First Lady Michelle Obama sat down for an interview with iVillage in which she gave a rare look at her life raising her daughters, struggling to eat healthy, the importance of her girlfriends and her views on the challenges of motherhood in 2012.
“I think sometimes we, as women, feel like we’re not doing it right unless we’re doing it all ourselves,” the first lady said when talking about the importance of support systems. “And I had to throw that out the window a long time ago. I had to sort of understand that getting help wasn’t a sign of weakness. In fact, our generation, we’re probably one of the first generations where we’re growing up trying to do everything.”
How about those famous First Lady arms—does she feel constant pressure to keep them fit?
“I just saw two weeks of Olympic athletes who have real arms, so I always wonder, well, what is it? My arms do not compete with people who have ‘real’ arms. But obviously, people know that exercise is important. For me, it’s a de-stresser, first and foremost,” she said.
Michelle said that the easiest healthy habit that the family has instituted since moving into the White House has been eating together as a family.
“I think we underestimate the importance of families sitting down around the table at a set time. And it’s hard for many families. It was hard for us until we got to the White House, but we talk about this all the time. Barack can at least control that part of his schedule. He can stop whatever he is doing, come home at 6:30 p.m. We kind of structure our lives around mealtime. And right now, the people who mess that schedule up these days are the kids, because they’re busy and they have things that they’re doing and afterschool activities, and sports and games and things like that.”
And though many have caricatured her as some type of healthy food tyrant, the first lady said if the chips are there, she’s going to eat them. So she makes sure there are health snacks around.
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