Smallest Ever Biggest Loser Winner Gains 20lbs, Feels Much Better

Rachel Frederickson, the Biggest Loser whose dramatic weight loss prompted a series of uncomfortable discussions about what the fitness competition show is actually promoting (a lot of people's guess: exploitative, unhealthy self deprivation sold as entertainment), has gained about 20 pounds since the show's finale. And she says she feels great.

When the finale aired back in February, many of the show's devoted fanbase expressed outrage and shock over the winner's 155lb weight loss. Some focused their outrage Frederickson, saying she looked "skeletal" and "anorexic," but others were less myopic, criticizing instead the show's peddling of an unhealthy ideal and using fat people's pain as entertainment, which is a fair point. The show's always been a hot turd in a candy shell, but now, viewers were forced to confront that reality rather than cling to what they wanted the show to be, which was an inspirational story of personal triumph. It's not. It never was. But I digress.

In the latest issue of US Weekly, the 5'4" Frederickson reports that now that she's not trying to win a large cash prize, she's eased up on the dieting and exercise. She now weighs 125 lbs, instead of the 105 she weighed at the end of the show. During post-finale interviews, she said she exercised for hours every day, and spending nearly every waking minute when she was not exercising walking on her treadmill. But now, she's totally eased up!

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"I work out an hour, six days a week. I love classes like SoulCycle," she shares. "I also loosely count calories, but sometimes I might eat an Oreo. It's not the end of the world."

How lovely to live in a world that cannot be ended by an Oreo [types the woman who ate a third of a sleeve of Thin Mints for breakfast.]

Frederickson told the magazine that she's even grateful for the backlash she unjustly faced (which is graceful of her because this is a textbook example of when we should hate the game instead of the player) because it started a conversation about body image. Good on her for remaining positive and health-focused through the shitstorm, and here's hoping (less realistically) that people stop drawing inspiration from that garbage show.