Thursday, October 1, 2009

Role Modeling Happiness and Health for Our Daughters

The First Lady did an interview this summer with Prevention Magazine on healthy living in which she spoke about what good health means - from diet and exercise to beauty and self-esteem. Michelle Obama certainly serves as a role model for women but also as a tween parent role model.

What was so striking about the First Lady's views on health was the notion that mothers need to put their own health needs higher on their priority list and that in doing so, we are setting a good example for our tween daughters. As mothers, we are first to care for our children's health, but too many moms neglect their own healthcare needs - and that does a diservice not only to ourselves but also our families.

Mrs. Obama said she was told by her own mother, First Grandmother Marion Robinson, what NOT to do, saying, "She encouraged me not to do that [sacrifing yourself]. She'd say being a good mother isn't all about sacrificing. It's really investing and putting yourself higher on your priority list."

The First Lady spoke about how she approaches her health from a holistic level - physical health, mental and emotional health and diet, saying "Throughout my life, I've learned to make choices that make me happy and make sense for me. Even my husband is happier when I'm happy. So I have freed myself to put me on the priority list and say, yes, I can make choices that make me happy, and it will ripple and benefit my kids, my husband and my physical health."

The First Lady went on to say women should do what makes them happy, a lesson she says she learned after realizing her two children, her husband and her physical health feed off of her good moods. So doing good by yourself does good by your family.

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