Is Anyone Ever The Biggest Winner?


The Big Reveal. Last night a Winner was crowned on The Biggest Loser. I happened to catch the exact moment Rachel Frederickson confidently strode onstage last night to a combination of applause and stunned looks of shock from the two trainer’s. She asked The Host if she could take her shoes off before The Final Weigh In. She hopped on the scale, crossed her exceptionally thin arms across her exceptionally thin frame and hoped….

Her starting weight was 260lbs.
She weighed in last night on live TV at 105 lbs.
She lost 155 lbs.
She won the competition by losing 60% of her body weight.
In 5 months.

Honey, I think it’s safe to say the shoes really wouldn’t have mattered.

The Twitter-verse erupted with disgust. Skeletal! Gross! Shock! Gasp! Waaaay too thin! Even Jillian and Bob looked a little salty. While I am not in the business of diagnosing eating disorders from the comfort of my living room couch, I will say that 5″4 and 105 lbs puts her BMI at 18. Which, love BMIs or hate BMIs, puts her “Underweight.” In the history of The Biggest Loser, not a single contestant has lost that percentage of their body weight. Ever.

So I ask…

Is anyone really that stunned that an extreme weight loss competition resulted in EXTREME WEIGHT LOSS? Frederickson played the game. She was in it, to win it. And she did. Losing 60% of your body weight in 5 months doesn’t sound like healthy sustainable weight loss, in my humble, pajama clad opinion. But. The one who loses the most, wins in this forum. And win she did.

Wasn’t that what The Biggest Loser viewing public wanted to see?

Too much?
Too little?
Then what.
Because “Just right” is for fairy tales.
Who really wins?
I mean honestly.

I’m fucking exhausted.

Over-weight. Obese. Healthy. Fit. Skinny. Skeletal.
What? What is it? How should I be?

Can’t I just be me and be proud of who I am? Who I have become? Can’t I just honor my body, live with intention and be a kind human being?

Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.

Strong is the new skinny.

Extremes. You can’t be “thin” you need to have a “thigh gap”. Or a “bikini bridge”, whatever the hell that is. You can’t be fit. You need to be jacked. You have to have a 12-pack and a body fat of 3%. This kind of one-up-man ship is terrifying. Can’t I be healthy? Is anyone hashtagging #healthy? Oh but it’s Thinspiration! Jesus Christ. Meanwhile hashtagging #thinspiration next to an Instagrammed super model with a #thighgap is promoting unrealistic expectations about body image, perpetuating the myth that you are never, ever good enough and, instead of being inspiring, is actually demoralizing. The same holds true for the motivation memes of the uber-fit.

Self confidence? What self confidence? (#gone)

I want to start a new campaign.
I am ME. And I’m Fan-fucking-tastic.
Just trying things out here.

Oh how the body image pendulum swings. And it’s making me nauseous.

31 thoughts on “Is Anyone Ever The Biggest Winner?

    • And so are YOU! Share away! I think we need to start a movement! Wait a minute. I think we are! I can’t begin to tell you how much this topic nags at me. Especially when this is the imagery kids- little girls and boys alike- are getting. It’s a mad, mad world. And we are in need of a healthy, happy, middle ground. πŸ™‚

  1. Ditto! I want to be me also. Not skinny but not fat either. Not a body builder but a healthy fit middle aged woman. I have stretch marks all over my belly due to three pregnancies. So what., my dh loves me even I have them. Another thing the media is doing very wrong is photoshopping people!! I hate it.

    • So what is right! You have 3 children. Bravo! How amazing is a woman’s body? Creating life and the ability to sustain it. All on our own. That’s some powerful shit right there. That’s what we need to honor. Celebrate it. Fit and healthy. That’s you. πŸ™‚

      Thank you for you comment Hanna!

  2. Oh, Dolly, I have so much to say on this subject. But I have to get breakfast & lunches ready for the 3 kids that gave me MY stretch marks. πŸ˜‰
    As you know, I also am tired. Is it not enough that I am in great health and can run a freaking marathon? Am I also expected to have washboard abs and delts for days? And fit into jeans designed for teens? I can’t do it all. I don’t want to do it all. Did you hear me? I’m exhausted. Glad Hanna brought up photoshopping, which is the work of the devil as far as self-image is concerned. You’ll never win if you compare yourself (consciously or unconsciously) to an ideal that DOESN’T EVEN EXIST! Have I mentioned I’m tired? Weary? And terrified that my daughter is growing up in a world that sends these messages?
    As for “Nothing tastes as good as skinny,” well, I beg to differ. I could rattle off 10 things off the top of my head that taste better than skinny, starting with Pepe’s pizza, Barefoot Contessa chocolate ganache cake, Brigham’s black and white frappes, those pecan-chocolate-cherry cookies we love, good guac, Boston Beerworks nachos, a good gnocchi, a great hamburger, the cupcakes you always get from that local place – Sugar? and so on. I think the person who wrote that just doesn’t know what to eat!!!

    • There’s my Blogging Partner in Crime! I know you’re tuckered T Bone. I’m right there with you. I say we go for a long run then pour ourselves a glass of champagne and have a cupcake. YOU are fan-fucking-tastic. My fierce friend. πŸ™‚

  3. Speaking for myself, I prefer women who eat a good meal, look after themselves through exercise and are confident and self assured. Those who are excessively over or underweight generally fail at least one of these points.

  4. this post says it perfectly, I applaud you for putting this together. I honestly have never and will never be a fan of this show because it is just that – promoting unsafe extreme weight loss hidden behind the idea that our society has a problem. we have another problem besides obesity too – eating disorders. thank you for this post, really well written

    • Hey thanks Lady! πŸ™‚ I think it’s fair to say we have a big old problem with body dysmorphia. Huge. And it’s not just women. It’s men as well. I’m curious to see how The Biggest Loser plays out. You might just see some changes with regard to the show. At least we’re starting a dialogue.

  5. can we hashtag “I’mfan-fucking-tastic?” because I’m all in for that #I’mfan-fucking-tastic. let’s start a movement of fan-fucking-tastic, fit, healthy people!

  6. I’ve never watched the show, but I was surprised that it took this long for something like this to happen when I found out that the person who loses the most weight wins and over the course of the show, those who lose the least amount of weight get sent home. YIKES.

    • I know right?!?!? I thought the same thing. How hasn’t this happened before? 60% in 5 months. That’s not healthy. And I’m not sure if it’s sustainable. Period. I’m curious to see how the show responds. I don’t watch it. We happened to take a break from a Nip Tuck marathon and caught it. (We’ve moved on from binge watching Dexter. That’s what a polar vortex does to ya!) πŸ™‚ Thanks for the comment Amy!

  7. #fanfuckingtastic is right! And thats what we need to teach our daughters, nieces, young girls all over….to be healthy and happy with their bodies. Women come in all shapes and sizes, We need to be comfortable in our skin and be proud! #embraceit #loveyourself #imfanfuckingtastic!

    Your rock Nicole!!

  8. You. Do. Not. Have. To. Do. It. All. In fact, if you don’t like something, don’t want to, you don’t have to do it AT ALL. Unfortunately, it seems we don’t figure that out until we are fifty. I’m an early bloomer at forty. This girl makes me worried and sad, and I hope she gets back to a healthy weight now that she’s “won.” That lifestyle, thinspiration and the damnation of foods and food groups? I’ve decided it’s like trigonometry. I’m not interested, and I can live without it. Keep rocking your runners.

    • I always hated trig. πŸ™‚ I’m also curious to see how the whole thing shakes out. From what I read today, she took 3 or 4 classes a day and worked while walking on a treadmill. I’m nuts. But. That’s a bit much. Obsessive. I wonder how she will transition into a “normal” life or was that only to win the game. I’m honestly shocked it hadn’t happened before. Loved your comment!!! Rock on is right!!! πŸ™‚

  9. We watched the entire season. Rachel was a competitive swimmer in high school. She won most of the athletic events on the show and worked harder than anyone else to lose weight. You could tell she’s an athlete who lost her way and let herself go, but never forgot how to keep pushing herself to the end. I was shocked when she came out on the finale, but quickly realized she probably did what she had to do to win–and that’s what the show is about. It’s a reality game show. For me, the bottom line is: it’s her body. Who are we to judge? If she wants to lose a little too much weight in order to win, so be it. If she wants to gain some weight back, so be it. It’s her decision. She’ll figure it out.

    • What I find stunning is that it took years of this television game show competition to create this much of a stir. Contestants have lost upwards of 50% of their body weight—half of themselves—and with merely a blip on the radar. A cover on People magazine and huge kudos. She played the game, and played it the best anyone ever had. If she were a man would it warrant the same reaction? I just find the whole thing exhausting. Too fat. Too thin. I’m tired. Be healthy. Be fit. Be your best self. That’s how I’m rolling. πŸ™‚

  10. Nicely put.
    Staying fit is necessary, but some people take it way too seriously and become mentally unfit πŸ˜›
    I feel sorry for those who force themselves into the gym everyday. If it’s a habit then perfectly fine, but when you start your day by forcing yourself into doing something then you end up becoming irritating.
    If you don’t love yourself then who else would?

    • Becoming fit and then staying fit needs to come with a commitment to yourself. You make that commitment when you decide that YES!, I am worth it! That’s when the love affair begins. And hopefully it doesn’t come with irritating behavior! πŸ˜‰

      Thank you for your comment. And for swinging by. Swing often.

  11. Yes! I love your take on it. There’s no winning with weight – someone’s going to have to say something no matter what you weigh or look like. Those “real women have curves!” mantras seem helpful and positive, but can put down the women who just naturally don’t have curves. Like you said it: Real women (and men) are themselves and are fan-fucking-tastic.

  12. Pingback: 5 Years a Blogger | It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

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