By Becca Longmire.

Michelle Obama is getting real about menopause.

The 58-year-old talks to People about how information surrounding menopause still isn’t there and it’s not something people often chat about.

“There’s a lot we don’t know,” Obama, who has been promoting her upcoming book The Light We Carry, shares.

“There is not a lot of conversation about menopause. I’m going through it, and I know all of my friends are going through it. And the information is sparse.”

Obama and her friends used to meet to do regular workouts while she was in the White House, with the former First Lady being given the nickname “Drillmaster”.

Admitting she still works out, but tends to take it a bit slower these days, Obama tells the mag: “I find that when we get together and we’re moving and we’re laughing, then we spend a little time talking about what we’re going through. ‘What’s a hot flash?’ We have girlfriends around the table who are OBGYNs, who have real information. All of that keeps us lifted up.”

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She adds of being the “Drillmaster”: “I’m not always leading the workout, but the workout still happens. All of my friends are healthier because we do it better when we’re doing it together.”

The author explains of her changing workouts, “Some of it is menopause, some of it is aging.

“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.

“You wind up balancing between staying fit enough and being kind enough on your body to stay in the game.”

Obama previously revealed on her podcast that she’d been using hormone replacement therapy to treat her hot flashes after getting some advice from her doctor.

She tells the mag of that decision, “I’ve had to work with hormones, and that’s new information that we’re learning. Before there were studies that said that hormones were bad. That’s all we heard.

“Now we’re finding out research is showing that those studies weren’t fully complete and that there are benefits to hormone replacement therapy.

“You’re trying to sort through the information and the studies and the misinformation. So I’m right there.”

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Elsewhere in the candid chat, Obama opens up about the weight gain you sometimes experience going through menopause.

She shares, “I never used to weigh myself. I’m not trying to stick to numbers, but when you’re in menopause, you have this slow creep that you just don’t realize.

“We’re all in menopause with stretchy [waist] bands and our athleisure wear on, and you look up and you can’t fit the outfits you had last year. I have to be more mindful, not obsessive, but more mindful.”

She says of being “blessed” with her menopause experience, “I think my skin still feels healthy. My hair is still in my head. These are the things that I have to count my blessings for.

“I am still physically active, and my goal now, instead of having ‘Michelle Obama arms,’ I just want to keep moving.”

Obama adds of taking things a bit slower, “If I can walk and move, I don’t have to run. I don’t have to beat everyone. I’ve had to change the way I see myself in my health space.”


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Ellen Bullock