by Zach Johnson | Thu., Feb. 6, 2014 4:19 AM
Rachel Frederickson is focusing on the positive.
After the 5-foot-5, 24-year-old voiceover artist from L.A. won The Biggest Loser on Tuesday, Feb. 4, many viewers expressed concern that the slimmed-down reality star had taken her weight loss journey too far. Frederickson, who began the competition at 260 pounds and lost 155 pounds by the finale, addressed the controversy during a media conference call with reporters (via Reality TV World) on Wednesday, Feb. 5.
"I've never felt this great and it's very exciting," said the 105-pound brunette, who plans to revamp her exercise routine. "Now I'm really in maintenance mode, so now it's going to be about finding either doing a yoga class this day or a spin class this day. I think I'm even going to try dance classes, because I don't have a lot of rhythm but I feel like it'd be a lot of fun to just add totally new things in."
After leaving The Biggest Loser ranch, Frederickson continued to follow her trainer Dolvett Quince's fitness plan and Dr. Cheryl Forberg's nutritional advice. "I just worked out, worked part-time, continued to eat super healthy, and now that I'm at maintenance, it's trying new things," she said.
Asked if she'd read reports that she looked "too skinny" during the live finale, Frederickson danced around the question. "You know, I think I have been on this seven-and-a-half month journey on The Biggest Loser and I went to The Biggest Loser to find that confident girl again," she answered. "I was that national-level athlete and I lost her and I missed her and, little by little, competition by competition, I saw her come out and I loved being in that triathlon and win that to be in the finale."
"I was very enthusiastic about the finale and I'm really excited about my life here going into maintenance mode," she reiterated. "I'm going to try new exercises and continue on this path and see where it takes me—finding that balance!"
In regard to the social media backlash, the victor said, "First and foremost, my goals are to be healthy and strong. I've been an athlete since I was a little girl. I went on The Biggest Loser journey to find that confidence that I lost, and through the challenges and through the [triathlon] I fought through to get into the finale, I found that girl again. And I'm embracing this new part of the journey and going into my life and balancing and adding more weight [workouts] and new exercises and truly just settling into the rhythm of my body, my life, my eating, and my exercise—and creating a great lifestyle."
Frederickson said she "didn't even see" rumors that she'd developed an eating disorder.
"I feel like my journey on The Biggest Loser was my path and I followed the advice and has the support of the medical team at The Biggest Loser the entire journey. So it's just been natural and I've enjoyed every part of it," she said. "So I'm going to continue on that path and maintain this healthy lifestyle and just really enjoy this new life."
She added, "I have had support systems in place the entire time I was on The Biggest Loser. We are given a calorie budget and I stuck to that. I've done lots of working out and the finale was very enthusiastic." She currently eats 1,600 calories a day. "That's what my budget was from the support system that I had at The Biggest Loser," she explained.
Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels looked particularly shocked by Frederickson's body transformation, though she told reporters she wasn't surprised by their reactions. "Dolvett was my trainer on the ranch and you don't see anyone—no contestants—so from the minute you walk through those doors, it's like, 'Wow! Look at everyone's transformations!' It's truly overwhelming in the room anyways, and exciting, but then just to see everyone and how wonderful they look, it's just truly amazing."
In spite of the controversy, Frederickson has no regrets. "I've officially found that proud, confident girl that I lost. I was an athletic national-level swimmer, and to have that athlete come back again, it's just truly an amazing feeling and I'm going to embrace the new me and continue this journey," she said. "And my body is going to balance and find its way with the new maintenance and it will be perfect."
(E! and The Biggest Loser are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)
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