Jillian Michaels Thought Rachel Frederickson Lost Too Much Weight

Illustration for article titled Jillian Michaels Thought Rachel Frederickson Lost Too Much Weight

Not that anyone was desperately waiting for her to chime in, but it seemed pretty likely that, after Jillian Michaels' said she wouldn't be commenting on Rachel Frederickson's dramatic Biggest Loser win, she wouldn't actually be commenting. Except yes, she will be commenting.

While promoting her new "Maximize Your Life" tour on a segment for HuffPo Live Thursday, Michaels said that she was as legitimately shocked about Frederickson's weight loss as it looked like she was on TV:

I was stunned. Because we are allowed to speak with our contestants after they go home but we speak with our respective contestants. So you speak with the team members who were on your team. So I was speaking with Tumi, I was speaking with Craig, I was speaking with Jay, but nobody had told me, "Oh hey, Rachel is very very thin." Or "Be aware" – Bob and I had no idea. Nobody had told us, nobody had said anything to us. So yes, I was stunned.


What we can gather from this: keeping two of the show's most famous trainers out of the loop and hoping they'd give good face was a purposeful move on behalf of the producers of The Biggest Loser.

Obviously I thought she had lost too much weight and I was immediately concerned and wondering how this had happened, how no one had said something to me and how the checks and balances that had been put into place – in my opinion – this had fallen through those checks and balances.

With that said, anybody who gains too much weight or loses too much weight, ironically, these are manifestations of the same issue. They are two faces of the same coin and it simply means that somebody is utilizing their relationship with food to manage emotions that are painful, hard, difficult to face or control. And in the past when I personally have worked with contestants or individuals that I've seen deal with these kinds of things, I do appreciate my limitations and I always work with them to [audio cuts out] help them continue doing the deeper work and move forward on their journey towards health.

HuffPoLive host Alyona Minkovski also straight-up asked Michaels if she thought she was an abusive trainer. Michaels, unsurprisingly, does not find her training style abusive. Michaels said that what you see on the show is a very specific set of behaviors she doesn't use in other parts of her job (which, having worked out with her once, is believable):

That show is a life or death intervention that is occurring on a ticking clock, which obviously means that at any given point, one of these contestants could be sent home. And I need very specifically for them to have certain realizations, epiphanies and accomplishments before they do go home to help cement any foundation of worth, accomplishments, belief in their ability, so they can not only continue to lose weight, but hopefully maintain their weight loss. And Biggest Loser is a very unusual medium and dynamic, there is nothing like it before or after it. It is not something that I utilize in other facets of my business, be it my books, my radio, my live show, because it is so serious and so unique.


Yet again, what's not acknowledged here: the importance of being dramatic and "abusive" because it makes for good television.

Frederickson's actual trainer Dolvett Quince told TMZ this week that he's been still working with her – free of charge – "to get her healthy. She's going to be alright."


"I'm not done yet. My work is never done," he said. "She's getting healthier every day."

Image via Kris Connor/Getty

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I'd like to think that Jillian is doing everything she can to make some changes to that show in order to prevent this from happening in the future, and her willingness to say all of this suggests that she might be doing so.

If not, I really hope she bails on TBL. She's built enough of a name for herself by now that she doesn't need to use the show as a platform, and it would send a powerful message to the world that fitness > skinniness...