Cody Rigsby on What He Eats For Breakfast and Why He’ll Never Drink a Diet Coke

Author headshot credit: Bronson Farr

In Cody Rigsby’s “XOXO, Cody,” the beloved Peloton instructor gets vulnerable about his journey to success, taking readers from his humble beginnings of North Carolina to New York City and to Peloton bike screens around the world. Rigsby injects shocking candor and his infamous sense of humor across the pages, offering up an earnest yet entertaining life story filled with lessons worth bookmarking. The fitness icon covers all things Cody, from his most polarizing opinions (like refusing to drink Diet Coke) and eating habits, to his difficult upbringing involving family addiction, to his past relationship woes and lifesaving tips for others.

The book is filled with raw and inspiring stories, along with laugh-out-loud moments that will make you feel like you’re having a conversation with your best confidant who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Rigsby’s “XOXO, CODY” publishes on September 12. Read an exclusive POPSUGAR excerpt of the novel below.

I’d be a hypocrite to sit here and tell you not to compare yourself to someone whose body pays the bills without admitting that of course, yes, I am one of those people. I know that my body is very close to what’s considered “ideal,” and I know this face is pretty! But I exercise A LOT, and I think about what I’m putting into my body all the time. All the time! It’s a part-time job. Plus, I work with a nutritionist, because if I want my body to operate at peak form, I need to fuel it correctly. I’ve become pretty regimented in what I eat, because the more I can keep my nutrition consistent the better. About 80 percent of what I put into my body is boring and disciplined-my goal is almost always to sustain my weight (not easy to do when you’re teaching hours of cardio a week) or put on a bit of muscle mass while keeping my body fat low. To make that happen I have to prioritize protein, which is harder than you might think. I put collagen in my coffee, because that’s thirteen grams of protein, or sometimes I just eat a pack of turkey because it’s full of protein and I have to get it done. I also drink egg whites in the morning. Yes, drink. I don’t have the energy to cook them. I keep a carton of MuscleEgg liquid egg whites in my fridge-they’re pasteurized, I’m not trying to get sick-and throw them down the hatch first thing. Should any of you out there want to do this, consider yourself warned: They will fuck up your stomach for two or three days. Then your body gets used to it and you start pooping normally. But the minute you stop drinking egg whites daily, when you try to add them back it’s like your stomach is starting over entirely. It’s weird.

But like I said, my eating is 80–20. I keep my boring regimented diet during the weekdays, yet I still have three or four slices of pizza a week and I’ll have a cheat day or a cheat meal on the weekends when I’m out with friends.

“There’s no food that’s absolutely off-limits or that I would entirely refuse to eat. Except Diet Coke. That’s where I draw the line.”

I used to be all about sweets on cheat days-I could eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s from the bodega on the corner in one sitting-but lately I’ve been leaning into salty a bit more. Maybe that’s a product of knowing too much about sugar, because the more I learn, the more I understand that it’s so bad for you. That said, I seem to have controversial opinions when it comes to sweets. Starting with that Ben & Jerry’s.

My flavor of choice, hands down, no question, is Phish Food, which I’ve come to learn is not for everyone. It’s the marshmallow that really gets me together. I have similarly strong feelings about carrot cake. Brace yourselves: You need the nuts. This is polarizing, but I’m outing myself here and now as a nuts-in-baked-goods kinda girl. We live in a country divided on a lot of topics, and nuts in baked goods? Put it at the top of the list. You either love it or you hate it. The thing is, those of us who love it, we’re more adaptive. You give me a piece of carrot cake without a nut and I’m low-key about it. It’s like, “Okay, this doesn’t have nuts, it would be better if it did, but I’m still going to enjoy it.” The non-nut-having people are all, “This has nuts! I fucking hate it! How dare they!” The girls get so upset. Just eat the nuts and stop complaining.

So yes, while I’m a fairly disciplined eater these days, I still indulge. There’s no food that’s absolutely off-limits or that I would entirely refuse to eat. Except Diet Coke. That’s where I draw the line. I really wish people would stop drinking it. It’s a strong statement, I know-the girls love Diet Coke-but I would rather just have a regular Coke. Have one beautiful, gorgeous regular Coke! It tastes like America! Coca-Cola is the official flavor of the United States, and I’m here to call out anyone who claims Diet Coke tastes better. It doesn’t. It’s all chemicals. And I don’t know the full science there-I barely passed chemistry-but it definitely tricks your brain into thinking you’re having sugar, and that can’t be good for you. Just have the Coke! I honestly don’t understand it…you’d rather have three Diet Cokes when you could just enjoy one regular Coke? This will probably be the paragraph in this entire book that gets the most pushback, but I’m fine with that. I really do not like it.

There was a time when any book written by a fitness personality would be a weight-loss book. Back in those days, these pages would probably be called Bye, Booze! Drop the Alcohol, Lose Weight or Spin Cycle: Ride Your Way to a Better Body. I am so happy to be working in this industry at a time when the conversation has shifted toward becoming the best version of yourself and celebrating what you’re capable of rather than how little space you take up. The people who ride with me aren’t there because of how I look. They value me for who I am-for my charisma or humor or work ethic or compassion. And deep down, no matter how fixated we get on outward appearances, that’s what we all want. We don’t want to be judged on our looks. We want to be valued for what we bring to the table. That ass might be assin’, but if there’s not more to you than a rockin’ bod, I am most definitely passin’.

Excerpted from XOXO, CODY copyright © 2023 by Cody Rigsby. Used by permission of Ballantine Books an imprint and division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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