Meet the New Biggest Loser Contestants!
The 35-year-old from Simi Valley, Calif., always felt at odds with her job as an operations and retention director at a gym while weighing 290 lbs.
“I’m in the health and fitness industry, and I can’t keep up with everybody,” she tells PEOPLE. “I love myself the way that I am, and I don’t need to lose weight to feel worthy, but I’m tired of modifying my life every single day because of my weight.”
Tomorrow, 34, leads a nonprofit in Chicago helping teen girls of color grow their confidence, but found that her weight, at 280 lbs., was holding her back.
“I’ve been a corporate event planner for 14 years and worked for First Lady Michelle Obama,” she says. “On paper I’m pretty successful, but I’ve sabotaged opportunities because of the way I look and feel about myself.”
Known as “Coach” to his three boys and their football teammates in Essington, Pa., DiBattista, 47, was hesitant at first to leave his wife and kids behind, but they encouraged him to join the show and lose some of his 385 lbs.
“I wanted to take this opportunity to make myself a better husband, a better man,” he says. “I’m trying to change who I am mentally so when I go home I’m not as stressed out.”
Davis, 57, has a lifetime of health problems that she wants to correct by losing weight from her 242-lb. frame.
“I’ve got sleep apnea, I’m pre-diabetic. I’ve had the ambulance pick me up on my job twice in the last six months with cardiac issues,” she says. Davis, from Mulberry, Tenn., is also a 19-year survivor of breast cancer, but she says that losing weight has been tougher. “I can kick breast cancer’s ass, but I can’t whoop a cheeseburger’s ass.”
Aguiar, 47, is a flight nurse, picking up patients in a helicopter near her hometown of Columbia, Ill. But at 256 lbs., she’s constantly concerned that she’s impacting other people’s health. “If I’m overweight, then I’m sacrificing the weight of a patient that we can potentially carry, and that is not okay,” she says. “I need to invest in my health.”
McCart, 32, is a new mom and runs her own law practice in Riverview, Fla., leaving her without much time for herself. Over a year after giving birth, she weighs more at 264 lbs. than she did the day she delivered, and wants to make a change.
“I need to stop putting myself on the back burner and start focusing more on my health,” she says. “I went through fertility treatments for three years to have my son, and if I put so much effort into having him, why am I not putting the same effort into staying here with him?”
Holmes, 36, used food to cope after her father’s traumatic death. Now at 357 lbs., she wants to lose weight and start living a healthier life to better serve her students in Washington, D.C.
At 23 years old, Bouton is one of the youngest contestants, but she’s focused on the future and losing some of her 293 lbs.
“A lot of diseases run in my family: heart disease, and my mom was just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,” says Bouton, from Jacksonville, Fla. “I'm here is to change my life now and prevent these things rather than having to treat them later on.”
Collum, 23, was “always dealing with a bunch of failure,” he says. Though he was an athlete, Collum was a heavy child, and had a difficult home life in Oneonta, Ala. — his mom struggled with addiction, and he and his six siblings often had to fend for themselves. “I’ve never really had any achievements to prove myself to people,” he says.
Now, Collum is trying to change that and lose some of his 326 lbs.
Robert Richardson II
Richardson, 32, dreamt of playing in the NFL, just like his father. As a D1 college athlete, he seemed to be on that track until a series of injuries, some due to his weight, forced him to quit football. Now 409 lbs. and living in Lafayette, La., Richardson hopes to lose weight and possibly make his way back to his NFL dreams.
“I’ve been overweight my entire life, but that was mainly because I struggled with accepting who I am,” says Yeo, 28. Growing up in Missouri, “I realized at a young age I was gay but I knew my family and society weren’t ready to accept me. For a long time I just held in who I was and used food as a coping mechanism.”
Yeo has since come out to a welcoming family and community in Kansas City, and is now ready to lose weight from his 302-lb. frame.
Brugellis, 34, worked long hours as a chef in New York City for years and found himself missing out on his 6-year-old daughter’s life. He changed careers and spends more time with his daughter, but at 323 lbs., is worried about his health holding him back.
“I really want to look forward to moments like my daughter’s sweet 16 and her graduation and when she gets married,” he says. “I want to be around for all that.”