Biggest Loser Winner Gains 20 Pounds, Feels "Perfect"

When Rachel Frederickson won The Biggest Loser last season, her dramatic loss of 155 pounds (over half her starting weight) raised concerns that she was too skinny. That she might have some problems to work through. That a televised weight-loss competition maybe isn't the healthiest way to get in shape?

At 5'4", Frederickson weighed just 105 pounds by the end of the season. But now, about two months later, she's up to 125 pounds, which is, in her words, "my perfect weight."

For context, Frederickson looked like this at the show's finale:

Now she looks like this:

She actually seems to appreciate viewers' horror at how much weight she lost during the show. "It started a discussion about body image," she told Us Weekly this week. "That's huge."

It's good that the discussion about unhealthy weight loss on the show finally happened. But should it have really taken this long? The Biggest Loser is a reality-television competition in which overweight people compete to see who can lose the biggest percentage of their starting weight. As a reality show, it puts contestants through a completely unrealistic training program that involves working out all day, strict dietary limitations, and losing an entire person's worth of weight in about 20 weeks.

Frederickson, it would seem, wasn't trying to get to her "perfect weight" during the show. After all, it's a competition that gives contestants all the tools they need to win, not a guide for healthy weight loss. The show demands dramatic change, and Rachel delivered. And now that the money's in the bank, she can get back to where her body is comfortable and healthy.

Shocking that a weight-loss program that makes its money off of corporate partnerships with Jennie-O Turkey and Planet Fitness isn't the paragon of health and self-esteem its promoters want you to think it is.

[Image via AP]