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30 March 2009


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Christy P

From the Michelle Obama interview with Oprah Winfrey:
Obama: I also do some jump rope, some kickboxing -- and I'd like to take up Pilates, if I could figure out whether there's time. After I had Malia, 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, even if that means I have to get up at 4:30 so I can do a workout.

Winfrey: When you first told me that a few years ago, I was like, "You get up at 4:30 to work out?"

Obama: Well, I just started thinking, if I had to get up to go to work, I'd get up and go to work. If I had to get up to take care of my kids, I'd get up to do that. But when it comes to yourself, then it's suddenly, "Oh, I can't get up at 4:30." So I had to change that. If I don't exercise, I won't feel good. I'll get depressed. Of course, it's easier to do it here, because I have much more support now. But I always think about women who don't have support. That's why work-family balance isn't just a policy conversation; it's about changing the expectations of who we have to be as women and parents.

Winfrey: What you mentioned earlier is key: We have to ask for help. You can't do it all. It's impossible.

Obama: That's a conversation I'd love for us to have as a society. How do we set expectations that are attainable?



Thanks for posting that excerpt, Christy. I clicked over to see the extended interview (at Oprah Winfrey's magazine website)---what a great, family-centered picture it paints.

And she's right about asking for help.


Coming late to the conversation:

- I'm an individual athlete
- I lift weights
- Two 40-60min workouts per week, generally Wednesday (wife and 3/4 of kids are at choir practice/RE) and one weekend day.
- At home, which works given that this is all free lifting requiring only a bench, rack and weights.
- I generally let the kid(s) watch, which keeps them entertained, or the older ones go off and make their own action. So far they're very good about not getting under foot when daddy is actually lifting, though it's key to make sure that they don't get carried away with trying to slight the weights around themselves. (lesson learned: a three year old can deadlift 30lbs, but then has no idea what to do with the dumbell once she's standing with it and is in danger of dropping it on her toes.)

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