Lydia Bordo, who previously spoke with TODAY Health about how she used an ambitious Peloton goal and WW (formerly known as Weight Watchers) to kickstart her fitness journey, shared some details about how she is staying motivated this year.
Bordo, a 35-year-old mom from Texas, started sharing photos of herself on Instagram in November 2019. Setting a goal for 300 rides on her Peloton bike by her 35th birthday, she paired the exercise regimen with the WW diet to lose weight. Since completing the goal, Bordo is only pushing herself harder: Now, she aims to run two marathons in 2021.
"Both of those are something that I've just really been wanting to do and kind of take it to the next level," Bordo said. The first marathon in Dallas is scheduled for May; the second, in Portland, Oregon, is scheduled for October. Along with the marathon training, she hopes to complete 500 workouts in 2021 and try different Peloton workouts beyond just rides.
Another major goal is to focus more on her health and well-being, and less on the number on the scale.
"I noticed that I started to have this weird dependency, a sense of dread in a way, to a machine that basically told me my level of gravity, and it's so weird when you look at it like that," Bordo explained. "I realized that's not my worth. So this year, I adopted the mentality of my word of the year being 'strong.' Stepping away from the scale and focusing on how I'm feeling, and how I view myself in the mirror, rather than what the scale says about me, has really helped my overall confidence."
Bordo said that as part of that, she has changed from the WW program to using MyFitnessPal, an app that tracks calorie intake and categorizes food by "macros" - breaking down your daily diet by the amount of carbohydrates, fats and proteins consumed.
"Getting to focus on the right amount of protein and healthy fats and carbs and calories has opened my eyes to a new type of personalized nutrition that is good for me, because I was starting to get this sense of dependence on the scale and I wasn't liking that feeling, so now I can just focus on the food itself and figure out 'OK, how is this going to fuel me for the run I have coming up or this next workout?'" she said.
For others who want to kickstart their own wellness journeys, Bordo had some advice.
"This past year has been an absolute blur," Bordo said. "In the beginning, I was scared to post (photos and updates) on Instagram, but I'm very glad that I did. The biggest lesson I've learned is that it's OK to stumble and fall, but getting back up and trying again is what matters."
Bordo suggested finding a way to hold yourself accountable, which she does by sharing updates and photos on Instagram, and focus on simple choices, like swapping snacks for healthier options, that can be made every day until they become habits.
"I think people should take it from where they are right now and figure out how they can improve their life, just a little bit," she said. "I really want women to find maybe one or two things that they just want to work to improve on. Maybe it's drinking a little bit more water. ... The other thing is taking care of yourself mentally. Take time to focus on your mental health, and don't have shame behind it. If you need help, reach out. There's absolutely no shame in that."
Bordo also offered some advice for people struggling to find time to work out amid the pandemic: If ambitious goals are too much to manage, find something that fits in your schedule, even if it's just a few minutes of working out during your lunch break.
"Shopping around and figuring out what best fits your life can really give you a lot of options and space to make those little habits," she said.
Another thing that fitness experts have suggested is finding a workout buddy: While it may not be safe to work out together during the pandemic, it's easier than ever to connect virtually. Bordo said for her that person has been her father, who recently joined the Peloton program this year.
"Growing up, he showed me the fundamentals of all types of sports, especially running, and now it's like the tables have turned and I'm showing him the basics of Peloton," Bordo said. "And the fact that he and I can connect from 2,000 miles away over Peloton and our like-minded goal of fitness is just — I can't even say what that means to me. It just brings me so much happiness."
Bordo said that the marathon she hopes to run in Portland in October is one that her father ran several decades earlier, and that connection makes her even more determined to run it if the pandemic has receded.
"I really hope that gets to work out, since it'll be 32 years since my dad ran that marathon, and I would like (my parents) to be there to see me do it," Bordo said. "That's what's important to me this year. I really want my dad at the finish line. That is my huge, massive goal, is just to get to go to Portland, run Portland, and have him there for me."