Barack, Michelle Obama negotiated workout schedules in marriage counselling

Michelle Obama is known for her guns. Sure, she’s done a few other things in her time but when you see the former first lady of the US in a sleeveless dress, you know what we’re talking about.

So it’s easy to assume that she has always made her health a priority.

Which is why people were shocked when she admitted that Barack had to be told why it was important for her to get to the gym.

At the Essence Festival in New Orleans this week, she told O, The Oprah Magazine‘s editor-at-large Gayle King that she and Barack discussed their workouts during marriage counselling.

“A lot of mothers will understand this, because I found myself looking around after I had my kids, and I didn’t have time for me, but my husband was at the gym like every day. And I was like, well, how are you going to the gym? He was like, ‘I make time for the gym.’ I was like, ‘what?’,” she says.

“This was right when we started going to counselling, y’all, so this was one of our issues, you know?

“I found myself getting mad at him because he was doing what he needed to do for him.

“And I think for us as women, many of us, we have a hard time putting ourselves on our own priority list, let alone at the top of it. And that’s what happens when it comes to our health as women. We are so busy giving and doing for others that we almost feel guilty to take that time out for ourselves.”

She encouraged the audience to unleash themselves from the guilt around practising self-care.

“We are trained that way, and we have to have a different set of conversations to un-train us. It’s not something that’s going to happen overnight,” she says.

So take note ladies.

If your partner finds the time to train, ensure you’re not left out. It may be an awkward conversation, but if they value you they’ll understand that adjusting their week to accommodate your physical and mental wellbeing is a small price to pay for a happy, healthy relationship.

Because if the former president of the United States can shift his schedule to prioritise his significant other’s health, then yours can too.