Happy & healthy, from Michelle Obama

My summary from reading an interview done with Michelle Obama in Prevention magazine (Nov, 2009).

This is worth highlighting because we have never had such young President and First Lady, who are so thoroughly balanced, healthy and in love with life.  It’s actually kind of  an ‘out of body (& mind)’ experience after the last first couple who seemed old before their time, middle of the road, uninformed, lackluster, poochy, uncultured ‘folk.’

Okay, perhaps I go too far, but really how can one argue with the mandate to give yourself permission to be happy??

Aren’t we all on the grind, pushing, tired, sacrificing all … basically martyrs to our children’s futures?  Well, take a moment with a cup of tea or Joe, and read this little summary.  At the very least it will encourage you that our First Lady is a happy balanced woman and she has given you permission to be too.

Give yourself permission to be happy.

Make choices that make you happy and make sense for you.  Even your husband will be happier when you are happy. It will benefit the kids, husband and your own physical health.

Find balance as a Mother and make yourself a priority.

“I think my mother taught me what not to do. She put us first, always, sometimes to the detriment of herself. She encouraged me not to do that. She’d say being a good mother isn’t all about sacrificing; it’s really investing and putting yourself higher on your priority list. You can be a good mom and still work out, get your rest, have a career—or not. She encouraged me to find that balance.”

“I have freed myself to put me on the priority list and say, yes, I can make choices that make me happy, and it will ripple and benefit my kids, my husband, and my physical health. That’s hard for women to own; we’re not taught to do that. It’s a lesson that I want to teach my girls so they don’t wait for their “aha” moment until they’re in their 30s like I was. Maybe they can experience it a little earlier.”

Make exercise a priority.

I get up before the family, for me 4:30 am up, 8:00 pm to bed, ten at the latest.  Sleep is important but so is getting exercise.

Get Healthy While You’re Young.

“I always want to be in the best shape that I can be. What I’m discovering is that the older you get, the more work you have to do to stay there.”  The older you get, the more work you have to do to stay healthy. Watch what you eat and exercise.  (At 40 I priorities cardio, flexibility, Pilates, stretching.)

I totally agree with her here.  If you are reading this in your 20s or 30s, get out and exercise today!  It gets so, so (I want to write ten more so’s) much harder in your 40s, after kids, into those settled years.

Enjoy everything, but in Moderation.

“I try to have no absolute nos. I love french fries, I like a good burger, and I like pie. And that’s okay. I would be depressed if I felt I could never eat the things that I love.”  Good health is multi-faceted – it’s physical, it’s internal, it’s what you eat, and your emotional state.

Aging is great!

Everything is getting better, you have way more control, you know yourself better.

Be aware and intentional about your health.

Set up new boundaries for your eating as your schedule changes, like holidays.  Be aware.  Intentional.

Kids should think about their choices with eating.  No absolutes.

Can I have pie?” my daughter asks.  “Did you have it yesterday? What do you think?” I answer.  “Yeah, I guess I can’t have it every day.”  This is important for her to think through and decide for herself.

Fashion sensibilities.

Do what makes you feel good, because there will always be someone who thinks you should do it differently.

Overall, her thoughts are so practical and balanced.  Sure, it takes more work in your forties to be in shape or in my case get in shape.  But it’s worth it.  It brings so much goodness into your families’ lives if we find the balance.  We owe it to ourselves and our families.

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Thanks so much for reading and sharing.

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