I have been watching the Biggest Loser for YEARS. Probably since its been on tv. And here's a fun fact, I almost auditioned for the show many times, most seriously when auditions were in Denver a few years ago.
Anyhoo, I am a fan of the show. I love how they use nutrition and exercise to change people's bodies, veritably PROVING that bariatric surgery or diet pills are not necessary to achieve large scale weight loss. I am often inspired by different people on the show, and I always identify with one of them. Last season, that was Danni. She was like my spirit animal. I felt what she felt and was empowered by her success.
She worked so hard and was so genuine, I really saw that same spirit in myself.
This year, that person was Rachel. Her spirit shone through, and I totally identified to her story of losing yourself in binge eating. I pulled for her through the entire season, which is rare because I am team Jillian all the way, and usually don't pick anyone NOT on her team. Anyhoo, I have the episode recorded and I plan on watching it tomorrow, but if you exist on the internet, you know the outcome, and her final weight.
This is where I get disappointed. But not in Rachel, but in the show. The entire premise of The Biggest Loser is the person who loses the highest percentage of their starting weight wins $250,000. First- that is a shit ton of money, which equals a shit ton of pressure. And as a woman facing up against two BIG men, you can't even image the pressure she must have felt. She was the "biggest loser" the ENTIRE season on the ranch, as well as winning multiple competitions. She is a competitor, and a serious one at that, being a former almost Olympic swimmer. She knew that if she wanted to WIN, she would have to lose a shit ton of weight.
Biggest loser, at it's core, is a game of numbers. The more you have to lose, the more likely you are to win. So it stands to reason that if you are so close to winning, but have two men with more weight to lose than you on your tail, that you go drastic. I mean "reason" is a really lose term, but in the confines of the competition and the immense amount of pressure and money involved, that was obviously "reason" enough.
In the end, I think the competition did not do right by Rachel. I am not sure how she managed to drop down to that number, but I really really hope that it was through healthy diet and exercise, not starvation and binge workouts.
I don't think we, as laypeople, can say that Rachel is unhealthy at 105 lbs. It is certainly past the low end of the healthy weight range, but that doesn't mean that she isn't healthy.. And I think making generalizations about her health is in bad taste. And I think calling her "too skinny" is in bad taste too.
My point is in a competition where numbers are king, how are we to blame a woman who wants to win for doing what she had to do to do so?
BLAME THE CULTURE, NOT THE WOMAN.