Contestant: Dolores Tomorrow
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Occupation: Founder of nonprofit iGlow Mentoring
Starting weight: 280 pounds
I’ve always been an emotional eater. When I’m anxious or upset, my coping mechanism is to hit the drive through for a Big Mac. Not the best stress response for someone who works in a high-pressure industry and is basically….always stressed. I used to work for Michelle Obama’s team, and I’m founder of a nonprofit called iGlow Mentoring that works with teen girls.
I realized I really had an eating problem when I was organizing a huge international travel event for the iGlow girls. One of the sponsors called to tell me they couldn’t support the number of girls we’d intended to bring, and I had to do some major re-planning. My immediate reaction was to just start eating everything in sight.
Over the last few years, I’ve gotten so heavy that I stopped going to events for iGlow. I was even invited to speak about the nonprofit on a high-profile talk show—which would have gotten us so much exposure and donations—and I self-sabotaged and turned it down because I refused to be seen looking the way I look. I tried to send my assistant or some of the girls, but they would only feature us if I came on the show. I just couldn’t do it, and the fact that I was passing up media coverage because of my weight only made me more stressed.
Watch Dolores’ audition video:
My breaking point came when I was lying in bed one day and felt this intense pressure on my chest. I remember thinking, “I’m allowing stress to literally kill me. I have to start putting myself first or I’m not going to be able to help anyone.”
One of my clients who I mentor was actually applying to be a trainer on The Biggest Loser and asked me for help with her pitch. She gently suggested that I try out for the show, too. At first I thought, “Okay, I know I’m big, but I’m not big big.” It took a second, but I realized she was right. Auditioning for the show was my way to start taking care of myself.
Through the audition process, I’ve been asked all these questions about who I am at my core—and I’ve learned that I didn’t have an identity outside of my career. I’m still trying to figure out who I am apart from being this dynamite businesswoman who worked for Michelle Obama and who can help people scale their companies to million-dollar businesses.
I think I worked so hard to build my resume partly because of my weight. I wanted to make sure that when I showed up in a room, no one was even thinking about the fact that I’m fat because they were just thinking, “Man, this girl is dope.” But that’s all a mask.
The whole mission of my nonprofit is to help girls start choosing themselves early in life. I’m on The Biggest Loser to start doing that for myself, for the first time.
The Biggest Loser will air on USA Network for its 18th season in January 2020.
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