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Michelle Obama on Letting Go of Her Famous "Michelle Obama Arms" After Menopause

Harper's Bazaar 14 hrs ago Rosa Sanchez
In an interview ahead of the release of her book 'The Light We Carry,' the former First Lady, 58, said she is learning to be kinder to her body these days. © Dia Dipasupil - Getty Images In an interview ahead of the release of her book 'The Light We Carry,' the former First Lady, 58, said she is learning to be kinder to her body these days.

Michelle Obama has had to change the way she approaches health and fitness as she deals with menopause and the inevitable side effects of aging.

In an interview with People ahead of the release of her book The Light We Carry, the former First Lady, 58, said she is learning to be kinder to her body these days.

Back when husband Barack Obama was president and they were living in the White House, Michelle used to gather her close group of girlfriends for regular fitness "boot camps." Her intense workouts even earned her the name "Drillmaster" among her friends.

That was from 2009 to 2017. But these days, she said, she's had to tone it down with her workouts, and she's fine with that. "Some of it is menopause, some of it is aging," she said. "I find that I cannot push myself as hard as I used to. That doesn't work out for me. That when I tear a muscle or pull something and then I 'm out. The recovery time is not the same."

Her fitness routines are now focused more on flexibility than on cardio. "You wind up balancing between staying fit enough and being kind enough on your body to stay in the game," she said.

Michelle, who is well aware that every woman in America, at one point, was envious of her strong arms, joked, "I am still physically active, and my goal now, instead of having 'Michelle Obama arms,' I just want to keep moving."

Today, Michelle and her friend group do more than just hard-core workouts, she said. They laugh, they talk about what they're going through, and they uplift each other. That support has made it easier for her to transition to this new era of her life. "If I can walk and move, I don't have to run. I don't have to beat everyone," Michelle said. "I've had to change the way I see myself in my health space."

The Light We Carry is available to purchase starting November 15.

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