Tanya Winfield, 41, will be one of the 15 contestants embarking on a weight-loss journey as the reality show cameras roll. Winfield is a mother of three and chief operating officer of Chicagoland fast-food franchise Harold's Chicken Shack.
According to her bio on the "Biggest Loser" site, Winfield said she got a wakeup call about her unhealthy habits when a 36-year-old family friend died from weight-related issues. She said the focus on childhood obesity on season 14 of "The Biggest Loser" also affected her.
"The statistics really hit home for me by reminding me of my toddler's birth weight and the high risk involved," said Winfield, whose youngest child is 2 years old. "I refuse to allow her to be a statistic and understand that it starts with me." Winfield is also mom to a 20-year-old daughter and 23-year-old son.
According to NBC, Winfield began her weight-loss journey at 262 pounds. She'll work this season to lose the weight and become healthier with the help of one of the show's trainers — Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince.
Winfield's competitors include an alum of another hit reality show. A decade after winning season two of "American Idol," singer Ruben Studdard will be the show's first celebrity contestant.
Also for the first time this season, Bob, Jillian and Dolvett will get more power to help their contestants. Each of them will get one "trainer save," allowing them to save one eliminated contestant from going home.
According to NBC, the theme this season is "second chances." According to the network: " ... featured this season will be David Brown, who lost his first wife to an almost decade-long battle with cancer and is now fighting for his life so he can be there for his daughters, and Tanya Winfield, a single mom addicted to food who grew up with a teenage mom addicted to drugs, who is eager to break the cycle of addiction in her family."
Click on the embedded video to watch Tanya Winfield of Plainfield and fellow contestant Marie Pearl talk about season 15 of "The Biggest Loser."
"The Biggest Loser" airs Tuesdays at 7 p.m. Central starting Oct. 8.