Controversy swirled almost the moment that “Biggest Loser” season 15 contestant Rachel Frederickson stepped on the stage of the finale on Feb. 4. Had the 24-year-old lost too much weight? Nearly a month after her win, she addressed the backlash about her 155-pound loss today with Savannah Guthrie of the “Today” show.
“I felt amazing on the stage, I felt like I shined in my dress, and I got off the stage and Twitter was all abuzz,” she said Wednesday morning in New York. “There was just so much chatter about it.”
She said she was surprised at the social media reaction.
“My journey was my own and I loved it, I lived it, so I felt really proud of what I did,” Frederickson said.
When Guthrie asked whether she thought she had dropped down to an unhealthy weight, Frederickson disagreed.
“It was absolutely healthy weight loss. I dieted, I exercised and did it healthy the whole way,” she said. “I appreciate all the concern and I can see where it comes from. And there is the ‘movie magic’ – it’s over 7 months, it’s almost a year of my life losing the weight. So I was very unhealthy at 260 pounds and now, post finale, I’m the healthiest, most alive I’ve ever felt.”
This week, “Today” is focusing on body image with its “Love Your Selfie” week, and Guthrie asked Frederickson what lessons she learned from her mom about her body image growing up as a competitive swimmer.
“She has taught me to be independent, to love myself and to be me,” she said.
In maintenance mode now and visibly less gaunt looking than on finale night, Guthrie asked Frederickson whether she worries about backsliding.
“That thought always comes up but I think that what I’ve learned is that I have an inner strength. I have a voice and I can trust myself. I didn’t trust myself. I was critical and I judged myself,” she said. “You’re with you the rest of your life so you’d better accept you and love yourself.”