Judging just from what I've heard about her super-cut biceps, it's no wonder Michelle Obama has inspired the White House staff to lose weight and get fit. If she were my boss, I'd probably think I could run a 5K (even with a sprained ankle). Having started the "Let's Move" campaign and being a constant proponent of leading a healthy lifestyle, she's just that motivational. But we all knew this.
What you may not know is how the White House staff's problem really seems to mirror one that MANY Americans face. We're often so caught up in the daily grind that we end up stress-eating, mindless eating, and generally taking crappy care of ourselves.
Consider a few of the changes the White House staffers have made since aiming to be healthier.
Assistant pastry chef Susie Morrison used to reach for a cookie as a snack, but now goes for the apple or handful of grapes. Assistant chef Adam Collick used to guzzle empty calories galore in the form of three 20-ounce coffees topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. Now, he has two cups of plain coffee and water. These aren't earth-shattering changes; they're actually very small steps. But if you looked at it in reverse -- a cookie here, a cookie there, a 200-calorie Starbucks drink every day, etc. -- you'd be looking at significant weight gain over the years. It's probably the way most of us put on pounds!
Meanwhile, the media try to make us believe the nation's weight problem is owed to primarily to extreme overeating, fast food, soda, and a general refusal to work out. Ehhh ... these things factor in, but I doubt as much for most of us as they'd have us believe. Instead, what's going on in a lot of people's lives is exactly what was going on in the White House. We're failing to make time for ourselves, to make time for fitness and nutrition. We mean well, but our priorities are askew.
I'm totally guilty of it! There have been days when I've been going so hard at work that I'd literally feel nauseous for an hour or so before I look at the clock and realize it's 3 p.m., and I had only had toast and coffee!! On a bad day, the next move will be a blood sugar-spiking lunch or, worse, sugary snack. Agh! That kind of behavior just won't do. Our health is just too important.
So, when we're having big, loud, national debates on the obesity epidemic, maybe we should consider the White House "diet." Seems easy enough to follow -- all it requires is putting your health at the top of your list for once.
What do you think about the White House staffers' weight loss success? Do you think stress and the daily grind factor into many of our struggles with our weight?
Image via Sean Hayford O'Leary/Flickr