Michelle Obama On Healthy Living: I’m in Better Shape Than the President

By Eliza

Jul 20, 2011 12:24pm

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ABC News’ Mary Bruce (@marykbruce) Reports:

In a new cover story, First Lady Michelle Obama opens up about her family’s struggle to lead a healthier lifestyle and even jokes that she’s now in better shape than the president.

After a trip to the pediatrician’s office encouraged her to change her family’s diet, the First Lady explains how she quickly learned that she could make a big difference by paying attention to the small stuff. “I started thinking ‘I’ve done some really minor things – not a wholesale change that my kids would even notice,’” she tells Better Homes and Gardens.

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Photo courtesy of Meredith Corporation.

“Children’s habits can be changed so much easier than adults,” says the First Lady, who has made fighting childhood obesity her personal cause. “They don’t have control over their diets – we do.”

Mrs. Obama admits that life at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. took some getting used to and that she’s upped her workouts to make up for her more sedentary lifestyle. Now, however, she says she’s in better shape than her husband.

“I always tease him I’m in better shape than he is,” she says. “I can do long workouts. He’s the president,” she says.

The First Lady – who today is announcing new partnerships to bring more fruits and vegetables to “food deserts” – stresses that the home front is crucial to changing children’s eating habits.

She admits that it wasn’t always easy to put healthy meals on the dinner table. “I had two little kids; I was busy… We had take-out at least three times a week. I didn’t realize that these habits were affecting my kids’ health. It was just what I felt I had to do to survive and keep the household going,” she explains to Better Homes and Gardens.

The First Lady also reveals she didn’t always love eating her veggies. “My brother Greg [sic] and I, we have our stories about scooping the lima beans onto the floor and then coming back later and cleaning them up,” she says.

The August issue of the magazine marks the first time in more than four decades that a public figure has graced the cover. The nine-page spread on the First Lady comes complete with glossy photos of the First Lady hosting a White House picnic with local school kids using foods from her White House garden.

While her vegetable patch has been embraced by the public, Mrs. Obama says First Daughter Malia was not pleased with all of her mother’s plans for the garden. Malia “was not happy about the fact that we were going to have a beehive – she’s terrified of bees,” the First Lady says, although it’s not clear if Malia has come around to the bees or not.

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