Hoda Kotb of the Today Show has a full plate both professionally and personally. With her lead anchor post on the NBC morning news program, most recent book on the market, and two young daughters at home whom she recently adopted – Haley Joy in February 2017, and Hope Catherine in 2019 – Kotb has very little spare time.
Her busy lifestyle can make it difficult to maintain a regular exercise schedule or wise eating habits, but Kotb revealed that she has a specific motivation for trying to stay healthy.
Previous health battles
Kotb was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. In an interview with Ann Curry later that year, she shared her fears of looking different after surgery.
“Knowing that you’re not going to be the same as you were. Knowing that when you look in the mirror, you’re never going to be whole,” she told Curry at the time, according to Today.com.
Kotb ultimately came to the realization that the battle made her stronger. “What I get from this whole horrible ordeal is, I get, you can’t scare me,” she said.
Two motivating factors
The Today anchor often speaks of how becoming a mom has brought profound joy into her life. With the happiness brought by Haley and Hope, Kotb also has renewed inspiration to take care of her health. The journalist shared that wanting to maintain optimum health isn’t about appearance.
“I’m not doing it just so, ‘Oh, can I fit into my stupid size 10 dress?’ which is getting harder. I want to do it so that 10 years from now, I am on the floor still getting with those kids,” she said, according to Today.
While fitting workouts into her busy schedule can be a challenge, Today.com reports that Kotb sets a daily calendar reminder to take her daughters on a stroller run. Though she’s only accomplished the feat once, Kotb is still able to remain active with her kids.
“I feel like, sometimes you have to realize you can’t be everything for everybody, and so you just do the best you can,” she said.
Joy later in life
Kotb often shares that she found true happiness at 49. With her longtime boyfriend Joel Schiffman, two daughters, and successful career, the journalist feels she is living her best life at her current age. Kotb recently compared herself to singer Bonnie Raitt, who won her first Grammy at the age of 40.
“I feel like Bonnie Raitt times 10 — like how someone would feel when you wait so long for something, and then you can’t believe you have it,” Kotb shared. “It’s not lost on me for one minute that I get the privilege of raising two children. I’m not going to waste or squander my time. It’s an amazing thing I get to do.”
Kotb is grateful for the many positives in her life, and realizes that her greatest blessings happened at an unexpected time. “I realized most of my life I’ve had something to do but that was it. I didn’t really in that early time have someone to love and something to look forward to,” she said, according to Page Six. “For all the people who are late bloomers, hang in babe. It’s fun at the end, it’s really fun at the end.”
Hoping to share encouragement and hope, Kotb’s latest bestseller “I Really Needed This Today: Words To Live By,” contains 365 sayings and quotes selected by Kotb, along with stories about the people and experiences that have pushed her to challenge herself, explore and grow in her life.
Her book is on sale now.