By Elaine Hegwood Bowen, MSJ
Delores Tomorrow, a Chicago native, has been making a tremendous impact in her community and is now looking to make an even bigger transformation in her own life on USA Network’s revamped version of “The Biggest Loser.”
Hosted by Bob Harper, “The Biggest Loser” will follow the journeys of 12 brave men and women as they begin to transform their lives. Audiences will see them not only focusing on losing weight and achieving better overall health, but also confronting the obstacles in their lives that made them unhealthy in the first place. Each episode will reveal compelling personal stories from the contestants who are guided by both Harper and their trainers, Steve Cook and Erica Lugo.
Delores has an incredible backstory having grown up on Chicago’s South Side, then working her way to the Advance Team at the White House for former First Lady Michelle Obama. She would travel across the United States, assisting with onsite logistics for Mrs. Obama’s speaking engagements and public appearances. Inspired from her experience working for the former First Lady, Tomorrow went on to found iGlow Mentoring, a Chicago-based, non-profit organization serving teen girls.
While working for the former First Lady, Tomorrow was also responsible for the organization and activation of a major event that partnered with Ellen Degeneres. The two iconic women sent 250 high school girls to prom by providing them each with gift cards that would allow them to shop for the big event. The made-for-TV moment showed Tomorrow that she had access to influential people who could have a profound impact on those with less access.
Her life’s purpose became to reach young women in socially disadvantaged communities and provide them with resources, experience and a perspective that would empower them to find their own success in the world.
Since 2012, iGlow has supported over 3,000 girls in the Chicagoland area and has plans to expand across the nation. Their latest initiative, iGlow Awards, set out to honor ambitious urban high school girls, many of whom have never left Chicago, with an all-expense paid educational experience to London and Paris.
Other contestants include Phi-Xavier Holmes (or Phi), a professional school counselor in Washington D.C., where she invests much of herself into her students’ lives. Nicknamed “Jukebox” by her coworkers, Phi-Xavier loves to play music while she cares for her students and co-workers as if they were her own family. She started relying on food as a coping mechanism following the traumatic passing of her father. With her own relatives back home near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Phi-Xavier’s friends and co-workers in D.C. are her primary support system and will be rooting for her as she begins her journey, at 357 pounds, toward a healthier and more prosperous life on “The Biggest Loser.”
Robert Richardson II is a dedicated husband and devoted father who works as a Territory Sales Manager for a tobacco company in Lafayette, Louisiana. Born and raised in Orlando, Florida, Richarson is the son of a former NFL player and always dreamed of playing football professionally, just like his father. Those dreams took a hard hit when, as a D1 college athlete, Robert experienced a string of injuries due in large part to his weight. Joining “The Biggest Loser” at 409 pounds, Richardson is ready to stop making excuses and continue his journey toward health and wellness, and maybe even an NFL comeback.
The nine other contestants are: Domenico Brugellis, Micah Collum, Kim Davis, Teri Aguiar, Katarina Bouton, Jim DiBattista, Kristi McCart, Megan Hoffman and Kyle Yeo.
National Gym Partner Planet Fitness is creating a Judgement Free Zone all season long. During the show, contestants will work out in the gym powered by Planet Fitness and receive year-long gym memberships. This year’s “At-home” winner will reap a $25k cash prize. Planet Fitness has created high-quality fitness experiences in welcoming, non-intimidating environments for millions of members around the world, including ‘The Biggest Loser” trainer, Erica Lugo.
“The Biggest Loser” is produced by Endemol Shine North America in association with Universal Television Alternative Studio. Sharon Levy, DJ Nurre and Georgie Hurford-Jones serve as executive producers for Endemol Shine. It is based on the format created by David Broome. Todd Nelson, JD Roth and Broome also are executive producers. For info, visit https://www.usanetwork.com/the-biggest-loser. Information about IGlow can be found by visiting http://www.iglowmentoring.org/.
Elaine Hegwood Bowen, M.S.J., is the Entertainment Editor for the Chicago Crusader newspaper. She is also the author of “Old School Adventures from Englewood–South Side of Chicago.” For book info, firstname.lastname@example.org.