Biggest Loser Gone Too Far?

Finale spoiler alert!

I have documented my issues with The Biggest Loser here over the years. In short, I auditioned twice and when I didn’t get on, I thought my life was over and it was the only way that someone like me (over 450 pounds) had a shot to lose weight. I thought in order to lose it I’d need to work out for several hours a day until I puked and eat 1,200 calories. Sure, I identify with the stories of the contestants, and their change is inspiring. But the way the show goes about grinding the contestants down for hours at a time just sets up an unrealistic picture of what needs to be done to lose weight. It celebrates extreme weight losses, where if people don’t hit a double digit loss for a week, they’re disappointed.

I’ve been watching off and on this season even though I swore I wouldn’t. I wanted some sort of kick in the pants, and I really liked the contestants this season. They weren’t game players and had wonderful stories of triumph. Then I watched makeover week a couple weeks ago and just felt like crap about myself. These people had transformed physically so much in a matter of a few months, and I am still rolling around the same range on the scale. Then I have to pull myself out of it and tell myself that it’s not about comparison (they’re so right – comparison is the thief of joy.)

For tonight’s finale, I watched in awe (and with a little jealousy) of the transformations. Then we got to the final 3 contestants who were vying for the grand prize. Bobby came out and he quipped that he has thought about the other contestants  and their potential progress way too much. He then said on the scale that he never wanted to weigh again. Both of these might have had funny intent, but it speaks to disordered thinking that comes into play when you’re trying to lose weight for $250K. You’re thinking about the scale number, not a healthy, strong body.

When Rachel came out, I audibly gasped:

Rachel Biggest LoserPhoto used with permission from http://instagram.com/melbjork

At the end of her time on the ranch, she had won the triathlon and looked completely healthy, radiant, and strong. Tonight, she looked like she aged 15 years and was so tiny. She tripped going up the stairs to the scale, which I hope was just nerves and not being sick.

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Photo courtesy of instagram.com/brandyherigon

2ff1e2c48e1e11e3bdd90eae283a0c82_8Photo courtesy of http://instagram.com/melbjork

Rachel started the journey at 260 pounds on her reported 5’4 frame. She lost 155 pounds to end up at 105 pounds. This is a BMI (the Biggest Loser’s measure of obesity) of 18, which is underweight (18.5 and under). Jillian and Bob looked shock, and it was a weird celebration as confetti rained down on her.

Biggest Loser talks about the obesity epidemic and how we have to fix it. (I call it the “save the fatties!” mission.) But then they roll out the winner of this season who appears to have gone to extremes to lose the weight needed to win. It’s the complete opposite of promoting health and wellness – it’s strictly rewarding whomever has the lowest weight – no matter if it’s dangerously low or not. She got the $250K prize, so mission accomplished, I suppose. Funny – I thought the mission was to get healthy.

I hope that Rachel is healthy and that the dehydration and starvation most contestants do before the finale can get remedied even at tonight’s after party. Going from one extreme to another so quickly just seems so dangerous.

We should all focus on being our best selves, healthy and vibrant in our own way, despite what the scale says. Your weight is not your worth, no matter what The Biggest Loser says.

  • Gryph

    I was watching tonight and I was SHOCKED and disappinted. I had been cheering for Rachel to win because she had worked so hard and seeme dto be genuinely striving for strength and health. This reminded me, sadly, of Tara’s season. Tara looked healthy at fit at the finale and lost to Helen who looked on the edge of starvation. So disappointing.

  • Stephanie @AthleteAtHeart

    I agree, Rachel looked really really skinny tonight. Almost too much so. However, I don’t want to be quick to judge either. We agree BMI is not a good measure for overweight people, so we have to agree it isn’t for potentially underweight people either. And she has the mentality and in the past and now, the body of an elite athlete. That looks different on different people. People can say the same of Olympics swimmers or gymnasts (post-puberty). I don’t disagree with the show promoting some disordered thinking. It does. I hope she is happy and in a healthy place for her, no matter what that looks like to us.

    • http://www.authenticallyemmie.com/ Emily Sandford

      Yes Stephanie, I agree with you. I hope she’s happy and healthy as well. Just such a shock.

    • Vivi E.

      Nooo… I have friends in treatment and recovery for anorexia (believe it or not, we have a lot in common! We all try to control our lives through food). Being under weight is actually a more dangerous sign of poor health and can require immediate intervention (including IV fluids… and sometimes a feeding tube). I’m not a doctor… and judging this woman’s health is way above my pay grade. I just want everyone to understand that the immediate dangers of dehydration mixed with anorexia are more dangerous than the long term health risks of obesity. Rapid weight loss mixed with malnutrition can lead to bone deterioration and irreversible heart damage.

      My husband and I have a model friend who hated how many people told her to “eat a cheeseburger” and threatened to throw Twinkies at her. She said “I’m just naturally thin”. About six months ago… she said ” I’m SO TIRED of people telling me I’m anorexic! Look, I just don’t like food. It’s gross. I don’t enjoy eating.” through her social networking page. And, that was when she realized “Oh shit. I am sick! I’m actually anorexic, you guys!” She went on hiatus from modeling and got in touch with her family for help.
      Anorexia wasn’t something that she decided to do (a lot of people think that eating disorders are a choice… whether over-eating or limiting food. They are a choice… but, not always a conscious one. Most people don’t decide “I’m going to get REALLY fat! To the point where I can’t breathe or fit in a car!” or “I am going to starve myself until you can see my heart beating between my ribs!”… they just end up there! It isn’t a life goal… it’s an unfortunate destination). She didn’t set out to starve herself. She earnestly didn’t realize that she had a problem.
      So, she went into treatment. And, she gained some weight and got some therapy. Now that she’s modeling again… people are talking about her body and how good it looks (which is well meaning… but, also a trigger for her).
      Her modeling is ON POINT. Her art is expressive. Her lines and emotion are breathtaking! But, people… talk about her body… like it’s all she has to offer.

      We need to stop talking about how everyone’s bodies look all the fucking time. We’re obsessed with it! We feel entitled to talk about it… we make it more acceptable by parading it around in the guise of a health issue (which is invasive and inappropriate! there are other health conditions that we do not feel so entitled to comment on! Why is body size so special?). This show doesn’t help that social sickness (I’ve only ever watched one episode… and felt icky about the whole thing).

      It isn’t OUR place to shame other people (thin, fat or average sized).
      We need to stop being so obsessed with telling people how healthy or attractive we think they are. It’s as though the media has become one big game of “HOT OR NOT” or “FUCK OR PASS”.

      I have no idea how to fix the problem. I just see the issue.

    • Dan Mac

      She certainly didn’t look like an elite athlete at all – there was no muscle left on her! She looked great a few weeks ago after she did the triathlon. What happened?

      • Jeremy

        You are blind.

        • nely

          Jeremy, she looked terrible and you are part of the reason people have negative self images. Even her doctor said on the triatholon epidode that she was within 5 percent body fat of an Olympic athlete. She was 19% when he said that. She had nothing to prove.

  • MilaXX

    I have never watched TBL other than a few brief moments at a time. I have heard confession stories of the extremes some of the contestants go to in order to lose weight. I also don’t enjoy seeing people yelled at and berated as a “motivation” technique. Lastly I can”t condone recommending people eat artificial diet food. I hope this young lady is healthy, more importantly I wish TBL was off the air.

  • traci v

    I have never felt like TBL has insinuated that weight = worth. I have always seen the show as proof of what is possible if one gets off his/her pudgy duff and really puts in the effort. And I think the proof is there.

    • Vivi E.

      Okay. You are capable of rereading what you wrote… and can see that weird double standard there, right? You’re saying that the show doesn’t equate weight with worth… and then you’re using shaming language toward fat people. Interesting.

  • Jeremy

    The only people upset, are jealous fatties. She doesn’t look too skinny, just more toned and muscular.

    • Heather@YSP

      Troll! Troll in the dungeon…

  • Michelle

    I have watched BL every single season. I don’t feel this is their fault. She is an adult and made the choice when she got home to do this to herself. I highly doubt they told her to become anorexic and sick looking. Society wants women to look this way and BMI isn’t just the Biggest Loser’s way of measuring..it’s the entire medical profession that does it. BMI is a joke. Dr’s love their charts. Anyway, I think she’s afraid of gaining the weight back and obviously needs some help. Bob & Jillian seemed like they were truly shocked.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/pattyaizaga Patty

    I only caught the last half hour of the finale and was shocked at Rachel’s appearance. I hope she is healthy and not sick. I was truly shocked and not in a good way.

  • http://www.weightlossbucketlist.com/ Jen

    I had the exact same reaction to Rachel. It’s one thing if she would have been very muscular, but that wasn’t how it appeared. I hope that everything is OK, that she lost her weight in a healthy way and that we are worrying over nothing, but I can’t deny that there was an audible difference in reaction between her reveal and everyone else’s. The trainers did their best to put on enthusiastic faces, but I am pretty sure they were a little concerned too.

  • Jamie Bullock

    I don’t usually comment, but just seeing Rachel’s face said something wasn’t right. Like others hope she is healthy, I too tried out for BL but life is not worth the extreme the other way.

  • Liziheartvegetables

    Wow, that’s so sad. I mean, maybe she’s fine, and that would be great if she is, but either way it’s putting so much focus on the wrong thing!

  • http://www.shaunareid.com/ Shauna

    “We should all focus on being our best selves, healthy and vibrant in our own way, despite what the scale says.” Well said Emmie.

  • moonduster

    We don’t have that season here in the UK yet, but just from the pictures, I know that I would have been surprised and horrified to see her looking so skeletal. I ost over 100 lbs the healthy way and then it started to become more difficult to lose weight. I started losing weight by over-exercising and not eating enough. I’ve stopped that now, because being healthy is more important than being thin, and have since put on quite a bit of the 145.5 lbs I lost. I’m back to eating healthy and hoping I can lose weight again, but it’s much slower this time. Fortunately, I’ve kept off the first 100+ lbs of what I lost. I’m running a 28 Day Fitness Challenge on my blog – not weight loss challenge – FITNESS challenge. It’s all about getting stronger and increasing our stamina and endurance, not about eating less. :)

    ~Becky Fyfe

  • Robby/FatGirlvsWorld

    Let’s separate out two issues:
    1. There are people that can be perfectly healthy at 105 lbs. They have great blood test results, are physically strong and have endurance, (their periods are regular), they eat a wide variety of food, etc. and so on. There are all different body types.

    2. And any one of us who has lost weight knows what is required to lose each pound and we are reacting to what we know in our gut to be true: that whst Rachel had to do to lose 155lbs in a short time frame was not healthy physically, mentally; or emotionally.

    For all the people saying “well maybe she will regain some,” that is a distinct possibility. However, if she was calorie restricting and depriving her body from what it needed metabolically, there could be long-lasting effects.

    My question is what would have happened if all the finalists (at home contestants too) were challenged that night to re-do the triathlon. Who would have been able to finish?

  • carla birnberg

    yes. this: “We should all focus on being our best selves, healthy and vibrant in our own way, despite what the scale says.”
    I dont watch the show. ever. for all the reasons above.

  • tinalovesham

    What is wrong with people?! THIS is what diet and exercise can do! She lost weight – that’s the POINT/GOAL! Everyone is harping on her being ‘too thin’ …according to WHO?! She looks great. Who is to say she didn’t lose this weight a healthy way (eating right/exercising properly etc…). Leave the girl alone. She went on the show to lose weight and get advice, get healthy. She lost the weight and in my opinion doesn’t look ‘sickly’ at all. She looks ‘normal’ to me. What a way to put a huge damper on a personal accomplishment. Everyone can say ‘anorexic’ – but that’s just their opinion – not a fact.

    • JanMarie

      That looks normal to you?? Seriously? Wow!

      • tinalovesham

        Yeah. Shocker!!! Not everyone in America is overweight/obese! **I’m not talking any crap about these contestants or anyone who is suffering from weight related issues or being overweight.* But your comment about “that looks normal to you” YES! Not everyone’s stomach hangs out over their waistline. Some people’s thighs actually DON’T touch! WOW! Can you believe it?! There are people in the world who eat properly and exercise regularly to maintain a healthy lifestyle. You are crucifying this woman for losing weight —who are you to say if she did it a ‘healthy way’ or not?!

        • JanMarie

          Way to put words in my mouth! I never said any of that or do I believe everyone should be or is overweight, with touching thighs, and hanging stomachs. I also never even mentioned the way she lost the weight, or crucified her for losing weight, but boney elbows and sunken cheeks does not “look normal”. Sorry!

          • tinalovesham

            That’s your opinion and above was mine. That’s all. I am not a hateful person. I was more referring to the rash of other comments on the page. I never put words in your mouth – in fact I quoted exactly what you wrote.

          • JanMarie

            Then you should have mentioned that in your rant of a reply.

            “You are crucifying this woman for losing weight —who are you to say if she did it a ‘healthy way’ or not?!

            Right there was putting words in my mouth because once again I never said anything bad about her losing weight or that she did it in an unhealthy way or anything of that nature. Being thin, toned, and boney is just not normal, sorry! But anyways, have a good day!

          • tinalovesham

            lmao. I don’t owe you jack. if you could read and comprehend you would have recognized what I was saying. Stop looking for someone to fight with – you obviously have too much time on your hands. Being thin and toned is what mainstream America wants … lol. read a magazine. I have a strong feeling you are not thin, toned, or bony and a little bent on it. i’m done with this – i have a real life – i’m finished with this thread. I guess all of the other people/websites are right…the only people who are so strongly opposed to this are jealous. I’m not fat and have a great life so I don’t need this fake drama – later!

  • Val69

    Seems like all the “thin shaming” fatties are out in force today. Give the woman a break and look more at your own food issues causing your own problems instead of insulting someone who lost weight.

  • http://dianacgriffith.com/ Diana

    This show is just so hard to watch. As much as they like to make it seem otherwise, it’s only about the number on the scale. Regardless of whether or not anyone thinks she is underweight now or not. That show promotes disordered thinking for both contestants and those off the show.

  • http://www.mrstdj.com/ MrsTDJ

    I haven’t watched the finale yet, but the pictures don’t look very appealing. This season seemed like a huge rolling promotion for products like Jenny-O, Subway, yogurt, etc and less about the actual health of the participants. I’m disappointed as I was a fan of the early seasons.

  • Marla

    I agree with others that I hope she is healthy. We don’t know what type of support she has received from leaving the ranch and the finale, but the look of shock on Jillian’s face does make it seem she is concerned.

  • Kristi

    Great post! I too haven’t watched the finale yet, but was shocked when I saw pics on my Facebook feed. I understand that she was in it for the prize, but I hope that post BL she is mentally prepared and willing to put on a few pounds. I think Danni did that last season and she seems better for it. BL is an inspiring show for me, but I always have to keep myself in check and realize that they are living in a dream world. In the real world slow progress is still progress.

  • http://fitbegins.com/ Molly

    I was also shocked at how she looked. Even Jillian looked shocked at her appearance! And it didn’t look like a good kind of shocked. I didn’t think she looked healthy.

  • Melissa

    I think judging ANYONE on their appearance/weight is wrong. If that girl was fat and people were commenting on it, there’d be an uproar.

    I have dealt with weight issues all my life, so it’s not exactly like I’m a thin person screaming about ‘fatties’ being jealous. I am a ‘fattie’. I just think we have to practice what we preach. Acceptance goes both ways. I enjoy your blog, Emmie, and how far you’ve come in your attitude towards your weight, but I do think some self-reflection on this post might be in order. It goes directly against everything you say you believe in. Plain and simple, Rachel is being judged by her appearance.

    • http://www.authenticallyemmie.com/ Emily Sandford

      Melissa – I appreciate your feedback. I thought a lot about this before posting. My intent isn’t to say she’s got an eating disorder or blast her – it’s to say that based on The Biggest Losers scale of health, BMI, rewarding a contestant for falling to the Underweight category seems an extreme. I can’t say she’s healthy or unhealthy based on her appearance.

      • Diane Barnes

        Do you understand that BMI refers to body composition and not weight, per se? BMI physically measures muscle mass. 18% on a woman is lean, but if her ratio of muscle to fat is proper, it does not make her underweight. My BMI is 16.7% and I’m 5’5″ and 145 lbs. It is completely wrong of you, and all the other bloggers this morning, to judge the contestant. If anything, judge the program itself which demonstrates weight loss by unhealthy and unsustainable methods in a made-for-TV controlled environment through footage which is scripted, edited, and manipulated for ratings.

        • gem192

          I’ve came across this before, weirdly. Body fat percentage does NOT equal BMI! They are different measurements.

  • garnerstyle

    260 to 105…how is that even possible????? Great read…I refuse to watch this show…it bothers me for some reason.

  • PerfectImperfect

    I agree with you — she looked gorgeous at Makeover Week and on triathlon day. Now she is still pretty but in a fragile, broken-winged-angel sort of way. I hope she is able to find a balance.

  • Kel Sanchez

    This just makes me sad :(

    It is scary

  • Kathy Barra Blodgett

    Money as the motivation is itself an unhealthy relationship. I used to watch (usually while eating dinner…irony not lost on me!) but instead of inspiration, I felt duped. Most who return (hello, 2nd chance season!?!?) have, at the very least, put back some of the weight. Obviously, the idyllic lifestyle of fitness ranch, nutritionists/chefs, personal trainers, and lack of real world triggers and stressors is unsustainable. Let’s admit it, friends, fatties know exactly why they’re fat, and know what they need to do to fix it. Kudos to those who succeed…the old fashioned, healthy way. YOU inspire me!

  • Alicia Velice

    I disagree with the guy who said she looks toned and muscular, no she looks weak, and about to collapse.
    And if that is your idea of muscle and toning I would hate to see what you look like.
    I also wanted to add have any of you been listening to Ali Vincent?
    She has said that to win TBL she went to a weight she knew she could not maintain because it was making her sick.
    Right now she is stressed out because she feels like she is gaining weight the scale said she was 165 or so and then the doctor told her she was 20% body fat.
    Are you kidding me, that is such a low number that means everything on her is muscle.
    I bring this up because this is the issue Ali is a healthy active woman and any one who would look at her and call her fat is mental.
    And yet we have folks who clearly would do that who think that anyone who does not look borderline anorexic is a fattie, and unhealthy.
    Health is strength, it is not being sick it is being at ease in your body it is homeostasis, you can be just as sick skinny as you can be fat and I think it is time we all agreed on at least that fact.

  • Wait….What?

    I hope that Jillian and Bob took her aside and kicked her butt! She needs to go back to a size 6 where she was gorgeous and healthy.

  • Julianne Thomas

    I don’t watch much television, and I certainly don’t watch the Biggest Loser. If you do even a few basic google searches you see that almost all of the contestants from every season have gained nearly all their weight back, and some have gained more.

    I am distressed by some of the comments.
    @traci v – it isn’t about getting off your pudgy duff and putting in the work.
    @jeremy – it isn’t jealous fatties
    @tinalovesham – this isn’t what diets can do. Diets don’t work.
    @Kathy Barra Blodget – most “fatties” don’t know what works because nothing has ever worked for them. There is no “old fashioned” way. There is no “new fashioned” or “current” way.

    DIETS DON’T WORK. No one knows what does work. That is part of the problem.
    There is no calorie in vs calorie out equation because no two bodies process calories the same way. I rarely eat over 2000 calories a day, usually I’m around 1800. Based on my body weight and level of activity (I swim at a moderate pace for 90 minutes 5 times a week), I should be eating 2800 calories to maintain my weight, and at 2000 calories a day, I should be losing 1.5 lbs a week. I am not.

    Your health and your body size should not be considered together. They are two separate things. The whole premise of the Biggest Loser is that you have to fit into the conventional idea of thin to be attractive and to be worthy. I don’t agree with that, and perpetuation of that sentiment is damaging.

  • heidi

    I am 5’4″ and prior to children I was a natural 103-105 eating whenever and whatever I wanted I am now 130 and still don’t kill myself in a gym but I do teach swimming for about six hours a day. saying that my daughter who is a larger frame and also a previous swimmer thought she was too skinny .. do remember she was an accomplished swimmer and only recently put the weight on.. we have muscle memory and those that were once athletic tend to lose fat and regain muscle quicker than those that were not.. if you looked at her legs they were fabulous and she had a lot of muscle tone.

  • Misty Wagner

    Just found you. LOVE your blog, you are amazingly awesome… Now, for this. I don’t watch the show. I think it’s horrible… I’ve read the stories of how they treat the contestants (less than human) and it makes me sick… But of course, this has been all over the internet, and it breaks my heart. This poor girl… that she felt so less than worthy that this is where she allowed her path to take her…

  • Alan

    I am officially done with the show, I haven’t watched consistently for a few season but I will be taking it off my DVR list tonight, Also for all the troll lolly keyboard warriors commenting, STFU. Emmie didn’t attack this young lady nor did she look down upon her. Biggest Loser is about ratings and product plugs, there is no health component of this show.

  • http://manifestyourself.com/ Kimberly Whittaker

    Gosh.. I knew this was going to be a hot debate today. I love the way you approached this. I haven’t commented about this much yet.. but now seems like a good time. The BL is a weight loss show. Period. The point is to lose weight… so I wonder if the competition just took control and the greed/need/desire to win could have just gotten the best of her. I really don’t know… and neither does anyone else commenting unless we actually know this girl IRL. If this was indeed a live show… the producers didn’t have a choice but to allow her to come out on stage… I think the look on Bob’s and Jillian’s faces speak to the element of surprise… it was too late to do anything. It had to air. The only thing that can happen now is damage control for the image that many people think the BL portrayed last night… I just hope the media attacks don’t hurt this poor girl…cause once again… we all have no idea who she really is or what the story behind the story is.

  • Sam

    I stopped watching Biggest Loser a few years ago. Like you said, I could really relate to the contestants stories and how they felt and how badly they wanted to lose weight, but the way they look like they push and push these contestants to lose weight so fast, it just doesn’t seem like it can be healthy. I also didn’t like how they made people look like crap if they felt like they were going to pass out from over working themselves. I’ve done it before and caused myself to get really bad shin splints. I have come to terms with myself, that the number on scale does not show my worth. I decided that I am going to make slow changes in my life to get the weight off, even if it takes years to accomplish. So far I’m doing good, and for once in my life I feel like I can actually accomplish anything!

  • Sarah Jinks

    I’m so glad you posted about this. I felt sick when Rachel walked out and couldn’t enjoy the rest of the show after that. I can’t tell how tall she is but she doesn’t look incredibly petite to me so I worry that she really got to lower weight than she should have. From the looks on Bob and Jillian’s faces- I think they might be thinking that as well. She no longer looks like an “athlete” but almost like she’s sick. Broke my heart thinking that the “competition” aspect had just really gone too far. </3

  • AJ

    I was waiting for someone to write this. I had the same reaction when Rachel came out. Very disturbing.

  • p

    What people don’t realize it’s that with an extreme loss of this amount a person will typically have excess skin of more than a few pounds which BMI does not account for. In reality this person probably weighs under 100 then.

    This it’s the exact reason I do not watch this show. I previously tipped the scales at 360 and am over 100 less now. I am still considered obese but I can run a half marathon, I have completed 2 half Ironman eventsabdan training for a full Ironman. I am healthy and that is what matters.

  • April Robinson

    If she’s underweight that’s too thin. I used to love BL, but sometimes I wonder if the people lose weight too fast….I’ve lost 140 lbs and it’s taken a while. I am still considered to be a bigger girl, but I’ve run two full marathons and four half marathons, I exercise 6 days a week, and have done p90x. I’m in shape. Seeing someone lose this fast gives a bad message to people starting their weight loss journey…it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

  • kia_r

    You are too good for this show. I think my soul might ache watching go through this kind of particular transformation. I have only seen two episodes, so what do I know?

  • metheist

    I thought that Tumi, the at-home winner, had a beautiful transformation. She looked emotionally and physically healthy. I loved her comment that she had found a new friend because of her physical activities.
    I personally LOVE to watch the Biggest Loser Australia, which just started a new season. The three trainers are working with one of the most obese towns in Australia. They are working to help change hundreds of lives. While this show does have competition, the differences between the Aussie and American shows is interesting to see

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  • jm

    Everyone keeps talking about her being unhealthy and “to thin”. So maybe there is some truth to it but tell me this. Was she healthier when she was over double the weight she should have been for an average person her size? Or now when her BMI is a little below what it should be… ya you can damage your system by not giving it what it needs but I feel your doing more long term damage making it work 2 to 3 times harder then it needs to by not getting the weight off..

  • LHA

    Wow, what interesting comments. This topic seems to have really hit a nerve with a lot of people. I used to watch BL, but couldn’t stand all the yelling and intimidation tactics used on the contestants. I also didn’t like the “editing” of the shows to show so much drama, some of which seemed really manufactured.

    What I thought when I saw the pictures of the winner online this morning was that she looked very thin, but that this is what we expect models and actresses to look like too. There are many going down the red carpet who look this thin or thinner! I have no idea whether she is healthy or not, or really anything else about this season’s show or contestants. I just think that it is a shame that those who are glorified in our society (at least a lot of the time) are super thin. That alone does lead to eating disorders and negative body image issues, especially in young girls. Emmie, your next to last sentence is great and I agree that we should all try to be our best, most vibrant selves. Well put!

  • Valerie

    The Biggest Loser finale was confirmation that losing weight is best accomplished slowly and by paying attention to your health. This reality show is NOT real and sets unrealistic expectations to those committed to losing weight AND being healthy.

  • Beth

    I haven’t watched in two years, and so I haven’t seen the actual finale but the above pictures are quite misleading in my opinion the last picture of her standing by the screen in the green outfit she looks fabulous, I heard some thought her arms were too veiny, others because they could see her shin bone, well I’m 80 lbs overweight and you can see my shinbone, I think the dress wasn’t flattering at all it just hung on her which made her look like a coat hanger which is never good, but I’m not sure that she should be harrassed for it, it’s a well known fact that for finale many contestants dehydrate themself (although I agree this is not good) Most usually gain about 20 lbs after finale to settle in at a better weight. I don’t think we should judge based on this one night. I don’t think she looks anorexic like many have stated.

  • Elissa

    I think Rachel is an interesting case–because she used to be an athlete- a champion swimmer, and when she showed pictures of her former swimmer self she was very skinny. I remember seeing her arms in her old picture and thought wow… she really gained a lot, she used to be super small. Also, she was only 24….meaning she gained all that weight fairly quickly. I’ve been known to gain 10-20 pounds in one year…at most 50 and that was only once (Freshman 15=50). She must have gained over 120-150 pounds in just a matter of 2-3 years… it stands to reason that her body would revert back quickly and respond quickly to the intense changes she made on the show. (natural metabolism/muscle memory). My hope is that with the show being over- she’ll continue to swim maybe compete in more triathlons or something of the sort and find her healthy- but my guess is isn’t isn’t that far off from where she ended- maybe just 5 pounds of muscle. But- for those who have had a long history of being overweight- I wouldn’t expect to see those type of results… and I wouldn’t think they would best for them either.

  • JR

    She looked a bit underweight but generally healthy. What is most important is how she feels. She really worked her butt off, gained the money and achieved her goal of weight loss. If she feels good at this weight and her doctors are in agreement that she is healthy then rock on Rachel. I think a lot of the negative backlash is jealousy. You can cloak that jealousy in concern for her health or whatever but at the end of the day Rachel showed up and put in the time and the work it takes to lose the weight. Kudos to her.

  • http://simple-nourished-living.com/ Martha McKinnon

    I totally agree with you on this one. I’ve never been a fan of the Biggest Loser. It sets up such unrealistic expectations and is so extreme. It doesn’t have to hurt to lose weight. What percentage of Biggest Loser contestants end up gaining most or all of the weight back once the cameras are gone and they are sent back to their former lives???