Photographed by Louis Fisher/Corbis.
Earlier this year, Rachel Frederickson caused a stir when she was crowned the winner of NBC's The Biggest Loser. When she stepped on stage during the show's finale, viewers immediately took to the Internet to talk about how very, very thin she looked. In the days that followed, fitness and nutrition experts — and her co-stars — discussed whether or not she had lost an unhealthy number of pounds. The controversy sparked a serious debate on the safety of shows like TBL as well as how we construct our definitions of "skinny" and "healthy" in this country.
Except for a few interviews (including one with People in which she said she may have been "a little too enthusiastic" in her efforts to lose weight), Frederickson has mostly kept out of the public eye. This week, though, in an interview with Us Weekly, she revealed that she's gained 20 pounds since the finale — and now, she says, "I think I'm at my perfect weight!"
While preparing for the reality show's finale, Frederickson said she was working out "between five and eight hours a day"; now, she says, she's down to one hour a day, six days a week. She's also eating 1,600 calories a day, up from 1,000 in the run-up to the finale.
We think it's great that Frederickson seems to be doing better, but we'd like to emphasize that the important thing to take away from all this is not that she has gained 20 pounds. Instead, we love that Frederickson seems to have adopted a more health-oriented approach to working out and eating right. We've said it before: It's not the number that matters — it's the way you treat your body. (Women's Health)