exercise intentions + wellness journey

Ok. Here's the deal.
I am not happy with my current physical condition. I have not weighed this much for this long, since I was pregnant. I love the holidays and allow myself to enjoy them. This means I let myself gain weight. I generally gain between 5 and 7 pounds and then generally take that weight back off in the first two months or so of the year. Well … 2009 has has been different for me. Maybe it's the long winter, maybe its something else? I have been pretty consistent with my exercise, but I also need to be honest with myself. I lead a sedentary life.

My job is sedentary. I sit in front of my computer for hours on end.

My hobby is sedentary. I can stand at my scrapbook island for hours on end.

Yes, I'm busy, but I'm generally NOT busy moving. Yes, I run errands (in my car) and yes, I chase my kids — but not very far!

In addition, I am no longer a spring chick. DARN. I am about to turn 44 and by most people's definition, this is middle-aged. I can feel my female-ness shifting and my energy slipping.
But … (here comes the good part) I'm not going to take all this lying down!

I'm back from spring break, the sun is shining and I have a plan!


This is my exercise intentions clipboard.

I use clipboards all over my house to hold lists and track progress on various projects — clipboards work for me (and my family) so, I made this exercise intentions clipboard a couple of weeks ago and it's been on my "to blog" list ever since. By the way, I've already tweaked it a bit. If you'd like a copy of the newer version, click here Download Exercise
You are welcome to tweak this word document for you and give it a try!

I am being influenced here by a couple of things …

ONE. I have been reading The Power of Full Engagement, which I highly recommend. It is all about balancing and managing your energy the dimensions of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. One of the main premises being the importance of oscillating between full engagement and intentional disengagement, or recovery. I know that I often don't give myself time to recover and I certainly haven't understood how to intentionally disengage mentally and emotionally or at least how to choose to disengage in a quality way.

TWO. I have enjoyed getting to know Sunny Schlenger, author of Organizing For the Spirit. Sunny is now an instructor at Big Picture Scrapbooking. Her first projects now class (really more of a process now class) is called My New Year. As I worked with Sunny on her content I came to better understand intentions and the powerful and effective way in which they can guide us to our goals and dreams. We launched this class last month in the hopes it would rescue many of us from our failed resolutions. It is a powerful reminder that a "new year" can start whenever you are ready. How about tomorrow?

We often set resolutions, goals, expectations for ourselves that are too narrow or demanding. In other words, there is little room for the natural ebb and flow of life and energy — consequently we "give up" after a few failed attempts at reaching or accomplishing or meeting a demand.

So back to my clipboard. Rather than set very specific exercise goals, I am setting exercise ranges. Rather than say I will jog five days a week I am using little circles to set a minimum and maximum number of miles that I want to jog in a week's time. I am also setting this kind of range for yoga and strength training. I already know that I like living in a body that exercises regularly. What I want to do now is learn how to listen more to that body and respond in a positive and flexible way. On the new version of my clipboard the minimum number of circles is turquoise. These are the ones I really WANT to color in. If I can and want to do more, GREAT. If I'm not able to do more, I will still be in my range and meeting my intentions — get it?

NOW … I am also signed up for Lisa Cohen's Wellness Journey, that starts this Thursday and I want to challenge anyone and everyone (who reads my blog) to join me. I have a very FUN summer ahead that includes a birthday party in Hawaii and a family reunion. I want to feel light and happy and energetic for both of these anticipated events. I want to use the fresh start that spring inspires to better understand my wellness at this point in my life. I did a fasting blood draw this morning and am getting my annual check up tomorrow!

BPS sent out some money-saving coupon codes via email last week. One of them is for $5 off Lisa's workshop. All you have to do is enter "bailout99" at checkout and you can join me in this 8-week journey for just $35 dollars. I can''t think of a better time of year to commit to this kind of a class. Lisa is a fabulous teacher and someone who lives and loves wellness. She is currently working on her certification to become an exercise specialist. She is also a rock star when it comes to digital scrapbooking, so we'll be assembling a beautiful journal/scrapbook that she has designed, to track our Wellness Journey – and wellness is definitely a journey worth tracking.

One more thing … I'm still having a HECK of time with my internet connection. Comcast is coming again tomorrow. I have so many things to blog about and share with you — including highlights of our trip to Denver. But … between no consistent Internet there or here, I'm about to scream.

Think I'll jog off the frustration instead.


  1. Good for you Stacy! I have been carrying around an extra 10 lbs of baby weight. My baby is turning 3 in July – I can’t use that excuse forever! I have been trying to use the Wii Fit for at least 30 min a day. It is so much fun and challenging! I can feel my muscles working! You should check it out. Good luck!

  2. Julie Johnson says:

    I think you read my mind! I allow myself to enjoy the holidays too. Now with the Easter candy looming, I have no excuse not to get back in shape. I’ve switched to a vegan diet this last month- and love it. I feel more focused, and lighter, and am working on getting the exercise in. I just downloaded the checklist, and am on my way over to BPS to check out the class. Thanks for continuing to inspire me to have more fun and live well!

  3. I am in the same boat too! Consistency is hard when you are a busy mom (or dad) or person in general! But I find you need to plan and somehow be accountable to yourself so thanks for the clipboard idea and a reminder of what the Lisa Cohen’s Wellness Journey is all about.

  4. Holly A. Moss says:

    Yay Stacy! Good for you!
    I have been counting down the days for Lisa’s Wellness Journey class to start (I signed up as soon as I saw it at BPS).
    I saw my doctor last week for my physical ~ all clear on that front.
    Now, if I can just get over the cold my daughter gave me a couple days ago, I’ll be in much better shape. :)

  5. Stacy,
    I just turned 44 a couple of months ago – and I agree it just doesn’t get any easier. I understand the desire to shed the dreaded extra few pounds. (although I thought you looked very tall and thin when I saw you last week).
    My hubby and I are heading to Hawaii in 12 weeks and I would like to lose 10 pounds by then. Tough, but do-able since I work for Weight Watchers and get motivated every day at work.
    I’m behind on my LOM or I would jump right into the new class, but only if I catch up on LOM.
    Good Luck Stacy

  6. Go for it! You are correct – if I read what you wrote correctly – if you miss a day or two doesn’t mean you failed, just that you have to start up again. Keep at it!! I’m doing my best, too.

  7. I can hardly wait for the class to start. We finally have sun shining – still have a lot of snow on the ground but I can see the light. Have my 20 year reunion coming up this summer and want to look better for that.
    Happy Day.

  8. Thanks for the book titles – I want to read them both!

  9. You are inspiring the rest of us! I too lead a sedentary life and want to change that. Change is good!

  10. Thanks for the inspiration. I am on a wellness journey of my own, but signed up for LIsa’s class. Today has not been very good as far as what I have put in my body, but it is only one day. health is so important.

  11. Stacy – right there with you! I recently took Sunny’s “New Year” class and wrote down my intentions on 3/20. What I wrote: “I intend to live in a body that makes me feel comfortable and happy in my own skin.” I went on in my journaling to explain that I know I don’t need to look like a model or wear a size 6 (not happening in this skin) but that I did need to eat healthier and exercise more.
    I signed up for Lisa’s Wellness Journey class. Unfortunately, a few days BEFORE those bailout coupons came out! That’s the third time a coupon has come out for a class AFTER I signed up. Ugh. Guess I need to be a little less impatient to get on board… early bird does not get the worm.
    I also started on the treadmill and after a week had worked up to 15 minutes. Then I got sick. Listening to your body IS important. I hadn’t exercised in a full week and finally felt well enough today to do just a little! Hoping I’m better enough by Thursday to be fully on board for class!

  12. thanks so much for blogging about this topic – so many around me are “in gear” and for some reason I just can’t get there this year … I desperately need to get outside and walk and just breath the fresh air!! making it part of my scrapping life might help – thanks for the ideas :-)

  13. I love your mini-clipboard & your watch—so very you! I am with you on this. I’m noticing in the past year that I can’t just eat whatever I want anymore and expect to stay the same size. Jelly Belly’s are my biggest downfall at this time of the year. During the day I’m running around with three fairly young boys, but at night I sit in front of the computer. I’ve taken to sitting on an exercise ball rather than a desk chair–great for engaging core muscles and doing other crazy stunts while working. I also squeeze in push-ups, sit-ups and other exercises whenever I can (like when uploading photos). At this rate it will be a slow process!

  14. Great watch! Where did you find it?

  15. Stacy,
    I’ve been signed up for Lisa’s class for a while now…and counting down the days. I’m excited to know that you’ll be in class as well. I hope you keep us posted on your blog.

  16. I am with you Stacey!

  17. Fran Carnes says:

    Stacy, I’m in! I’ve been going through the same thought processes. Quit weight watchers and have been working the last few weeks to come up with a better solution that does not focus 100% on food. I work virtual for a corporation and sit at my desk for 8 to 12 hours a day some days. I can’t live like this any more. Thanks for the kick-in-the-pants to get me motivated! Keep moving….keep going! We can do it!

  18. I just had this same conversation with my husband tonight, actually through tears. Your timing is impeccable. I can’t wait to have my husband read this when he gets home from basketball tonight. I love how small the world is and that we are all going through similar things at the same time. Thank you for sharing.

  19. Stacy,
    Welcome home and happy birthday “season.” Thanks for sharing. I, too, struggle with the exercise thing. I know I feel better when I exercise, but it is always the first thing to go when life gets busy. It has been “gone” for awhile now. I will definitely give some thought to the Wellness Journey, though I don’t want to distract myself from LOM. It is extra incentive to know that you will be there.
    Good luck with your physical tomorrow and with your internet connection…
    Happy Spring,

  20. Where do you get those darling clipboards? I love them. Thanks for an honest and heartfelt blog today. It was inspiring.

  21. TracyBzz says:

    I’m 31 and want to get into shape beofre I hit middle-age. I (And 2 friends) have been going to Weight Watchers weekly. We started at the end of January. My excerise and endurance has come a long way. I can jog on the treadmill for 1.5 miles at 4.5 mph – seriously huge! I want to lose about 20 lbs, but it’s not about the number it’s about feeling good. I also strength train, do yoga, pilates, aerobics. I do a huge variety of things at home (don’t live in a city, no gym here. And there’s still snow on the ground).
    Off to sign up for Lisa’s Wellness class, waiting till the last minute to see if the Canadian dollar would improve any.

  22. I went through this last year…completely unable to lose any weight, no matter what I did. I hated feeling alien within my own body. That feeling itself was enough to get me to the doctor, get things checked out, and figure out what was going on. A few Rxs and a gajillion miles later, I am finally starting to feel comfortable in my own skin.
    I think for me, the only way to really STAY on my running goals is to constantly remind myself just how good I feel when I’m out there. It’s just the getting OUT THERE that’s hard! I know you can do it!

  23. Dixie Lee says:

    Here’s an easy, good read for you and a great reference book.
    “Strong Women Stay Young” by Miram Nelson.
    Advice on how to incorporate simple strength training into your life, the reasons why to do it and the exercise plan that makes it possible.
    I highly recommend it.

  24. Nicole Gray says:

    Hello Stacy,
    Which Island are you going to when you are IN Hawaii? If you are going to Oahu it would be awsome if you came to give a talk.

  25. I doubt I’ll be the only one to ask but: WHERE DID YOU GET THAT CUTE WATCH???? ;-)

  26. csuzanne says:

    thanks stacy! i, also will be turning 44, next month! the “middle-age spread” has begun, and I DON’T LIKE IT!! i’m going to print out your list (with my modifications cause i don’t run!) and start using it TODAY! my goal is 10 pounds by June 15 – that’s only one pound a week, so it’s doable!
    thank you. for this and so many other things that you have been an inspiration for (lom is awesome!)!

  27. ooo I hear ya on the womanhood thing. I’ll be 43 later this year and I figure I’d better get myself in shape before my body REALLY rebels! Thanks for your constant inspiration.

  28. Oh My Gosh Stacy, I am so right there with you!!! I will be joining you in Lisa’s class! I hope it’s the motivation I need to get off my duff and get moving!!

  29. I began my journey to wellness on January 5th. After gaining 20 pounds over the course of 2 years I’m soooo ready to get me back. It has been a slow process, but what an amazing, life changing journey I’m on. I am committed this time and I haven’t felt this great about me in a long time. Best to you!!!

  30. I totally know what you mean about the sedentary lifestyle! I have been making an effort to get more exercise in, too. It’s hard to get going, but I always feel so good afterward.
    And P.S. – I love your watch in the pic! :)

  31. Good luck Stacy, and add me to the WATCH questions, love the one you have on and was watching some old Scrapbook Memories on TV and noticed a cool one you had on with a multicolored striped band and was wishing I knew where you found that one too!!

  32. Annette says:

    I’m in too! I’ve already begun my pre-class assignment and stocked up some healthy veggies and fruits. Also walked and did the elliptical. I just feel like it’s time, and this class is the perfect motivator!
    So stoked you are taking it too!

  33. woo hoo Stacy!
    Thanks for the motivation!
    I’ve been wanting to take this class for awhile, and though REALLY sily, your commitment was the push I needed to take the plunge!!!
    Thanks & see u in class!!! =)

  34. Caroline says:

    The exercise clipboard is such a great idea! I’d love to hear about the other clipboards you use – I can always use inspiration and motivation to get things done, and this seems like a great way to do it! Thanks for all the ideas!

  35. I decided to take you up on the challenge. Although I love my wonderful hobby and my job, both are sedentary and it is starting to show. The time for action as arrived.

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