biggest Loser is not realistic.  No one has time to workout about 6 hours a day, let alone the energy to do it on such a restricted diet.  The weight loss over the 6-7 months that the contestants are filming the show is harsh, and no one should lose 40 to 50% of their body weight in such a small amount of time.  But this just makes me question how closely the doctors are working with the contestants after they leave the ranch.

I don't think we need to attack Rachel and each other about our opinions on the matter (such as been happening on Twitter since the finale aired).  We just need to recognize that her end weight is not healthy, and hope that in the long run she stays within the healthy weight range for her age and height. 


  1. Like you said, I hope she finds a balance. I think she took it to the extreme but 250k could make you do drastic things.

  2. I read today that she is actually 5'5", my height! I can't imagine weighing 105 and don't think I have since jr. high. She says she works out up to 4 times a day and eats 5 small meals a day. I do hope she gets up to a healthy weight and maintains it.

  3. In addition to my views on my blog, I agree with your comments too. I think one of the underlying issues with all weight-loss shows/programs is that we focus on the weight loss, but not the *after*. As if the final weight is the end goal and that life stops after that. Some people cope better than others. Some never leave the "I must lose weight" mode....sadly.

  4. This is unrelated to your blog post, but I keep meaning to tell you how great you look. The last couple times I've seen you in person, you've just GLOWED. Keep on keepin' on.