Michelle Obama Is Passionate About 'Let's Move!' Because She's a Mom, Too

Michelle Obama, Let's MoveWhen Michelle Obama became FLOTUS in 2009, she began a much-needed conversation about the health of our nation, especially that of our nation's children. But she didn't simply start the conversation as the First Lady; she started it as a concerned mom of two growing daughters. That's why on March 15 (with CafeMedia working closely with the White House), she brought together roughly 150 parenting bloggers, writers, and online influencers -- many of whom are moms and dads themselves -- to celebrate the anniversary of her Let's Move! initiative.

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Joined by doctors, government advisers, and three-time Olympic gymnast Dominique Dawes (who "marvels" at Michelle Obama's arms just like the rest of us), the First Lady praised our efforts as writers and bloggers in addressing important issues for parents. Because for a long time, meaning up until seven years ago, Michelle Obama was a regular working mom trying to do her best to keep her daughters, Sasha and Malia, healthy.

"We were at our pediatrician's office for a routine checkup, and after doing the exam -- you know, they take the measurements and weigh them and measure their head and all that stuff -- our doctor got this look of concern on his face," the First Lady explained to the crowd. "And he asked me, 'What are you all eating at home?' And right then and there, I remember, in his -- the exam room, my heart sank.  The thought that I was maybe doing something that wasn’t good for my kids was devastating."

So despite her daughters' "sad faces" at having to eat their veggies and watch their "beloved snack foods" being taken away, Michelle Obama shook things up -- and got a clean bill of health during their next visit to the doctor. "Their palettes actually changed, and they got used to eating food that wasn’t drenched in sugar, salt, and fat," she said. "And that’s really the point of Let’s Move! -– to try to make things easier for parents who are doing everything they can to keep their kids healthy."

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And it's working. Just check out the amazing success of the Let's Move! program that she spearheaded in 2010 to turn her healthy conversation into an actionable plan of promoting and providing wellness, health, and physical fitness.

Let's Move!

For those of us sitting in the audience, her inspiration was palpable as she sympathized with parents and their daily struggle to do what's best for their children. "I know changing habits and routines is not easy," said the First Lady. "I know there are times when you don't feel like fighting those food battles with your kids. But I can tell you from my own experience that when you start young with your kids and you keep at it, eventually, you reap the rewards."

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And she really is in there with the rest of us. I mean, why else would she invite mommy bloggers -- more than a hundred women tweeting, Snapchatting, and Instagramming her message like it's their job -- to the White House and her White House Kitchen Garden? Oh, wait, even if we aren't moms, it is our job to get this message out to parents, teachers, and communities. We all have Michelle Obama's back on this issue, and she has ours.

"For those of you who are wondering, I have no intentions of stopping this work once my family leaves the White House," the First Lady assured us (and, yes, I felt like she was talking to each and every one of us in the audience) of her involvement in Lets Move!. "It’s not like I have a one-year or two-year time frame on this issue.  For me, this issue is the rest-of-my-life kind of time frame."

And for that, we're grateful. Now, #LetsMove.

 

Images via Pete Marovich/Getty Images; Infograph design by Anne Meadows

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