Biggest Loser Finale: Too Much?

Hey heeey! This actually isn’t the post I had planned to post this morning, but after watching the Biggest Loser finale episode last night, it was just on my mind! These are just my thoughts and opinions, and NOT meant to be degrading or controversial! Just some reflections on last night’s episode, and what it might be portraying.

Did you watch it? If not, spoilers ahead!

Here’s a quick recap:

Rachel became the winner, and walked away with the $250,000 grand prize! Unfortunately, I think the trainers, and America are more concerned with how much weight she lost, rather than how much money she won. Check out this still frame of Bob and Jillian that is now plastered on every social media site. Even Tanya behind them looks concerned.

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There is a lot of controversy floating around the inter-webs this morning, and I couldn’t help but get lost in article after article. And the conclusion I came to is this: I’m torn. I’m torn because my favorite contestant won and I couldn’t be more proud and amazed at what she accomplished, not just physically but mentally, but on the other side, I’m genuinely concerned that maybe she lost TOO much.

I think the Biggest Loser promotes healthy weight loss, and a total mind and body transformation, and I support the show 100% because at the end of the day, if the BL franchise helps even ONE person get off the couch and turn their lives around, then it’s worth it. However, after last night’s finale, I’m almost scared that it taught a not-so-inspiring image to younger girls and women in general.

When the episode before the finale aired, Rachel looked fan-freaking-tastic. She looked like she was at a healthy weight, and surely couldn’t lose much more. Not to mention she won the first ever triathlon! Um, hello beast mode! Then when the finale aired last night, I was shocked by what she had shrunk down to! I had to do a double take, and wondered if I was the only one who thought, “wow, she actually looks too skinny!” Now don’t get me wrong, Rachel was smokin’ hot, and she worked HARD to lose the weight, but I was almost saddened by how much more she lost. She weighed in at 105 lbs, and on her 5’4″ frame, that is VERY small. I am 5’4″ as well, and couldn’t even imagine weighing that little.

Here is her BEFORE and her Makeover shot:

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and here she is last night:

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rachelfinale

I think there’s a fine line in promoting weight loss, and being a healthy size, and promoting losing so much weight that you’re barely recognizable. I just don’t want last night’s finale showing young girls that to win at life, and be successful, and be strong and healthy, that you have to be super skinny. And Rachel was definitely super skinny. I know that’s NOT BL’s intention by any means, but I think it’s very possible that that type of message could easily be be interpreted from this. Super skinny doesn’t have to equate with the best. And at the same time, there’s nothing WRONG with being skinny. It’s all about balance!

Now, on the other hand, I think that Rachel’s hard work, determination, and happiness is something to be celebrated, and should be emphasized more than, “did she lose TOO much weight?” Rachel deserves to have her moment in the spotlight, because she DID accomplish her goals, she DID workout fearlessly and put everything she had into each and every challenge, and she DID show that if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. I mean good grief, she won basically every challenge while on the Ranch! She’s definitely a natural athlete, and proved it every episode! The media is a mean place, and I’m sure she’s learning that today. But, maybe all of the criticism should actually be turned around to positive praise and instead teach young girls to not take away the number on the scale, but rather the hard work, persistence, passion, and work ethic Rachel had throughout the season. Now that, is something to strive for!

I love Biggest Loser, and am a long time fan of the show, and truly hope that Rachel’s weight is cleared by a doctor, and that she really is as “healthy” as she says she is. It’s none of our business in the end, but losing 60% of your body weight looks different on everyone. And on Rachel, it just looked like too much, and I’m left wondering if her body could even complete another triathlon at this point.

What do you think? Did you watch the finale or this season at all? Do you think she went just a little too far? Or do you think, more power to her, get it girl! I’d love to hear your thoughts! And please be nice, just think if your comment were about yourself.

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Comments

  1. says

    Oh my gosh, I have not stopped thinking about this since I saw the finale last night! I agree with you and think you nailed everything right on the head. She totally deserves praise for her hard work, but I am also so torn because in my opinion I think she looked unhealthy. However, I know that everyone is entitled to their opinion, so I get that too! haha With my extensive nutrition background, I just keep coming back to the fact that we are taught that weight loss and nutrition is soooo different for everyone and that there are LIMITS. Part of being healthy is knowing when to stop and when to keep going. I hope that she still keeps in touch with her doctors for tests etc., to ensure everything is working right for her physiologically because spending a long amount of time being underweight is so dangerous! It also worries me what image this sends to girls as well…I know that BL promotes healthy weight loss, but I wonder about those girls just flipping through the channels who don’t stay for the whole story, just happen to see that image, and think that’s expected of them! Gah, I could talk about this for hours.
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  2. says

    I was waiting for you to post your reactions!!! I almost emailed you to see what you thought! I think it’s a little much, but after all, she is an athlete, she likes to compete – I would be so motivated to win! It does look like a little too much on her. Hopefully after all of this has died down she will put a little bit of that weight back on and it will look healthier. It’s hard to look THAT skinny on TV. Just think of what she looks like in person!
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  3. says

    Oh dear. I used to watch every season of The Biggest Loser but stopped a few years ago. I think the premise of the show is good and well-intentioned, but I don’t think it paints a realistic picture. How many people will ever get the opportunity to go away, to a controlled environment, and focus solely on their mental and physical fitness for any length of time? For most people it will take months, even years, to make a permanent lifestyle change. And they have to do it while juggling work, family, and other responsibilities. And there is definitely a difference between being healthy and taking it too far. I’m glad you wrote about this! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. It’s an important conversation to have.

  4. Kristine says

    I am right there with you. You could tell the whole time that she was working hard to get her life back. *WAY TO GO RACHEL!*
    This is the first season I watched the entire show through and was more than shocked when all of the finalist walked out (and even Tumi!!). I thought a couple times, “They look too skinny.” But I didn’t know if this was the norm of the show. I think if they are eating healthy and this is the result, then okay. But if they are forcing lost weight in unhealthy ways, then this is just a new addiction for them…:( I hope that doesn’t sound too harsh because I believe they have overcome so so much here. But you want the best for them (and those you love), so I think there is a lot to evaluate post the show for them.

  5. says

    I was just thinking about this as I have been reading articles and noticing all of the controversy.

    As my husband and I were watching the finale, our jaws instantly dropped when we saw her. It was a little shocking, perhaps because no contestant has ever lost THAT much weight and looked THAT thin. Even when Rachel was in high school and competing in swimming, she was not that thin. I worry about her getting any thinner – but with that in mind…

    The Biggest Loser is a game where contestants compete to see who can lose the most weight and win the money (and title, Biggest Loser). Rachel did not have that much to lose to begin, so when she is competing with others who have more to lose, there is only one way she can win that title. Hopefully, now that the show is over and she has claimed the title, she will rise back up to a healthier looking weight (what worried me the most was her fragile arms and thin face).

    She is really a beautiful woman and I wish the best for her as she re-enters the real world and moves forward in her journey for health and happiness.
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  6. says

    Oh my gosh, it’s like you read my mind. I love the BL. I think it’s great to see people turn around their life and I loved seeing the before and after photos. However, when she walked out, I’m pretty sure my face looked the exact same as the trainers. I even noticed the trainers and their worried faces. She does actually look sick, but I think what gets me is that there is SUCH a huge transformation from the makeover to the finale, which I think is what shocked everyone. I think shes beautiful, and a kick ass athlete with all she did. However, I’m just worried she’s not healthy, and I know the BL never promotes that. For her to be down to 105 worries me! I’m so glad you posted your thoughts on this today. I didn’t read any articles today about it. I do feel bad for her because I don’t want this to be the only thing that people talk about. In the end, she went to lose weight and turn around her life, and she did do that!
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  7. says

    At the end of the day, the show’s first and only goal is to make money. That’s their “purpose.” That’s why the show is so ridiculously unrealistic – it’s optimized for TV drama, not for the health of the participants.

    Why else would a show supposedly about health, diet, and fitness have a disclaimer at the beginning that basically says, “don’t try this at home?”

    So, I am not surprised that this happened. So many of their sponsors are really gross, processed food manufacturers (Subway!) – that’s a dead giveaway that the show is more about money than actually changing lives. Losing 155 lbs makes more money and is more interesting – losing 1/2 lbs a week is boring, in TV terms. Healthy, awesome, wonderful – but boring.

    However, I do think that the trainers and the doctors, who work with every contestant firsthand, probably have better intentions. I will be curious to see how Bob and Jillian (and Dolvett, though he’s not been around since the beginning) will react to her weight. I don’t expect the show to do anything except show support, but I hope the trainers speak up.

  8. says

    Holy crap was the first thought that came to mind when I saw those pics! Now, I’ve never watched TBL but know what it’s all about. I’ve seen this popping up in the news today but didn’t look too much into it until reading your blog post. Wow. Wow. Just way too thin. I agree with you that the show has a great message and like you said, if it gets people off the couch then it’s doing it’s job. But this just reminds me of all the thin-spiration…and I just can’t view things like that. Too much of a trigger, too much of a bad message for young girls. Who am I kidding, not just young girls, I’m 30 and can’t see stuff like this. Just doesn’t seem healthy and the trainers have it written all over their faces.

  9. says

    Wow! I didn’t watch any of this season but that is so crazy! I don’t think I’ve ever seen another season end with someone looking THAT skinny. I wonder if BL will change anything in the coming seasons to ensure people don’t lose TOO much weight? She looks so much better in the makeover shot than the finale!
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  10. says

    I do feel for her in that what she is going through has to be SO hard and I personally would hate to be the main topic of social media. I can’t imagine what it would feel like going from everyone saying you are too heavy to everyone saying you are too thin! I also agree that none of us actually knows for sure whether she is healthy or not, we are all different ….only she knows…BUT…my personal opinion is too much too fast for sure! There is a line when thin looks unhealthy and I personally feel like she crossed it. I think the idea of the show is great and they help so many people…but in the end it becomes who can loose the most to win the money. My main concern with that is that she may have thought that it is only a few weeks, I can loose as much as I can and then gain it back…but that is dangerous and can lead to some serious problems! I just hope that she realizes that being healthy and strong is what is important not how thin she can get
    Jen@milesandblessings recently posted…Packing and a new book for the road trip!!!My Profile

  11. says

    I think she did go a little do far. But I have to wonder if anyone has asked Rachel if she thinks she went too far too? It’s very possible that the competition got to her head and that she lost as much as she did because she knew she had to in order to win. It’s simple math to know that the winners lose 50%+ and maybe that competition in her head took her too far. I hope, for her sake, if she’s not at a healthy weight that she can maintain, that she figures that out and finds that healthy place.
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  12. says

    I agree that she looks a little thin, but that is why I struggle with BL. Yes it helps people but I hate that it is a competition. In order to win she had no choice but to lose all that weight. The thing that worried me was in the video before she came out (it looked like one or two episodes previous weight wise) they showed the DR telling her she was at 19% body fat and in the finale she seemed to have lost a lot more. It isn’t the 105lbs that worries me it’s the super low body weight. The absolute biggest thing is I pray that she is healthy and doesn’t take things to far because she is an awesome person and deserves a healthy happy life.

  13. says

    Well said! She DOES deserve her moment in the spotlight, she’s worked her ass off for this. I also think that Run With Rabbits put it well when she said that the whole format of TBL is not compatible to healthy eating, because it’s a competition, and is therefore promoting short term crash diets.

    So at the same time, this kind of result is expected. But maybe it’s time that as viewers we matured from this format and demand something with a better, more longterm healthy eating approach…?
    Mike @ FitFriend recently posted…A week on the treadmillMy Profile

  14. says

    I hope that she only went to that extreme for the title of the biggest loser. I have to admit- I was a little jealous of those calf muscles. ;)

    Also- I just came across your blog, and saw that you’re from LR- so am I! We should be bloggy friends!

  15. says

    I don’t watch The Biggest Loser, but I heard all the controversy and has been following along with it today. I can see both sides of it and it’s sad because she obviously worked hard and now she is facing so much scrutiny. I’m curious how or if this will change the show in the future.
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  16. Elizabeth says

    I think if she walked out of a limo on the first episode of the Bachelor, no one would think twice about her weight or how thin she looks. It is only because she is being compared to her old self and it is such a drastic change that it has even sparked conversation. I am 5’4″ and 105 lbs, and I spent many years at 5’4′ and less than 100 lbs and my weight has always been healthy FOR ME. This may or may not be a healthy weight for HER but I don’t think that is up to us to judge. I don’t watch the show, but hopefully they are followed by doctors who are making sure they are staying healthy through this drastic change.

  17. says

    Rachel was by far my favorite contestant and I was so excited to see her at the finale…but I have to say I was shocked by what I saw, and honestly kind of sad. She looked so amazing, strong and powerful on the last episode and at the finale she just looked weak to me. I still think she deserves an applause for all of her hard work, and she no doubt definitely earned it though.
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  18. says

    I haven’t been watching the show, but based on the pictures i agree with your concerns! I hope that those watching the show can be inspired to live a healthy lifestyle, without crossing the line to becoming underweight or having an eating disorder. I also worry about young girls who may be watching and think that when it comes to weight less is always better.
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  19. says

    Looks like you touched on a subject that a lot of women feel strongly about! I didn’t watch the show so I can’t say too much, but I do hope that she gets professional help just to deal with the scrutiny coming her way. I hope she is evaluated as well by a doctor to make sure she is eating enough, etc, but I know she may have some body insecurities from being called too thin. Whether you are deemed too skinny or too overweight, it can always hurt to have your body judged! Hopefully BL addresses the controversy :)

  20. says

    I am so glad you posted about this!

    Like you, Rachel was my favorite on the show this season. She killed the competitions, had an excellent drive to win, and I was so happy to see her back in the pool. At the makeover, she looked AWESOME. She was fit, strong, and happy. I hope she is still happy and always buuuuut oh my word. I teared up when she was revealed. I was actually a bit disappointed and had a knot in my stomach. The show is to promote a healthy overall sense, learn about food, and yes shed some pounds. I really thought she had the best grasp on nutrition (remember how she packed her own food when visiting the Olympic training place?!) but now I’m not sure. I’m kind of let down and worried the wrong message was sent across to girls of all age. I’m interested to hear what the trainers have to say …..

  21. says

    Holy crap there are a lot of comments on this post. I saw the “makeover shot” and thought, “wait, she looks really good” to myself and then I saw the picture of her now and I was like “………………….what.” I’m 5’4.5″ (yes the .5 matters) and the lowest I ever got down to was 110 and that was INCREDIBLY unhealthy for me. I know everyone’s different, and numbers don’t tell the whole story, but I definitely think she looks a little too skinny. She has muscle tone though so it looks more “acceptable”–”oh, she’s just fit,” I feel like some people could justify.

    I’m sorry that this was an incredibly long and rambling comment that basically reiterated what you said. I’m just having trouble processing this…
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  22. says

    I was torn on this too. I didn’t watch this season, but it was impossible to miss the buzz yesterday. On one hand, it’s a competition. If I was that close to $250k, you bet I’d get a little crazy towards the end. Also, I think a lot of people who lose weight go a few lbs lower than they really want to for a little buffer. I really hope it was just some extra credit to put her at her goal once she went into maintenance mode and not the beginning of an obsession. When I saw the picture, my first thought was “well how tall is she?” I tried to give her the benefit of doubt, but in the end, hello… a quarter of a million dollars. I wouldn’t be thinking rationally at that point either ;)

  23. says

    I’m not a huge fan of BL. I watched a season when a college roommate went on the show but that’s it! I have seen a few other episodes here and there. I think they focus too much on the weight and not enough on changing habits! That is why a lot of their contestants have gained the weight back! :( I have been wanting to watch the tri episode/final episode because it’s been buzzing around social media…but I have yet to do it!! The controversy is crazy and I just hope like you said she is actually healthy!

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