The Today co-hosts said sharing their weights took them back to the body image struggles of their youth

By Julie Mazziotta
November 26, 2019 12:32 PM

When Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager decided to weigh themselves on live TV, they didn’t think about what would happen next.

“We were both like, ‘So what?’ Let’s do it,” Kotb, 55, said on Monday, during Today with Hoda and Jenna. “We didn’t debate it for one second. And I think that’s kind of just the way the whole show is … Thinking about it, doing it, and then the aftershocks.”

The co-hosts stepped on the scale on Nov. 18, with some uncertainty. But they shared their weights with the millions of viewers tuning in — 158 lbs. for Kotb, and 171 lbs. for Bush Hager.

Bush Hager, who just had her third child in August, said it was the first time she had weighed herself since she was in college, and the experience brought back the body image struggles of her youth.

“I, for a second, was transported to when I was like a chubby little girl and found a scale in my mom’s room and weighed myself. And, I, for a moment, was stuck there,” Bush Hager, 37, said Monday. “All I heard was that. It made me feel kind of bad. I weighed myself, the last time, when I was in college, when I weighted a lot less, so it was a shock, it really was.”

“That feeling of being reduced to a number is something I didn’t really like,” Bush Hager added. “And I think I’ll be careful about being gentle on myself.”

The newly-engaged Kotb said that she knows her health matters more than anything else, but admitted that she struggled to see that number on the scale.

“Look, we feel grateful. Don’t get us wrong. We’re healthy, my God no one knows better how much that matters,” she said. “There’s something about standing on the scale and watching the number, like, not stop. I was like, ‘Wait, I don’t remember this number.'”

Jenna Bush Hager and Hoda Kotb
| Credit: TODAY

Kotb, who brought home her second daughter in April, said that she and Bush Hager are going to focus on their kids as they try out intermittent fasting and ramp up their workouts.

“It taught us a little lesson,” Kotb said. “I do think we’re doing this because we want to feel better. We want to feel better for our girls. We want to feel happier.”

Credit: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

“We teach our girls that they’re so much more than the way we look,” Bush Hager added. “That they’re brilliant and interesting and funny and smart and caring and compassionate and that there’s so much more in life than a number on the scale.”

While Kotb may have initially been interested in losing weight, she said that her intention now with her workouts is to simply be able to play with Haley, 2, and Hope, 7 months.

“I want to be able to get on the floor, I want to roll around with those kids, I want to get up and I want to do it a thousand times. That’s the only health goal I have,” she said.

And Bush Hager said that, after a week, she’s over the shock and more accepting of her weight.

“I thought I weighed what I weighed at the end of college, and what I realized is since then, I’ve had three babies, I am 20 years older — I’m never going to weigh that again, and that’s okay,” she said. “Life is so much more beautiful because of it.”