updated 02/13/2014 AT 7:20 AM ET
•originally published 02/13/2014 AT 7:50 AM ET
A week before the Biggest Loser finale, Rachel Frederickson admits she was working out upwards of six hours a day and eating 1,600 calories with no inkling of the whirlwind of controversy that would surround her dramatic weight-loss reveal.
“I got my butt in the gym because, I said, ‘This is the last week. You better be working out,’ ” the voiceover actress, 24, tells PEOPLE in an exclusive interview three days after the Feb. 4 finale. “So I didn’t take any jobs and I worked out an extra couple hours.”
But now $250,000 richer, Frederickson is ready to put the critical comments about her 105-lb. figure behind her and adjust to life after the ranch.
One thing she knows for sure: Frederickson is ready to step into the spotlight.
“I used to just be a voice over artist because I was hiding,” Frederickson says. “So now maybe I’ll put a face to the voice and come out of hiding.”
“I’ve learned so many recipes and I’ve been cooking. So eventually I would love to start a blog and continue that communication with my fans and have a dialogue,” she adds.