If you've taken a class with Peloton's Tunde Oyeneyin, then you know how demanding her rides can be, but also how energizing, motivating, and uplifting. She'll deliver a well-timed pep talk during a strenuous sequence, share how she's overcome a relatable personal struggle, cry with you over all that 2020 took from us, and invite you to dance along with her unparalleled playlists. Basically, Oyeneyin will take you on a capital-J journey. Off the bike, this former makeup artist is a Revlon ambassador and the founder of the Instagram Live series SPEAK, and exercises for what I have to assume is 22 hours a day, as evidenced by her enviably toned arms. Oyeneyin, as part of a partnership with Slack, gave POPSUGAR some insight into her wellness routine and how she maintains a sense of balance.
POPSUGAR: You juggle so much between your work, your personal life, your fitness routine, and more. How do you manage to stay above water?
Tunde Oyeneyin: Really prioritizing and staying organized. I tend to get overwhelmed when everything feels like a "level red" priority. I like to create groups by colors (green, yellow, and red). When I do so, I realize everything doesn't carry the same weight anymore, which really helps lower my stress level and identify top priorities. Slack comes into play in a big way for me. It helps me navigate through my busy work week and keeps me aligned with my team members and myself.
PS: You've had your own weight-loss journey. Can you share advice for others who are on this journey? What helped you stay motivated? How did you manage setbacks?
TO: What kept me motivated was focusing on what I was gaining rather than focusing on what I was losing. Gaining strength, confidence, friendships, and a sense of purpose from the experience of losing weight helped keep me motivated. It's so easy to feel defeated by the scale, and a setback occurs when you don't see the number that you want it to show.
PS: This has been an especially challenging year for Black and brown women. How do you take care of yourself and protect your mental health? What's your self-care routine like?
TO: Taking care of myself is a priority. Sometimes that means not answering an email or placing my phone and apps like Slack on "do not disturb." I'm constantly reminding myself that I can only be my best when I treat myself at its best. Sometimes the cure is food or long talks with friends. I'm notorious for opening a window, lighting a candle, and dancing it out.
PS: You've used your platform to talk about the challenges of fitting into white spaces and to lead Speak Up rides following George Floyd's murder. What advice do you have for other Black and brown women who are trying to do the same and who are struggling to find their voices or use them?
TO: It's not a matter of finding your voice, it's a matter of finding the courage and the strength to use your voice. For me, using your voice doesn't necessarily mean you're posting something on Instagram or leading a seminar. Sometimes finding your voice can be advocating for someone in an elevator when you hear someone in the elevator make a racist comment or be prejudiced towards someone. I think that speaking up can very well be sharing your voice or opinion with a family member who might have also made a racist comment. I think there's so much power in the small moments. I don't think it's always about trying to create a grand gesture. The small, day-to-day nuances of change that you implement in your own home are the ones that create the most impact and change. If we all do that and have the courage to speak up to those we are closest with, I believe that is where we make the lasting change.
PS: Your presence and excellence means so much to Black women who have found some solace and community on the bike. How does it feel to know that you occupy this place and are an inspiration for so many of us?
TO: I'm very humbled by that. Ultimately, my goal is to show up every single day and bring my authentic self forward. By using my light, I'm able to create the spark that lights the flame in someone else's life. My goal isn't necessarily to inspire. It's to show up as myself, I believe it's vulnerability that inspires. It's my vulnerability that is my light. From there, I'm able to hold the match that sparks the light in someone else.