GSU's Biggest Winners
Twin brothers Roberto and Luis Hernandez do everything together. In high school, the Cicero natives both played football. During their undergraduate studies, they both pursued a degree in Exercise Science then became P.E. teachers. When it came time for grad school, they both chose to enroll in the Educational Administration program at Governors State University. Luis said that, for the most part, they were in the same classes throughout their studies.
There’s something else that the twins did together—they gained weight. “We’ve always been active. The only thing is we love to eat and that caused us to gain weight, and our weight fluctuated throughout the years,” Luis explained in a phone interview. Now 36, each married with sons, weighing over 300 pounds, they decided it was time to commit to a real change. “We finally decided that our lives were very important. We need to be around for our kids,” Luis continued.
Their plan? They landed a spot on the newest season of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser,” and they got to work. “We’re both athletes, and we’ve been around athletic events our whole lives,” Roberto said, “but this is probably the hardest thing we’ve done.”
The reality show, now in its seventeenth season, offers its contestants the chance to receive a “weight loss makeover,” according to the network. That makeover is achieved through dietary changes, intensive exercise routines, and coaching from the show’s host and trainers. Of course, it’s reality television, so there is competition. Each week contestants face temptations and challenges as well as a weekly weigh-in. The Hernandez brothers are one of eight pairs featured this season.
Although filming has wrapped, the final episodes are still airing on Monday nights at 9 p.m. CST on NBC. Because of that, Roberto and Luis were unable to reveal their total weight loss, but they did talk about the overall experience of being on the show.
In the second episode, the brothers hauled a food truck as part of a challenge, and their athleticism came out. The images from the competition are striking. The two of them wear harnesses on their torsos and determination on their faces. “We dominated that challenge,” Luis said. “Hauling those trucks was a metaphor for where we’re at. We do everything together. So hauling that truck, we used each other to make it to the finish line.”Roberto added, “We’ve always hauled our weight with us, and every step that we took on that haul was a new step for us, and that can go anywhere – it applies to family, work, education, weight loss. Nothing is easy. That’s one of the problems. Everyone wants to find that magic pill, but when it comes down to it with whatever you want to accomplish, you have to work for it.”
The Hernandez brothers had this message for Governors State University: “We want to thank GSU for having our backs and enjoying this experience with us. We had an awesome experience at GSU. We met some powerful professors, and we are happy and proud to represent GSU.”
“We want to thank GSU for having our backs and enjoying this experience with us. We had an awesome experience at GSU. We met some powerful professors, and we are happy and proud to represent GSU.”