(This happens to be a great picture and I think Rachel looks better in the pic than I thought she looked on TV)
As with every season, I couldn’t wait to get home from work last night and get ready to watch the Biggest Loser finale. Tears started flowing as the eliminated contestants came out 3 at a time, showing off their new bodies and their new selves. I don’t have time to comment on all this morning, but most everyone looked wonderful. Jennifer took the lead right away, looking just beautiful. Marie had her hair restyled (I hated what Ken Paves did with her hair) and she looked so much better. Several of the females had extensions in their hair, and I was sad to see Tanya with them, because I thought she looked fabulous after the makeover. The guys looked great and even Ruben Studdard lost well over 100 pounds, though he is still a big boy. Craig probably blew me away the most. He completely changed in looks and standing on that scale, he could have been mistaken for an athlete or movie star. Everyone looked healthy and fit but it was Tumi who knocked it out of the park and walked away with the $100,000 “at home” prize going from 319 to 144. She looked amazing.
Then it was time to see the 3 finalists. Bobby looked so cute and David looked amazing. He seemed to have the most likely chance to win the title. Rachel came out last and came out ridiculously skinny. Hey, it’s a fight for a quarter of a million dollars and she was the fiercest competitor of the season. What bothered me about Rachel was that she was having the hardest time walking (not just in her heals) and had a very distant, “stoned” looked about her. I actually thought that she was going to pass out, possibly from dehydrating herself for the weigh in. Bobby transformed his 358 pound old self into a new, healthy, 170 and David went from 409 to 187. They both looked so happy, proud and healthy. Rachel, unfortunately, looked like a hot mess, to me. She went from 260 pounds to 105 pounds and looked like a wind could blow her over. Sadly, I did want her to win and thought “Why not her?” at the end of the show I found myself wondering, “At what cost?” I have read that she stands over 5’3 and at 105 that would put her in the unhealthy or underweight zone.
I challenge NBC and the producers of the Biggest Loser to put a clause in that would have the winner forfeit if his or her weight puts that at an unhealthy BMI or weight. I have no idea what the rules are when contestants go home for the last few months. I have no idea if they are drug tested or tested for dehydration or any of the other drastic measures that would help them tip the scale in the direction of a win. If Jillian got called out for giving them caffeine supplements, certainly the contestants should not be allowed drugs at home. I have no idea what Rachel did to lose 155 pounds in 7 or so months, and my hope is that she hasn’t traded obesity and the health issues that come along with that, for a whole set of new health problems.
At 5’1, working out several times a day (for the past 30+ years) and eating healthfully, I weigh in at about 125. Even when I was much younger, say Rachel’s age, my fighting weight was about 111-114. In fact, the only time I weighed under 110 pounds was when I was doing dangerous things to my body. If there were $250,000 dangling before me, I don’t know if I could possibly lose 20 pounds, certainly not without some drastic measures.
In the end, Biggest Loser is a TV show. I have had to remind myself of this quite often over the many years I have been watching. TV shows don’t always end exactly the way I would like. This season, though I wanted Rachel to win, I wanted to see a healthy, beautiful version of the same girl that I saw make the finals last week. I congratulate her and keep my fingers crossed that she can find the healthy balance needed to be both lean and healthy, and I wish all the contestants the gift of mastering maintenance!
On the very positive side, what an incredible difference 7 months can make, if you make the decision to stick to a commitment.
I am anxious to hear from you and what you thought about the show last night!