Rachel Frederickson lost 155 pounds in a little over four and a half months on the 15th season of the reality weight loss show "The Biggest Loser." Despite her success, she has detractors, including two of the show's previous winners.
The 24-year-old originally from St. Paul, Minn., weighed in at 105 pounds during Tuesday night's finale, having started the season at 260 pounds. Frederickson won $250,000 for being this season's "Biggest Loser," having apparently been motived to lose 59.62 percent of her body weight after a bad breakup.
"I just love myself and I am embracing it," Frederickson told People magazine
on Tuesday night.
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"I am extremely proud of the way I lost the weight on the show," Frederickson added in a conference call on Wednesday, the New York Daily News reported
Despite Frederickson's remarks about losing weight in a healthy way, there were numerous detractors, including two former "Biggest Loser" contestants, who took to social media to share their opinion that her transformation was too much too fast.
"I thought she was shockingly skinny," Nicole Michalik, who was featured on season 4 of "The Biggest Loser," wrote on Twitter. "You could see her bones."
Season 13 finalist Kim Nielsen similarly posted on Twitter that she was so disturbed after seeing Frederickson's transformation that she had difficulty sleeping, the New York Daily News noted.
"And I thought I was too skinny at 'The Biggest Loser' finale," Nielsen wrote on Twitter. "That was ridiculous!"
Perhaps the most telling reaction to Frederickson's dramatic weight loss was in the faces of "Biggest Loser" trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper.
The following day, Michaels and Harper issued a joint statement on Facebook.
"So here it is," Michaels wrote on her Facebook page. "Bob and I want to take a moment to congratulate all of the BL contestants on their hard work. We're not comfortable commenting on Rachel's journey because weren't her trainers and weren't given an opportunity to work with her at any point. Any questions about the contestants on the Biggest Loser should be directed to the show's producers."
Frederickson's trainer, Dolvett Quince, has yet to publicly weigh in on the weight loss.
In response to the budding controversy, NBC released a joint statement with the show's production company Shine America.
"We support Rachel and all of The Biggest Loser contestants who have shared their journeys over the past 15 seasons," the statement read. "We remain committed to helping contestants achieve healthy weight loss and live healthier lifestyles, and to inspiring viewers to do the same."
In her interview with People magazine, Frederickson would not say how many calories she had been digesting on a daily basis to achieve her tremendous weight loss, only that she is currently "in maintenance mode now so it is just balancing it with life and making sure that I work out and eat right and healthy and make good choices."
"I came here to gain back my life and I did exactly that," Frederickson added.
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