Michelle Obama's New Mission

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All on the Same Page

MO: The overall message of Let's Move is balance. Do we have a vegetable on the plate? Have we incorporated fruit? What's the portion size? Portion sizes have gotten out of control. With my kids, before they get a second helping I'll ask them, "Are you really hungry? Or is this something you want to do because you're bored?"

SL: Your mother lives with you. Is she in sync with your healthy-eating rules?

MO: Mommy swears I am much more strict than she was. Yeah, she tends to spoil the girls a little bit more. But she believes in not sending mixed messages. That's something families have to think about: making sure both parents are on the same page. If one adult is putting vegetables on the plate and the other's saying, "You don't have to eat them" -- it's difficult.

SL: Are you and President Obama on the same page? Or is one of you more lenient than the other?

MO: We're pretty consistent. But that requires that we spend time talking about our health goals for our kids. Before we set up activities for them, we usually sit down and think about what the girls are doing. Are they overloaded? What's missing? Even with his busy schedule, he's very involved in thinking through the girls' lives.

SL: What other healthy changes have you brought to the White House?

MO: Well, we hope that we've brought an appreciation for physical fitness. The President and I work out every day. And we encourage many of our staffers, particularly our senior staff, who are here day and night, to make time for exercise. I think the President serves as a good role model because as busy as he is, he exercises every day. It's a part of what keeps him going. You do get to a point where exercise becomes something that you need, like water. And we try to promote that.

Continued on page 4:  Cheating the Routine


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