At the time of the win, she said she “never felt stronger,” adding that she was “extremely proud of [herself].” She admitted that, in order to lose the weight, she did four or five gym classes per day and ate a total 1,600 calories over five meals.
When she was revealed to the crowds, even the other trainers looked shocked. Rachel was very slim and, some said, emaciated-looking.
She wrote an essay for TODAY in which she talks about the backlash and where she is now.
Rachel explains how she gained weight in the first place, writing, “It didn’t take long before the voice of a boy I loved started diminishing my self-esteem. His voice told me I wasn’t enough and I believed it. I started listening to a louder voice than my own, and in turn, I lost the person I loved being.” She added, “Fast forward to a lonely, overweight girl. I spent most days alone working from my home vocal studio. A job I loved, but loneliness I hated. I made a decision to start fighting for myself again and I was so excited and grateful to be chosen as one of the contestants on Season 15 of The Biggest Loser.”
She continued, “Comments during the controversial storm following my weight loss were hurtful. My self-esteem once again was affected by other people’s voices — this time, the kind that live forever in Facebook posts or written in the pages of magazines. People tried to bring me down and (privately) succeeded. To the voices of those who tried to lift me up after the finale, I thank you!”
Rachel concluded, “There will always be other voices in life. The trouble comes when you stop listening to your own. I am committed to trusting my decisions and standing strong behind them. I found strength in this struggle and I am listening to my own voice again!”