Jillian Michaels has finally broken her silence over the anorexia controversy surrounding "The Biggest Loser" winner Rachel Frederickson, calling her 155-pound weight "too much."
"Nobody told me, 'Rachel is very, very thin.' Bob and I had no idea," Michaels told the HuffingtonPost Feb. 27. "Nobody had said anything to us. So yes, I was stunned. Obviously, I thought she had lost too much weight."
Frederickson's skeletal appearance at the weight-loss competition's finale on Feb. 5 drew alarmed gasps from Jillian and her co-star, Bob Harper. Michaels was seen repeatedly mouthing the words, "Oh my God" with a visibly shocked look on her face upon seeing Rachel.
The 5-foot-4 Frederickson, who previously weighed 260 pounds, slimmed down to 105 pounds and was named the winner of season 15 of "The Biggest Loser." She dropped from a size 20 to a tiny 0/2.
Rachel's emaciated body immediately fueled rumors that her drastic weight loss was due to the eating disorders anorexia or bulimia. But her trainer, Dolvett Quince, author of The 3-1-2-1 Diet, said Frederickson lost weight the healthy way, and asked fans not to jump to conclusions.
While Jillian didn't comment directly on the anorexia rumors, she was worried about Frederickson's health. "I was immediately concerned and wondering how this happened," said Michaels, author of Slim for Life.
In my opinion, this had fallen through those checks and balances. Anybody who gains too much weight or loses too much weight — these are manifestations of the same issue. It simply means that somebody is utilizing their relationship with food to manage emotions that are painful, hard, difficult to face or control."
Frederickson has repeatedly denied she has anorexia or bulimia, insisting she didn't resort to starvation diets to slim down. "It was absolutely healthy weight loss," she said. "I dieted and exercised and did it healthy the whole way."
Looking back, she understands people's concerns, but insists she was — and remains — perfectly healthy. "I appreciate all the concern, and I can see where it comes from," she said. "I was very unhealthy at 260 pounds. Now, post-finale, I'm the healthiest, most alive I've ever felt."
Rachel's super-skinny appearance has caused outrage among "Biggest Loser" fans, who said selecting someone who looks unhealthy as the winner sends the wrong message. Show executives responded to the criticism by saying they will tweak the weight-loss competition to provide more support and check-ins for the contestants after they leave the Biggest Loser ranch.