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Michelle Obama in Better Homes and Gardens tells of workouts and weight gains

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michelle bhg cover.jpg

WASHINGTON--First Lady Michelle Obama hits the cover of the August issue of Better Homes and Gardens, out on July 19. Mrs. Obama is the first female public figure ever to be on the cover of the magazine, a BH&G spokesman told me. She reveals in an interview that after moving into the White House she was not as active as she had been---and her clothes began to get tight.

Mrs. Obama in Better Homes and Gardens: "Ironically, her more constricted life has made it harder to follow her own advice about staying on the move. "I became more sedentary," she admits. After her first year at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, she was surprised that her body had changed. "I realized that some clothes were getting tighter," she says. "I didn't know what was going on." She has increased her time at the gym, and now banters with her husband--"I always tease him I'm in better shape than he is." She laughs. "I can do longer workouts. He's the President." Their physically active lifestyle is also an implicit signal to their daughters. "Ultimately kids emulate what they see. You don't have to make a lecture if you're living it. We don't talk about working out, we just do."

Another reveal: daughter Malia is scared of bees and did not want a beehive set up next to Mrs. Obama's garden on the South Lawn. The bee hive is there to make it an easy commute for the pollinators.

Malia "was not happy about the fact that we were going to have a beehive--she's terrified of bees," Mrs. Obama said.

Mrs. Obama "discovered just how influential she can be (convincing Walmart to offer healthier items, the Treasury Department to use tax incentives to entice grocery stories to inner cities, and cooking professionals to partner with local schools as part of the Chefs Move to Schools program)."

The interview and cover shot were done in May. The package of coverage negotiated by Mrs. Obama's communications team includes an interview, extensive coverage of her healthy eating mission and interviews with White House chefs Sam Kass, who is Senior Policy Advisor for Healthy Food Initiatives (and the Obama's former chef in Chicago) and White House chief chef Cristea Comerford.

The Sam Kass interview is here:

excerpt: Q. Is the White House Kitchen Garden completely organic?

Sam: We're not certified organic, but we don't use any pesticides -- we use natural controls. We have ladybugs and praying mantises -- they do a pretty good job of keeping our garden pest-free. We rotate our crops a lot -- we're not just planting one thing all of the time. That helps prevent disease. Other than a little nibbling here and there, we haven't had any big issues.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 12, 2011 2:25 PM.

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