Photo from NBC.com
Last night my husband and I spent two hours of our evening glued to our television set, watching “The Biggest Loser”. At one point I thought it was odd since neither of us had the time to watch a single episode this season, but I got over it quickly as the contestants took their place on the scale, weighed in, and blew away the crowds.
Although the finale was plastered with tear-jerking emotion and tremendous success stories, one finalist – the actual “biggest loser” – is the center of a media firestorm today.
Her name is Rachel Frederickson, and she lost nearly 60% of her body weight while competing on the reality television show. She shed 155 pounds, ending up at 105 and a body mass index (BMI) of 17.5.
My husband watched her and immediately gawked, “Wow. She is too thin.”
I disagreed with him and said she had nice, muscular thighs and did not look gaunt. He continued to disagree and told me that her arms were toothpick-thin and that she did not look healthy.
Although her BMI falls within the “underweight” category for that method of categorization, this number does not tell the whole story. Frederickson appears to be an Ectomorph, a body type that is known for having long limbs and a slender physique. They are naturally energetic and quick, which was two adjectives I would use to describe Frederickson.
Further in her defense, she was a competitive swimmer before gaining the weight. She was trained in a physically demanding discipline in which she thrived, but over time she lost her path and gained a tremendous amount of weight.
Through the guidance of personal trainer Dolvett Quince, Frederickson was able to discover her new self. She claimed on NBC’s “Today Show” that she will not lose any more weight and will focus on “maintaining” her current, svelte physique.

When it comes to the battle of the bulge, there is no “one size fits all” set of guidelines that applies to everyone. At my first appointment with the midwife who delivered my second son, I weighed 122 pounds. I am five-foot-seven, so I fell within the “underweight” category of the BMI chart. However, my doctor said according to my vital signs and energy level, I was perfectly healthy. 
 
This goes to show that there is overall well being cannot be measured on a sliding scale of inches and pounds – it has to be customized for each individual, and evaluated on a personal basis. I have known very thin people who had high cholesterol, as well as obese people who had completely normal vital signs. 
 
However, in conclusion, I offer a huge “congratulations” to Ms. Frederick – she has shown that hard work and dedication can surely pay off. The backlash surrounding her $250,000.00 pay day demonstrates one point: 
 
Haters gonna hate.