Michelle Obama said she misses the spontaneity of life before she became a global figure whose schedule involves a team of agents.
The former US first lady said the “spontaneity is gone” and everything is subject to planning ahead of time, with cinema visits at strictly off-peak times.
Mrs Obama was speaking to Stephen Colbert at The O2 Arena in London as part of her book tour following the release of her bestselling memoir Becoming.
The tour has seen Mrs Obama discuss the experiences and events, both public and private, that have shaped her, through her childhood in Chicago to her years as a working mother, and her time in the White House.
The wife of the 44th US president, Barack Obama, was asked about her favourite thing to do since leaving the White House.
Mrs Obama, 55, said: “Favourite thing to do is anything that makes me feel normal.
“And that’s hard because we still live in a bubble.
“I try to explain to people what does it feel like to lose your anonymity because a lot of people take anonymity for granted.
“All I want to do is to walk down the street and sit at a cafe and have a cup of coffee and watch other people.”
She added: “But we can do things when we plan it, so I miss the spontaneity of life.”
Mrs Obama said she has to plan going to the cinema and chooses “senior hours”, adding: “You can’t go Friday night, first run show. No, that would be bad.
“But Monday at two? You know, those are the best times.
“It’s like me and three other old ladies and a guy over there that’s asleep for most of the movie.
“It’s really great. It’s like having your own private theatre.”
Mrs Obama also said she enjoys Orangetheory fitness classes.
“But you just have to plan it, right? So I can’t up and say ‘I want to do Orangetheory in an hour’.
“Then your agents look at you like ‘What?’ They’ll try to make it happen but they have to check stuff out, and figure out logistics and figure out how to get there.
“So spontaneity is gone.”
Tickets for the event at The O2 Arena, which has a capacity of 20,000, were still available on The O2 website on Saturday for £485.50, with resale tickets nearer the front priced at £546.19.
Tour producer Live Nation said they were implementing various methods to ensure that tickets were not resold on secondary sites.
In a statement, Live Nation said: “It is important to Mrs Obama that her events are accessible to as many people as possible.
“Mrs Obama and Live Nation are donating a portion of ticket inventory for every tour stop to various organisations, including, but not limited to, charities, schools, book clubs, and community groups in each city the tour visits.
“Those fans will receive free admission to Mrs Obama’s event in their city.”
A Live Nation spokesman said on Sunday evening that the event had sold out.
Mrs Obama has already stopped off in London on her book tour, with a sold-out date at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall last December.
She will visit Paris on April 16 after postponing the French capital’s original December 5 event to attend the funeral of former US president George H W Bush.
The autobiographical memoir Becoming was released in the US and Canada on November 13, and within one week became an instant New York Times bestseller.
As of December 11, it had sold more than any other book published in the US in 2018.