Jenna Wolfe, The Today Show anchor and new mama, tells us her secret to staying focused in the newsroom, in the gym, and at home.
Q: You gave birth less than a year ago, and you’re in amazing shape. How’d you do it?
A: After giving birth, for the first time in my life, I needed to lose weight. So I made a concerted effort to clean up my diet, which wasn’t easy—I was eating a lot of mac and cheese while I was pregnant! But I cleaned up my diet dramatically, and made sure I worked out. I couldn’t do every exercise right away, but I could do bits and pieces, and I was very disciplined about doing as much as I could do within the confines of being healthy and not getting hurt. (Check with your doc about easing back into a fitness routine after birth.)
I did it, but it was work. People say, “you’re so lucky, you bounced back!” I’m not lucky; I didn’t “bounce back.” I worked very hard for it.
Q: What was your postpartum workout routine like?
A: During my pregnancy, I did a lot of power walking and light weightlifting, so I wanted to pick up from there and build on that. I started by power-walking uphill a lot—until I could jump. (The core of my workouts is a lot of plyometric interval training—so, lots of jumping. I couldn’t do that until I was completely healed.)
Q: How do you balance motherhood, career, and fitness?
A: I hang-on to two words: be present. No matter what you’re doing, be in that moment. Give 100% to it. You won’t do yourself, or anyone else, justice if you’re unfocused. When I’m at work, I’m at work. When I’m at home, I’m at home. If I’m at an event, I’m at an event. The minute you start to juggle too many things is the minute that everything falls through the cracks, and you feel like things are out of control. That includes working out. I used to check my phone while exercising—not anymore. I’m extremely disciplined. I work out for 60 minutes, not a minute more or a minute less.
Q: Are you ever tempted to skip a workout?
A: If you don’t make it a priority, it’s not going to be a priority. If you made working out as important as you make working, you’d always make it to the gym. Remember: You look at yourself in the mirror the end of every night. You don’t look at your boss. So give yourself as much of an opportunity to do as much as you can, and I promise it will all pay off in the end.