Why Former First Lady Has Said Goodbye to 'Michelle Obama Arms'

58-year-old is talking menopause to get other women to do the same
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2022 10:45 AM CST
Why Former First Lady Has Said Goodbye to 'Michelle Obama Arms'
Former first lady Michelle Obama speaks to the crowd as she presents her anticipated memoir "Becoming" in Washington on Nov. 17, 2018.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

Michelle Obama's new book, The Light We Carry, is due out Tuesday, but she's had something else on her mind lately as well. The former first lady "gets real about menopause" in an interview with People, hoping that her own experiences will spur other women to open up about their own. "I'm going through it, and I know all of my friends are going through it. And the information is sparse," Obama, 58, tells the magazine, noting that she's seen the "slow creep" of weight gain since she entered this stage of her life. "You look up and you can't fit [into] the outfits you had last year," she says.

Today notes that, in August 2020, Obama talked on her podcast about the menopausal hot flashes she'd suffered, and how she began using hormone replacement therapy while she was still in the White House. "I remember having [a hot flash] on Marine One," she said at the time. "It was like somebody put a furnace in my core and turned it on high and then everything started melting." These days, Obama says she considers herself "blessed," in that she doesn't really have big mood swings and hasn't seen her hair or skin adversely affected.

She's also being kinder to herself, and to her body, as she ages. "I find that I cannot push myself as hard as I used to," she says. "That doesn't work out for me." She adds that she still tries to stay fit, but "my goal now, instead of having 'Michelle Obama arms,' [is] I just want to keep moving." The Guardian has published an excerpt from Obama's new book, in which she touches on other relatable issues, including the anxiety involved in being a parent. "For mothers, the feelings of not-enoughness can be especially acute," she writes. "It's hard not to look around as a mother and think, Is everyone doing this perfectly but me?" Read the entire excerpt here, which includes parenting tips from her own mother, Marian Robinson. (Read more Michelle Obama stories.)

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