Q&A with: Delores Tomorrow
A Chicago leader puts herself first in order to help others
For Delores Tomorrow, it wasn't working alongside Michelle Obama or Ellen DeGeneres that were her hardest tests of life. It wasn't even the time she surprisingly found herself on academic probation at Illinois State University after realizing she -- along with thousands of other inner city Chicago kids -- had been left behind in the broken education system.
In fact, the above life lessons motivated Tomorrow to push boundaries and demolish the setbacks unique to minorities and specifically, minority women. "Some call it fate; I call it a God moment," Tomorrow says of founding iGlow Mentoring in Chicago. Her mission to adequately prepare young women of color to not just enter college, but finish college and finish with the skills to take on the world has triggered Chicago's youth to seek out a future for themselves.
As of today, iGlow has helped over five thousand girls pursue academic and professional dreams. Tomorrow affectionately refers to these achievers as, "my girls."
But even with a lifetime's worth of hard work already under her belt, Tomorrow realized that her professional success could go even further, but it would require turning the work inward.
"I was not a whole representation in front of my girls," Tomorrow says. Adding, "Being whole does not mean being a certain size, but it was a weight hovering over [me] and I was self sabotaging."
Weighing in at 280 lbs (hear heaviest)., Tomorrow found herself as a contestant on USA Network's The Biggest Loser. And even with A-list celebrity experience, nothing could prepare the entrepreneur for seeing herself for the first time on television. "It's beyond weird," she laughs. "It's a cool journey to face the thing you fear in life."
Tomorrow's perfectionist personality helped pave the way for a healthy change, too. "I'm very results driven," explains Tomorrow. "And I now see the results of choosing me first." Adding,"It makes me a better boss, it makes me a better mentor to my girls and it makes me a better person."
For someone whose life has revolved around helping her community rise to potential, the transition to focusing on herself was a difficult switch. "Before [The Biggest Loser], I didn't know who I was outside of my work. The journey of filming the show [helped me realize who I am]. You're forced to deal with you because you're removing all elements of the outside world."
And without those distractions, Tomorrow (with a little help from host and trainer Bob Harper) has rediscovered her own potential and the potential of her close-to-home organization.
Even though The Biggest Loser is only three episodes into the season, Tomorrow is looking forward to her continued health journey and what it means for her career. "Before the show, I was a bomb business woman and master negotiator. I was a mover and shaker," she says. "After the show, I am extremely kindhearted; I can be sensitive. I'm a person who moves and operated out of clear integrity and I take pride in moving that way."
You might call Tomorrow's professional mission a love letter to Chicago. But her health mission? Well, that's a love letter to herself.
To keep up with Tomorrow's weight loss journey, tune into The Biggest Loser Tuesdays at 9/8c on USA.