"I will make a complete fool out of myself if it means that more children and families get excited about the idea of incorporating nutrition and fitness into their lives." -- First Lady Michelle Obama
You could argue that the First Lady being on "The Biggest Loser," a reality TV show, qualifies her as making a complete fool of herself. It's a whole lot better than Nancy Reagan and "Diff'rent Strokes." However, Mrs. Obama recognizes that this is a way to get her message out to eat better and exercise more, especially to families.
It wasn't a coincidence that the families were with the contestants as they met the First Lady in the White House. "1 in 3 children in this nation are overweight or obese. And ⅓ of our children are at risk of developing diabetes at some point in their lifetimes. So this is a major issue," said Mrs. Obama.
Michelle Obama was worried about making a fool of herself in working out with the contestants. But among the group, she was in the best shape of everyone.
"Michelle Obama is what No Excuses is all about. I mean, think about it. Who is busier than the First Lady, other than the president of the United States. This woman finds time to work out practically every single day. We all should be doing this." -- Bob Harper, senior trainer on "The Biggest Loser."
Clearly, the First Lady has time to watch the show since she knew quite a bit about the contestants. Then again, she pointed out that she works out harder after having seen the show.
Her ⅓ numbers gave us an unintentional parallel — get to be overweight or obese and you are heading for diabetes. The idea is to avoid that happening.
Mrs. Obama brought up the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, where they get families for 6 consecutive weeks to "eat healthy and get active" with adults doing 30 minutes and children do 60 minutes of exercise per day.
The First Lady mentioned nutrition twice overall. Like "The Biggest Loser," this was much more about "Let's Move" than "Let's eat better."
Too bad Michelle Obama didn't stay for the next segment. Chris is 42 and she is a contestant on the show. We see her in a hotel room surrounded by food. We see her spreading mayonnaise from a jar on a cheeseburger, putting mayonnaise on a grilled cheese sandwich, chocolate and peanut butter on a banana, and peanut butter and mayonnaise on that burger.
"Literally these foods were calling my name. You know, all the stuff that I know I shouldn't be eating. But I'm just angry and disgusted. And because of that, I'm doing all the things that a person would do to somebody that they didn't like, except I'm just doing it to myself."
I was hoping Mrs. Obama would come out from the shadows and talk to Chris. After all, we didn't hear much about food and nutrition. Yes, children are heavier than they should be and not moving around enough. But this is all about what children are eating … and their parents, too.
Yes, her husband is the one running for re-election. But Michelle Obama is also running to remind people what she has done as First Lady, and to show a different side of the Obamas. After all, some may not like her husband, but some of those people might like Michelle more.
So it's no surprise to see more of the First Lady in media appearances not just because of the re-election campaign, but so Michelle Obama can get the word out more about eating better and "Let's Move."
Unfortunately, Mrs. Obama wasn't on the Colbert Report to talk childhood obesity. The theme was helping military families, which as Colbert noted that Mrs. Obama's two main themes are helping military families and childhood obesity.
This was Michelle Obama's first appearance on the program as First Lady. Given Colbert's emphasis on the ridiculousness of food and food marketing, she should find a way to go back on the show just to talk childhood obesity. That conversation would be more about nutrition rather than fitness.
photo credit: NBC