File this one under I can’t believe I’m giving this guy more press: Rush Limbaugh announced on his eponymous talk show yesterday that Michelle Obama is a hypocrite
when it comes to healthy eating and then he called her fat. To wit
“The problem is, and dare I say this, it doesn’t look like Michelle Obama follows her own nutritionary, dietary advice. And then we hear that she’s out eating ribs at 1,500 calories a serving with 141 grams of fat per serving. 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 or of a woman Alex Rodriguez might date every six months or what have you.” [Charlotte’s note: All this vitriol because she chose to eat ribs for dinner one night – ribs, incidentally, that were “braised short ribs” reported by the chef at the restaurant as having 600 calories per serving and made from lean local beef served with a side of kale and mushrooms.]
There are so many things wrong with this story. First, have you seen Rush Limbaugh? Second, can you imagine having the press catalog every meal you eat
? Third, since when are First Ladies supposed to look like Sports Illustrated swimsuit models? Lastly, is it really okay now to use body snarking in political rhetoric? Really?? No matter which side of the political spectrum you sit on, I think we can all safely say that Limbaugh’s remarks are rude, factually erroneous and reek of fame-whoring (What does a fame whore smell like? I’m imagining a perfume collaboration between Charlie Sheen and Snooki called “Sex Tape”) and dismiss his comments as so much chaff.
The hubbub over Limbaugh’s commentary brings up an interesting point however: How does a parent best set a healthy example for their kids? If you’d asked me that question five years ago I would have told you that is exactly why I only ate my contraband chocolate huddled in the pantry during nap time. Fast forward to yesterday where my kids watched me eat cookie dough off a spoon while cooking dinner and then cried because I wouldn’t give them any. (I didn’t want them to ruin their dinner!) There’s got to be a middle ground.
Frankly, even if Michelle Obama had ordered 2,000 calorie ribs smothered in barbecue sauce and topped with fried onions, I think she did the right thing by eating it in front of her kids. It’s obviously not the way she eats most of the time – no matter what Limbaugh says I think she looks beautiful and healthy – and I like that she could eat a treat in front of her kids. It shows them that food is just food and should be enjoyed. It also shows that you control what you eat, not the other way around. She ate a portion, was (I’m guessing) satisfied and went about the rest of her day (again, guessing) not thinking about food until she got hungry again.
Nine months of Intuitive Eating under my belt, I think I’ve come a long way in being a better example of healthy living for my kids but I know I’m not quite there yet. Should I have been eating the cookie dough? No – for one thing, I wasn’t sitting down and enjoying it and also I wasn’t hungry for cookie dough, I was hungry for the chicken I was cooking but wasn’t ready yet because I procrastinated starting dinner. But that doesn’t mean it’s never appropriate to eat cookie dough. I want my kids to see me enjoying my food and making healthy choices. I don’t want my kids to see all the mental gymnastics that goes on behind it.
Last night, while saying the prayer over dinner, my second son said, “…And we thank thee for this healthy food. And also sugar. Bless mom to let us eat it. Amen.” My husband just sighed. Of course this was also the son who prayed, “Dear God, please bless my brother to stop being a stupid jerk and messing up all my stuff while I’m gone at school because I really hate him but I’m not allowed to kill him. Amen.” Dinner is always an adventure at our house.
How do you set a healthy example for your kids? Do you think Michelle Obama was being a hypocrite by eating ribs when her platform is “curing childhood obesity”? Did you ever hear/say a hilarious prayer?