March 4th, 2012
05:26 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Headlining Black Entertainment Television's Sunday morning line-up was first lady Michelle Obama on the network's popular program, "Lift Every Voice."
Replete with high-energy inspirational sermons and gospel music, BET programming crescendoed into a half-hour special, catching up with the first lady while she was on tour promoting the second anniversary of her "Let's Move" health campaign.
"For so many of us, food is more than just nourishment to our bodies, it's how we knit our families and our communities together," Obama said as she addressed an audience on her nationwide tour.
And, particularly true in the African-American community, faith and food go together; Sunday worship is often followed by feasting.
"How many of us find ourselves looking forward to that fried chicken, mac and cheese, pound cake after church on Sunday," said Obama. "Some people come to church just for the fried chicken," she added in jest.
While appealing to the crowd's sense of humor, Obama did not make light of the serious nature of obesity and lifestyle-induced disease that has reached epidemic proportions according to many studies.
And, she acknowledged the politically charged criticism her initiative first received, turning it into a partisan issue early on.
"I think we've seen a really whole-scale change in the discussion," said Obama to host Cory Condrey, "When we first launched 'Let's Move' a year ago, there was some debate in certain areas whether childhood obesity was a problem at all."
Two years since Obama set out to make health and nutrition her platform, she is touting what she sees as its greatest successes.
"We've seen the conversation change; we've really seen over these two years the nation coming together big and small to really tackle this problem," said Obama. She added that unexpected partnerships have arisen reaching a large swath of the American population: "...Wal-Mart stepping up and making changes to the formulation of their products, Darden –which is the largest restaurant chain in the world - is changing their kids' menus, making fruits and vegetables the first option."
It isn't uncommon for first ladies to profess their faith, acknowledging a religious connection between the president, the White House and the American people.
"There is an unspoken energy that comes from the millions of people who are lifting us up in prayer," Obama said.
When asked what words of inspiration she had on a Sunday morning, Obama said, "One thing that I have learned, that in order to be the best wife and mother I can be, I have to be at my peak of health - mental and physical - and that investment is worth it."
Further reinforcing the connection between healthy habits and setting good examples, she said, "We can't fool ourselves into thinking we can be good servants of God, good parents if we're not whole inside."