Out of hiding

SAHS grad appears on NBC’s ‘The Biggest Loser’

frederickson, rachel
Rachel Frederickson, a former Pony swimmer and SAHS grad, will appear on NBC’s 15th season of The Biggest Loser which airs Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. CST. The season premiere of the show takes place on Oct. 15 with the final weigh-in occurring on Feb. 4. (Photo credit to NBC’s Paul Drinkwater)

A familiar face will enter St. Croix Valley living rooms on the 15th season premiere of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” on Oct. 15.

Twenty-four year old Rachel Frederickson, a 2007 graduate of Stillwater Area High School, where she was a three-time state champion swimmer, decided in June to stop hiding and embark on what she calls a wonderful journey.

“It has been so wonderful to be on “The Biggest Loser” at the ranch and be able to transform my whole life. I hid my life for six years after turning to food and the whole experience has been truly rewarding,” Frederickson said.

Filming for this season began at the end of June and finishes in mid-October when contestants go home. They’ll return for their final weigh-in during a live Feb. 4 show, competing for a $250,000 grand prize.

11-25 spo-gswim Fredericks
Gazette File Photo

Frederickson has been very busy since graduating, living in six different places. The SAHS grad was a national-level swimmer who gave up full scholarships at age 18 to move to Germany after falling in love with a foreign exchange student who broke her heart. She then gained more than 100 pounds and weighed 260 when the filming began.

“The first time I turned to food was after my heart was broken and I lost the confidence in myself. I would stop at the bread shops in every corner of the country. There was pain in the sadness and the loneliness and I always wanted to turn to food to help with that. I even went to pastry school to learn to make bread. Then I made ice cream. I hid most of my life with moving around so often and turned to food, but now I’m seeing more and more the champion swimmer within me and I’m being that person that I want to be, though food is still going to be a struggle,” Frederickson said.

Frederickson’s ‘ah-ha’ moment came as she watched “The Biggest Loser” last season.

“As I watched their journey on the scale and at the ranch, I saw the contestants come out with a totally different, positive outlook in life and I told myself, ‘Rachel, you need to change this, you have to start changing your life.’ So I made that casting video and I was completely honest that the only way I will change is by being honest with myself and everyone else,” she said.

Frederickson feels that because she hid herself from others for the last six years is why she decided going on the show would be her best choice.

“It was a really big worry for me to go on national TV in front of my family and friends, but I told myself if you don’t stop hiding from everyone you’re not going to get anywhere. So what better way to stop hiding than to go on national TV. We can’t go back into hiding after we’re out there and that was a big catalyst for me. Now that everybody knows, I’ll be able to keep it up as well,” she said.

A typical day at the ranch, where the competitors begin their journey, starts early. Frederickson said she gets up early to work out and then the trainer comes in and works out with the competitors.

“Here, we cook all our own meals, which was something that I didn’t know they did. But you work with a nutritionist to balance the meal with carb, protein and fat amounts. Before this, I did not cook ever, and now I cook all the time,” Frederickson said.

She added that they have a world-class gym and the ranch is located in the mountains so there’s lots of opportunities to hike and swim. She also said she’s done a lot of talking with the trainers about the hardest parts of her life that led her to where she is and she has grown from that.

When asked if trainers Bob Harper, Jillian Michaels and Dolvett Quince were tougher than her former swim coach, Frederickson said:

“Brian Luke is pretty intense. He’d have us doing stairs, pullouts and worked us hard. I find myself running stairs here at the ranch and it reminds me of the tough workouts and rewards and it’s a huge accomplishment. After gaining 130 pounds I’m starting to see the athlete come out in me again,”

A couple things Frederickson’s learned during the experience so far are: it doesn’t get any easier to step on the scale in your sports bra and shorts. And that icing your muscles, although it sounds like it might work, only helps with about one percent of the pain after an intense workout.

“I keep getting up every day because every moment is precious on the ranch and I told myself after the first workout that this is what I have to do to change my life,” she said. “What I’ve learned is hard to put into words. It’s a second chance for me to take back control of my life, learning who that girl that I want to be is, and take control of my food and not let it control me. I used to be a national-level swimmer. I’m stronger than I give myself credit for and my journey has been about rediscovering me. I’ve learned about being happy and having a positive outlook every day.”

Follow Frederickson’s journey from the beginning at 7 p.m. Oct. 15. Subsequent shows air for an hour Tuesday nights.

Contact Avery Cropp at [email protected]

**Note to Viewers: The Gazette recieved information from NBC right at press time yesterday that the season premiere of The Biggest Loser, featuring Rachel Frederickson, was moved back a week by the network. It was originally slated to begin on Oct. 8 but now will premiere on Oct. 15 as the story above states.**