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Rachel Frederickson addresses controversial weight loss

"I was extremely proud of myself," the "Biggest Loser" contestant recalled of her win. "That moment didn't last long."

By Annie Martin
Rachel Frederickson addresses controversial weight loss
Rachel Frederickson of 'The Biggest Loser.' NBC

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Rachel Frederickson's triumph upon winning The Biggest Loser was short lived.

The 24-year-old contestant dropped 155 pounds from her 5'4" frame to win season 15 of the NBC reality competition at 105 pounds in February. Frederickson's extreme transformation caused immediate backlash, and she reflected on the controversy in a post last week for Today.

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"I was determined never to give up," she said of the competition. "When I stood on stage at the live finale, I had never felt stronger. I had accomplished everything I wanted to do. I was extremely proud of myself. That moment didn't last long."

"Comments during the controversial storm following my weight loss were hurtful. My self-esteem was once again 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."

"There will always be other voices in life," she acknowledged. "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!"

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Biggest Loser trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper were visibly shocked by Frederickson's appearance at the finale. Michaels later left the program after 12 seasons in protest of her portrayal on the show, and out of concern for contestants like Frederickson.

The Biggest Loser premiered a 16th season in September. Harper and Dolvett Quince returned as trainers, with newcomers Jessie Pavelka and Jennifer Widerstrom. The series airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

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