Jill Biden covers the latest issue of Women’s Health Magazine. As FLOTUS, Dr. Biden hasn’t been on eleventy billion magazine covers, which is a shame because she’s very cool. One of my favorite interviews in recent years was Dr. Biden’s Harper’s Bazaar interview where she talked about her awful first marriage and how every woman needs to have a job and skill set to fall back on. She was basically like: don’t marry scrubs and always have a separate checking account. It’s something a lot of women still need to hear. Dr. Biden has the same kind of message in Women’s Health, plus she talks about how much she loves vegetables fresh out of the White House garden and how much she loves working out. Dr. Biden is 72 years old and she still trains like she’s always preparing for a marathon. Some highlights from her interview:
She’s the oldest of five sisters: “Our mother was such a good listener. She was my role model.” When Bonny passed away in 2008, Biden was devastated, but even so, she immediately stepped up to assume the role of mother hen. “I feel like I got my inner strength from my mother.”
Why she fell for Joe: “I was drawn to his strength… I was drawn to…to what kind of strength was in this man that allowed him to find joy again.”
Joe had to propose five times before she accepted & the real reason she didn’t say yes right away: “I had to be sure we were going to make it.” Sure that she would be Joe’s wife forever and ever. Sure that Beau and Hunter would not lose another mother, this time to divorce.
She carries a lunchbag after years of teaching: “I like fresh food more than fried cafeteria food, so that’s what I pack.”
She’s an expert meal prepper. “I had to be organized. I would [make] my shopping lists to make sure there were balanced meals with proteins and vegetables…I went through phases, like when I got a pasta machine. The kids just loved it when I made flavored pastas for them.”
She was shocked when Beau Biden passed away: “I didn’t think he was going to die. I just kept praying he was going to live. And then when he did [die], I found I could no longer pray.” After about two years of taking one proverbial step at a time, in spite of her disorienting grief, Biden found that she could pray again.
She loves fitness classes, especially SoulCycle: “I need to be with myself and find inner strength so I can be strong for everyone else.” Wherever she goes, it’s not a question of if she’ll get a workout in, but where, when, and how to manage the logistics. At the White House, she’s up at 5:45 a.m. to feed the family cat and dog, then is outside as quickly as possible to walk Commander, the Bidens’ German shepherd, while catching the sunrise. (Joe is more of a night person and does the final dog walk before bed.) She loves jogging in the White House driveway. Well, she loves jogging. She makes it work in the driveway because it’s too difficult to arrange for the security that would be required for her to run the sidewalks of D.C.
Why she’s an effective public speaker: “I practice, I rehearse, I want it to be really good. Because I care! And when you care, you want it to resonate with people, you want it to matter.”
Biden wants women to know that it is crucial to be independent…financially, emotionally, mentally. That’s why she believes education is so critical: It gives women the skills to secure a job, to make a living, to stand on their own two feet. “You never know where this life is going to take you,” Biden says, and it strikes me as a little dark, but it’s also honest. She saw Beau’s wife, her daughter-in-law, go from married to single mom with two teenagers in an instant.
[From Women’s Health]
I find Dr. Biden so inspiring. She talked about her job as a professor at a Northern Virginia community college as well, and you can just tell that she finds it so fulfilling and so important. Important not just to her students, but for herself. She’s a Peak Teacher too, she reminds me so much of my mom (who was also a teacher). Also: I love every story Joe and Jill tell about their courtship and how many times he proposed. I find it charming, but the reason why Joe didn’t walk away was because he knew Jill was the real deal. Plus, she was a hot blonde from Philly.
Covers courtesy of Women’s Health.
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