Recently, Rush Limbaugh opened his big mouth to criticize Michelle Obama as a hypocrite for eating ribs for dinner after a day of skiing. After all, she is the spokesperson for Let’s Move, a program designed to develop healthier kids through better eating habits and more exercise.
“The problem is – and dare I say this? – it doesn’t look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritionary, dietary advice,” he said. “I’m trying to say that our first lady does not project the image of women that you might see on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.”
I really hate to give Limbaugh any more attention than he’s already gotten, but I feel like I need to comment. I don’t even know where to begin with this one, and that’s setting aside the fact that Limbaugh (the Pot) has no business calling out the Kettle on this one. Does anyone out there seriously believe that healthy eating and an active lifestyle means that you can never, ever have indulgent foods like ribs, pizza or dessert, particularly when dining out? The trick to a healthy life is moderation, not deprivation.
Second, I’m pretty sure that the goal of Let’s Move isn’t to create a generation of rail-thin, large-breasted women to grace the cover of a magazine (although I could see why men would certainly hope that would be the outcome). It’s a great gig for the 0.000001% of women who look like that, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what we’re all aspiring to achieve.
And third, I don’t see how anyone on any side of the political spectrum could take issue with attempts to raise healthy eaters. I look at the lunches that some parents send to my son’s preschool: sodas, fruit-flavored gummy candies and Lunchables, all high in high fructose corn syrup, fat and sodium. Isn’t it better to gently nudge the little ones in the direction of healthier choices before these habits become ingrained and difficult to break?
But of course, the whole point is knowing the difference between Healthy and Indulgent. Unless you live a healthy lifestyle, there’s no such thing as indulgence. So enjoy your pie at Thanksgiving, enjoy your braised short ribs after skiing, but use your common sense and don’t eat a Big Mac for lunch and a large combo pizza for dinner five days a week while sitting in front of the television. It won’t make you a Sports Illustrated cover model, but it will make you healthier overall.