Michelle Obama's New Mission
Cheating the Routine
SL: You get up every morning at 4:30 a.m. to work out. Are there ever times when you say "Forget it!" and don't make it to the gym?
MO: Today! [Laughs] All of last weekend. I ate everything that was available. In fact, we had a take-out food-fest.
SL: Were you back in Chicago?
MO: We were back in Chicago and we had a day of having all our favorite stuff: deep-dish pizza, barbecue. So, yeah, there are absolutely times when you just don't feel like it. That's why the times that I do feel like it, I push myself.
SL: Does exercise help you deal with stress, too?
MO: Oh, definitely. And it makes you feel better about yourself. I always think, "Don't think about how you're feeling during the workout. Think about an hour and a half from now, how good you're gonna feel the rest of the day."
SL: It's difficult for mothers to talk to their kids -- especially daughters -- about weight issues. Is there any advice you can give parents about that?
MO: Well, I never talk about weight with my girls. I try not to even talk about my weight. Because you're right, it is a sensitive issue. My girls are preteens and they're seeing their bodies in a whole different way. We have conversations around health, food, and activity. I tell them sports are something I want them to engage in because it's good for them. It's good to practice teamwork, to understand what it means to suffer a loss, to win with grace. It has nothing to do with weight, it has everything to do with being a well-rounded person. Also, I have them do a sport that they like and a sport that I like. I want them to understand what it feels like to do something you don't like and to improve. Because in life you don't always get to do the things you want.