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First Lady Michelle Obama has been all over the place. She’s the prized presidential proxy in this election and her popularity is being used extensively to help her husband keep the family in the White House. This week, the first lady sat with iVillage to talk about life as the first family and how she manages it all.
“I think sometimes we, as women, feel like we’re not doing it right unless we’re doing it all ourselves. 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.”
Michelle says that her family remains focused on good health, which is the political cornerstone of her role as first lady. She says that she keeps her kids eating right by giving them plenty of fruit, vegetables an exercise, and that she expects that they all get to eat 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.”
Mrs. Obama doesn’t want to appear to be the czar of healthy food, however. She admits that she will eat chips, French fries and all kinds of other things that aren’t exactly going to slim her waistline. The first lady has to maintain this position in order to deal with critics who might attack her for being too self-righteous when it comes to how the American people digest their food.
“With Barack, his is chips and salsa and guacamole. And peanuts—nuts —almonds, pecans. And there’s a way that he eats them that we tease him about—he kind of shakes them in one hand and creates, like, a little dispenser with his index finger where he can just pop them in his mouth. And I kind of imitate him when he does that. But he’s a nut guy. That’s what he’s munching on all the time. And if there are chips and salsa, he really can’t stop eating those…For me, it’s French fries, which is good because you can’t just have French fries around, so that’s helpful. But if there are French fries in the vicinity, I’m done. It’s over.”