For a Quarter of a Million Dollars

An Editorial

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By now you’ve probably heard about Rachel Frederickson who recently won the 15th season of The Biggest Loser by losing 60% of her starting weight. She started the season at 260 pounds and finished weighing only 105 pounds. Many people are complaining that she’s now underweight and that’s it sends a bad message to people. Rachel lost weight to make herself healthy and to prolong her life. Our children are the first generation in years that is expected to be outlived by their parents because of their weight issues. Rachel was on a reality show where the winner was going to take home a quarter of a million dollars, a reality show with 15 seasons of data to look back on. I’ve watched many of those 15 seasons and I know that in order to win the prize money a player would need to lose 50% of their starting weight. This is why some of the largest people on the show will never win because it is impossible for a 400 pound individual to lose 200 pounds in just 6 months. Most contestants lose 100 pounds while on the show; many can get to 125 pounds. If your starting weight is about 230 – 280 pounds you have a great chance to win the Biggest Loser.

Rachel knew exactly what she needed to do to win. At 260 pounds she was the perfect starting weight. If she dropped 130 pounds she would have the magic 50% she needed to have a chance of winning. But since a single pound has been known to determine a winner (the winners are determined by percentage of weight loss) she needed to push beyond that 50%. No contestant has ever lost 60% of their starting weight. If it was me pushing for that $250,000 I would make that my target. Go further than any other contestant and I would win the cash and I think that’s exactly what Rachel did. She played a numbers game, just like going to Las Vegas with a system. She knew what she needed to win and she pushed herself to get to it. When she stepped out on that scale she has just one goal, one target; to win a quarter of a million dollars. She stood on that scale and proved to the world it can be done based solely on the numbers. I would have done the same thing. I am a nearly 300 pound male and I would need to lose 188 pounds to win a quarter of a million dollars (leaving me just 112 pounds) and I would do it in a heartbeat. It’s a quarter of a million dollars. Who wouldn’t try to do it?

With the prize money now in the bank Rachel is now free to gain back 10 pounds, 25 pounds or even the entire 155 pounds that she lost. That’s her choice. But I believe it is wrong for the general public (and medical professionals) to complain about what she did to win money. It’s been a week now and if we put Rachel on the scale now I wouldn’t be surprised to see her weight at 115 or 120 pounds. She did what she needed to do for the cash. Plain and simple. She did the math and set her goals. I would have done the same thing and I think it’s safe to say most of us would have done that same thing. Ask yourself; would you be 10 pounds underweight for a week if it meant someone was going to hand you a quarter of a million dollars? Linking her successful weight loss journey to an eating disorder is unfair to Rachel, the show and the trainers. The discussion I would rather see right now would be about teaching our kids and being overweight is unhealthy and will cause serious heath issues, affecting their lives. If we don’t do something now many of our children will not live to see much beyond their fiftieth year. Rather than getting angry at Rachel, embrace what she has done and use it to teach our children what can be done with a little focus and determination. Turning a blind eye to our children’s obesity is killing them.

Rachel has worked very hard to loose each of those 155 pounds and there is nothing wrong being 10 pounds underweight. Rachel has saved her life with the weight loss and has made it better with the cash. Congratulations Rachel Frederickson on a very successful journey. You have done something many people can only dream of. You lost 155 pounds and got paid $1,612.90 for each pound lost. Very well done.

Steve

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