Michelle Obama is the picture of a healthy, vibrant FLOTUS: In the four years she’s been in the White House, we’ve seen her make great efforts against childhood obesity by getting Americans exercising more and eating better. We’ve also seen countless pictures of Michelle Obama working out and gardening to prove that she’s on board, but the First Lady has also made some truly smart and inspiring remarks about staying healthy, physically, mentally, and in her relationships and family life. So to help her celebrate turning 49, we rounded up some of our favorite Michelle Obama quotes from her years in the spotlight:
I try to keep my weight at a certain level. And I’ve found that as I get older…I don’t like to diet. I like food. I don’t like to have to worry and count every calorie…I just don’t like to live that way.
“I know a lot of women get worried about muscle definition. But actually, I’ve been told by fitness experts that the average person will not bulk up on the weights that we can lift. That’s not why people bulk up. But you want to have some weight training in your routine, especially as women, to make sure we’ve got strong bone density.”
On photos of her husband eating junk food during campaigns:
“When he goes out on the campaign trail and somebody offers him ice cream, you don’t say no. We learned that growing up. If somebody offers you a fried Twinkie, you take a bite. You don’t diss somebody else’s stuff. [...] Truly, in our household it’s about moderation.”
“Movement doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive,” she said. “It’s a walk in the park. It’s a run around the park. It’s dancing in the living room.”
[...] Barack is very much human. So let’s not deify him, because what we do is we deify, and then we’re ready to chop it down. People have notions of what a wife’s role should be in this process, and it’s been a traditional one of blind adoration. My model is a little different—I think most real marriages are.
People give me the energy. I can start the day pretty tired. Today, for instance, I woke up extra early, did a vicious workout. I mean, killer! Lots of cardio. So I was really tired, but then you walk into the Department of Labor [where, earlier in the day, Mrs. Obama gave a speech and visited the child-care center], and people are fired up. They’re excited to see you, and the minute you step out there and begin to talk about the issues that you care about, you feed off of the energy and the hope and the excitement of the people who are there to see you. All the fatigue goes away.
We need to find a way to help make that easier without increasing the guilt and stress that is already upon many families. Getting kids better educated, making sure they have access to physical-fitness activities during the school day and outside [school] is important, as is making sure that issues of affordability and accessibility are dealt with.
This is one of those issues that has no party. It has no race. It has no socioeconomic boundaries. This is about our kids.
On aging and beauty:
Women are definitely under a lot of pressure, but I think it’s important to remember that to look good, you have to feel good. I look at my mom at 74 and see how beautiful she looks and how wonderful she is with our daughters and with me and my husband — and I want that for myself when I’m her age.
I began to prioritize exercise because I realized that my happiness is tied to how I feel about myself. I want my girls to see a mother who takes care of herself.
Hey, I love pie. I love a good candy bar.
Photo: Getty Images