Rachel Frederickson is well aware of the backlash. In the new issue of Us Weekly, out now, the most controversial Biggest Loser victor ever addresses the intense criticism surrounding her drastic weight loss on the NBC competition; over seven months, the Minnesota native lost 155 pounds, 59.62 percent of her body weight, and went from size 20 to size 0.
"I'm extremely proud of the way I lost the weight," Frederickson, 24, tells Us in the interview. Before a devastating breakup led to massive weight gain, the future reality star was a swimmer who held three state championships and "was five-hundredths of a second off the Olympic trial time" in the 100-yard butterfly she says. Explains the 5-foot-5 former pastry chef of her shocking slimdown: "I did everything so naturally, and the athlete in me really came back."
The $250,000-prize winner adds in the new issue that she loves her slimmer new self. "I see a strong, confident woman when I look in the mirror. I've never felt this great. And it's very exciting!"
Pick up the new issue Us Weekly for more of our interview with Frederickson -- and what medical experts, her Biggest Loser costars and alum have to stay about her transformation -- on stands Friday.