Martha Stewart may be my greatest female role model.
I love her more than Meryl, which is quite shocking to think of loving anyone more than I love Meryl.
I haven’t always been this way, there was a dark time in my past (I shudder to recall) when Martha and I were enemies. I misunderstood what the Homemaking Queen was all about, and mis-labeled her as a fraud. I thought that she cheated by using ideas made by other people and then branding them with her name. Several years ago I was given her house-keeping handbook by my mother (long before it was relevant to me) and liked Martha even less for enabling the giving of such an odious Christmas non-present.
Then something beautiful happened–Martha went to prison for insider trading.
Now, I realize that this may have been a negative turning point for some Martha-lovers but for me, an avid Martha despiser, it was an epiphany. Martha Stewart was, and is, a visionary–she recognized that women (and men) deserve and desire confidence and elegance in their homes, but were clueless as to the “how”. Ideas were around but scattered, and Martha gathered them together (as well as offering some herself) and made them easy, user-friendly, and extremely aesthetically pleasing. Martha liberated home-making and made it kosher for the liberated woman to participate in, freeing the remnants of “crafting/baking/cleaning is anti-feminist” clutter from the minds of powerful women. Martha is a savvy businesswoman, promotes healthy body image, and a satisfyingly constant breeze of fresh, albeit somewhat cleaner and sparklier, air. When Martha got locked up, rather than resting on her laurels or spending all of her time and energy trying to lie and hide, Martha took the opportunity to spread some of her signature magic to the lives of her fellow inmates. This made me respect her. Martha’s conviction made me a convert.
Ever since then I’ve delightedly perused the pages of my housekeeping bible, determined to embroider month labels for my mattress so I know when to rotate it and resolving to clean up everyday. (Something which worked well for a week until I took a break and bang–a mess appeared! I’ve swiftly started again.) I check her website(s) frequently, and have spent many an hour following link after link that have helped me to better my living.
The reason for this gushing Martha endorsement is that I have been having some trouble lately with my Healthy Me Campaign. Yes, faithful readers, I hit a genuine slump. You all know that I took a break from serious exercise for finals, and afterward it was hard to begin again. I re-started up daily exercise, green smoothies, and calorie tracking recently (and was sticking to it–minus theatre/theater outings) but somehow the same old plan wasn’t quite as shiny as it was before. Effective, certainly–the original plan helped me lose thirty pounds. But this time, I wasn’t enthused. Also, because of graduation my workout buddy can no longer come to the school rec center, whereas I can because I am working on campus. Sadly, it isn’t very much fun to do machine weight training on my own without the conversation to spur me forward. In other words–last year’s plan is now boring.
I want to lose another 30 pounds, but I can tell you right now that I wasn’t going to make it if I stuck with the same old routine, especially on my own. I decided to start google-ing. I wanted something that incorporated weight training and cardio, preferably something I could do a lot of at home, so I could use the rec center mostly for cardio and then beat the traffic rush home to continue there with very loud music.
Martha Stewart (via WholeLiving) to the effervescent rescue!
I followed a link on Martha Stewart Living to the WholeLiving website, and this delightful (and beautifully photographed) amalgamation of yoga, pilates, and weight training popped up with focus on different areas of the body. I was sold. The website has cool healthy me tips and worksheets, tools, skin tips, exercise tips, and a whole lot more in exemplary Martha presentation. I highly recommend checking it out if you are looking for something to do. The only thing I didn’t like was that I had to click to different photo galleries for the different break-ups of exercises, but I compiled it all in a Word document for myself. A lot of the stuff I was already doing, and doing more of, so I’ve modified the routines a little. It does have a fresh new feel, and Martha endorses this, so I’m sold. I’m also excited. I can do all of this at home, and Martha can smile down on me from above. (Or from the East Coast. Wherever.)
Just as a comparison, here is my old exercise routine, Jakercise (named after its creator):
And here is my new routine, thanks to the gracious Martha and her faery-like minions:
I’ve already purchased my tennis ball and I am ready to begin tomorrow.
a re-animated health-seeking
P.S. I am going to be doing a weekly poll from now on. Please vote on it. Really, it’s not that hard to look at the right hand of your screen and click a button. I see my blog stats–I know you’re out there.