"Our pediatrician pulled me aside." Michelle Obama on the wake up call that sprung the family into healthy eating.

Image via Getty

She is often praised for her own healthy and active lifestyle, but First Lady Michelle Obama admits it hasn’t always been the case.

In an interview with Women’s HealthMrs Obama said she knew first-hand how easy it is to let your health fall by the wayside when you’re juggling a hundred things at once.

“Back when I was a busy working mom living in Chicago, Barack and I didn’t always make the best nutrition choices. We were a little too dependent on our microwave and the local takeout places. It got to the point where our pediatrician pulled me aside and urged me to make some changes for the sake of our daughters’ health – That was a real wake up call for us.” she said.

It sparked the family into making some simple but effective changes, such as eating more fruit and vegetables, drinking more water and making the effort to cook at home more. (Post continues after gallery.)

Like any many woman, she also said she’d been guilty of focusing on everyone around her to the detriment of herself, particularly when her first daughter Malia was born. Trying to juggle her job as a mother, her own career as well as supporting her husband’s, her own health lost priority.

“Back then, I was barely able to take a shower every day, let alone get to the gym. And one day, my mother sat me down and told me, ‘Michelle, you cannot be there for everyone else if you’re not there for yourself.’ Like usual, she was right. And while, like many women—and men—I’ve struggled to find the right balance, I try to make sure that my own health and wellbeing is up there at the top of the list along with my family’s.”


It’s a refreshing change to hear someone conceding that being healthy isn’t always easy.

Michelle’s passion for encouraging a healthy lifestyle doesn’t stop with her family. The FLOTUS has been a strong campaigner for change in health, founding Let’s Move, a program designed to help combat childhood obesity in the US over five years ago that has gained significant ground in slowing down obesity rates for the first time.

It was for this campaign that she shared her daily fitness routine of weights, skipping and boxing to inspire others to get active. (Post continues after video.)

Video via letsmove

While she doesn’t consider herself a fitness icon, calling it “way too much pressure”, she does aim to lead by example and prove that exercise can be fun.

“I do hope that by being active, whether by hula-hooping with kids on the White House lawn or by hitting the gym as often as I can, I’m showing people that there are all kinds of ways to get fit and that it’s really about finding the activities that work best for your own body,” she said.

Hear, hear.

Have you struggled juggling a busy and healthy lifestyle? How did you find a balance?