Showing posts with label LIFE. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LIFE. Show all posts

Monday, February 1, 2016


No,  I'm not talking about batteries (such as the ones in our car,  or the ones in our homes which operate certain things --such as our cellphones)....   I am talking about our LIVES.  How do you (and I) take time out from our busy lives to 're-charge our batteries'??????

Since we are starting a brand new year,  I thought it would be a good time to think about our lives (YES---even those of us who are retired can be very busy)  and find ways to 'unplug' from some of the craziness at times...

My sons (in their 40's) stay SO busy and the stress can be great... I used to be the same way when I was raising kids alone,  working fulltime,  working on my Master's Degree, etc. etc. etc.  Life wasn't always easy --but I just had to keep on keeping on!  But --even back then,  it was important to 'unplug' at times..

NOTE:  All illustrations today come from the internet,  and the article is by Danielle Zeigler, and the link is HERE.   Danielle gave 27 ways to re-charge --but I won't talk about all of them.  IF you want more info,  be sure to click on the link.

One of the ones that really jumps out at me these days is to "UNPLUG OUR DEVICES".  We humans can't seem to do much of anything these days without our fancy devices... We stay totally plugged in  24/7...  Do you DARE turn off those devices for an hour or so each day --or LONGER ??????

While unplugging,   do something that makes you happy... Maybe you love to COOK --and can  make a fantastically delicious dinner.  OR--maybe you want to READ that book on your night-stand --which you have never done...  OR---why don't you LIGHT SOME CANDLES and take a leisurely Bubble-BATH????  There is so much you can do simply AFTER turning off those devices!

Another way to re-charge is to MAKE time just for yourself....It's never easy when we feel as if the entire world is counting on us for everything...  We love feeling needed ---and many times,  we give and give and give of ourselves until the well is dry!

One way I re-charge (both George and me) is to get out most every day (no matter what else is going on ) and take a walk.  Just GETTING OUT IN NATURE is SO refreshing ---and makes us feel good all over.  Even if you can't walk,  just get outside some --and smell that air!!!!

Another thing you can do is to VOLUNTEER somewhere --especially if you are lonely, or feeling sorry for yourself.  I worked with lots of volunteers when I worked in the church for many years.  We couldn't have existed without those wonderful volunteers.

Another way to 're-charge' is to PLAN something upcoming.  It may be a trip to see family far away,  or maybe a special vacation to an area where you haven't been.  Doing some planning will make you feel MUCH better.

One of my favorite things to do is to sit in my recliner,  drinking a cup of hot tea or coffee,  enjoying a fire in the fireplace on a cold, winter day,  and watching my little birdies come and have a feast at the Bird Kitchen....

Another option would be to TRY SOMETHING NEW.   Maybe there is something you have never done --but want to try it... For instance,  take a paining class if you are interested... Step out of that comfortable box and do something new and different.

Keep that LIGHT shining within you all of the time... It's good for you and good for those around you.  Can you recognize it when your light gets DIM?  I hope so --since many people just ignore their 'lights' ---and keep on pushing-pushing-pushing....

One way to get that light shining again is to PLANT A GARDEN... We do that -and there's so much joy in seeing plants grow that YOU have planted!

Want to really make your light 'shine'??????  Then CLEAN OUT A CLOSET or get rid of the CLUTTER around you.... That will help SO MUCH.

Another way to 'unplug' and re-charge is to take a trip... And make it a RELAXING trip --where you aren't going from place to place and staying extremely busy.  BUT--make it a trip like we take twice a year.  One of our 'relaxing' trips is to the BEACH---where we can truly relax and be as lazy as we want to.  Another relaxing trip is our annual trip to Arkansas --where we enjoy life on the top of Mt. Nebo...

LISTEN to MUSIC...  That always help me to feel better when I am stressed or feel overwhelmed...  OR--if you are married or have a special person in your life,  enjoy a DATE NIGHT.  

You have heard of  "Unplug the Christmas Machine"..... WELL--how about unplugging yourself ---and re-charging your batteries!   I am writing this for ME as much as I am writing it for YOU.... Just DO IT.    AND--check our Danielle's list to see more... You might even add some to this list for others to read. 

Check out my other blog,  Betsy's Photo Blog,  today.  Click HERE.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Topic One Talks about ALOT This Time of Year: WEIGHT LOSS and MAINTENANCE

Many of you have asked me to talk about my Weight Loss.   I have declined to talk about it much until now since I have lost weight so many times before and yet, have NEVER (until now) been able to keep the weight off....I am now FINALLY a weight-loss-success.  BUT--it has taken me 50 years!  Today's post is not about losing the weight (most of us can do that since there are many programs available out there for us) --but this post is about MAINTAINING it.  I have found that there are FEW programs out there which do a good job helping us to keep from gaining the weight back.  SO--I have made up my own program!!!!  Maybe it will help some of you out there!

Obesity has always been a huge part of my entire adult life.  I gained about 60 pounds at the birth of my oldest son (who is now 50) --and that weight (plus more) has stayed with me off and on for years and years. It has controlled my life in so many ways, with my weight ballooning up to almost 300 pounds a few times.  Some overweight people don't mind being overweight. But for me, my weight has ALWAYS been a big issue --and that is why I lost and gained ALOT of weight all through the years.  I have tried almost every diet available at one time or another, and succeeded most of the time, with the 'losing' part.

BUT---I never (until now) have put alot of emphasis on the MAINTENANCE AFTER losing.   I could always lose weight ---about 100 pounds several times during my life (which is the worst thing one can do to his or her body).  What I never paid much attention to was how hard it would be to KEEP the weight off.  I will admit that keeping the weight off is MUCH harder than losing it.  If you think that losing the weight is hard,  just wait til you get to maintenance.  I don't want to scare you,  but it's true.

I'm not here to promote one program or another... There are many that work (and many that don't)--and you need to find one which works for you.  The key is that YOU should  do it for YOU---not for anyone else,  JUST YOU. IF I were to promote one program,  I'd definitely choose Weight Watchers --as the BEST overall, but I failed during their maintenance.  My mother tried to 'shame' me into losing weight once---and even though she meant well,  that did not or does not work. I would just eat more---for comfort.   NOBODY can make one lose weight until he/she wants to do it themselves.  YOU must be the one who puts the work into it --in order for it to be a success.

We live in a world where people want immediate success --and that is not always possible when losing weight..  There are plateaus and times when --no matter what you do--the old scales stay the same, or go UP. The key:  Don't Give Up.   The other thing to remember is not to quit---if you have a bad day or week.  Keep on--keeping on.  Be PATIENT!

Get plenty of REST/SLEEP---and keep a fairly regular schedule.  Some programs can be overwhelming... Do this--do that!!!!!  Stress can hurt us!  We may not be able to do it all ---but we can move at our own pace--one step at a time.  Did you know that the SLOWER you lose weight,  there is a better chance that you will keep it OFF?  If you lose fast,  you have a better chance of gaining it back.

Some people/programs really push EXERCISE --and that is important for sure.  But--it's only one part of the program.  I was never one to put a priority on fancy-dancy exercise ---but as an older woman,  my exercise now is WALKING.  I wear a pedometer --and keep track of my steps every single day.  Works for me!

EATING HEALTHY is very important ---and you need to tell yourself  that once you are at your goal weight THAT the journey is just beginning!!!  We MUST continue to eat healthy for the remainder of our LIVES.  As the books all say,  this is a "Lifetime Change".

Remember to stay away from FAST FOODS... This is the huge downfall of today's fast-paced world.  But--even if you don't enjoy cooking,  there are ways for you to eat healthy... Just work at doing it!!!!

Drinking WATER is very important --and something I have NO problems with... We are supposed to drink 64 oz per day---and many days,  I'll drink as much as 100 oz...  Drinking 8 oz when getting up in the morning gets the system working properly.  Also drinking 8 oz of water about 30 minutes before meals keeps you from eating as much.   Drinking water helps with your digestion --which I need help with since I struggle with constipation.  Another thing which helps is the proper amount of FIBER...

Getting on the SCALES every Friday --no matter what---is important for me.  I can get the good new or the bad news,  and then know what I need to do that next week.  I have kept track of my weight since beginning this latest process in April of 2011 (when I weighed about 244 pounds)... YIPES.

Keeping a REGULAR SCHEDULE and getting enough SLEEP is important for one's overall health.  And the most important thing for me to do is KEEPING A FOOD JOURNAL.  I started this when visiting a nutritionist while losing the weight ---and have continued to keep the journal through maintenance.  I have faithfully done this --writing down everything I eat --every single day since beginning this process over TWO years ago.  This isn't always easy since it takes TIME and EFFORT.  BUT--it keeps me accountable --and it also helps me to get the proper nutrition.

Here's the nitty gritty which works for me!  In my food journal,  I count total fluid, calories, fat grams, carbs, fiber and protein.  When I was dieting--I stayed at about 1000 calories a day.  My doctor doesn't want me to lose more --so I am trying to stay where I am.  Now--in maintenance,  I stay about 1500-1800  calories per day (plus or minus).  I try to get a minimum of 60 grams of protein, 64 oz of water, less than 30 grams of fat,  75+ carbs (good carbs)--need the carbs for energy,  and 25 grams of fiber.  As you can imagine,  I work hard with my eating to keep this all in tact.  BUT---for me it's working.  I have stayed about 135 lbs. for over a year now ---and am amazed that I am learning to do this, AND being able to eat most anything I really want (within reason).  The key is to eat slowly and eat small portions.... I can do this---and I AM!!!!

I never judge anyone --or say anything to anyone, but when I go to a grocery store and see an overweight woman or man (about my age) riding one of the store riding carts or having trouble walking due to bad knees or legs, I hurt for them.   I don't know their circumstances--but I do know that carrying the extra weight is NOT good no matter what the medical condition may be.   I just want to tell them that their life could be better if they lost some weight ... People use all kinds of excuses for not losing weight.   BUT--even for people who are limited in their movement or even those on medication,  they COULD do it ---if they wanted to badly enough--and would most likely become much healthier.  Carrying extra weight--no matter what your condition--is NOT good for your body.   I so desperately want to say to those people that they do NOT have to live like that.  I do also notice how much 'junk food' people buy to eat --who are already overweight... Just breaks my heart.  I used to be there! NO MORE for ME!

I will continue working hard with every bone in my body --to keep this weight off.  I feel great --and am proud of myself for accomplishing this.   IF I don't continue to work at it,  I could end up like those big people in the riding carts in the stores.  After losing the weight,  I can now walk with no pain and I'm on NO medication. Before I began the program  I was REALLY having alot of pain and felt pretty miserable, especially when we hiked. I was having trouble also with my blood sugar.   Taking control of ME over food (instead of allowing the FOOD to be in control) is a good feeling ---and giving up all of that junk food is worth every bit of this hard work.  I beg you---if you need to lose weight ---start thinking of yourself and your future.  If you know someone who needs to lose,  please don't 'shame' them.. Just pray that they will see the light.  You CAN change ---and make a difference.  I am the example!!!!

IF you have any questions,  you can email me at betsyadams@mac.com.  God Bless each and every one of you!!!!  I couldn't do this without God and without George.  We all need that special support system.

ALL photos today are from the internet!!!!!


Monday, November 11, 2013

What's Your Story?

I was reading a favorite blog of mine by Dr. Kathleen Mc Coy (Living Fully in Midlife and Beyond).  One of her latest posts  (click HERE) really spoke to me ---and gave me an idea for a post myself.  Dr. McCoy says that if we are willing to 'change our story',  we can change our life.  We need to let go of bitterness and anger, and to get rid of  old 'family roles'.  This can free us ---and help us change our story.

As I read this blog post (she gave several examples of people being 'stuck' in their stories, etc.),  I thought about my own life.  What is MY story?????  Well----long before I read Kathy's blog post,  I stepped out in faith,  definitely changing my life ---and story!

As background to this,  I will say that I had a wonderful childhood and fantastic parents.  I got married very young --and my then husband and I had 3 wonderful sons.  However, the marriage gradually deteriorated,  and lack of communication along with other issues finally ended that marriage --after almost 20 years.

I moved and raised my two younger sons by myself (older son was in college by then),  all while being employed fulltime AND while working on my Master's Degree.  Times were not easy--but I was one 'driven' lady...   I worked for another 20 years ---and most people who knew me then would say that I was definitely a 'work-a-holic'..... I loved my work--and worked many, many hours a day/week. 

Once my sons all grew up and after my good friend moved,  I began to realize that I was LONELY.   I had never even dated since my divorce,  and frankly,  hadn't wanted to for many years.  I hadn't even had much of a 'social life'.   BUT--as I got older and as the kids got married and had families of their own,  I knew that I needed a change.  I needed to 'Change my Story'...

This change was not easy --and my family and friends in Texas certainly didn't understand why I was leaving a good job and leaving my family...  I moved by myself to Tennessee in 2000  to begin a new job.  In the back of my mind,  I was hoping that I would meet that special someone sometime (although I wasn't sure I EVER would since I had been single for SO long).

WELL---I did meet George Adams when I moved to Tennessee,  my life TOTALLY changed,  and I found that true happiness I had lived so long without.   We got married in 2001.  I retired from that  'new' job in 2003 --and we moved to our beautiful little home here in Fairfield Glade.

BUT--as beautiful as my life was/is for me,  this new life wasn't always easy for my children and grandchildren.  My sons saw their 'work-a-holic' mother turn into a gardener,  a birder,  a hiker ----all things I had never done much of when the children were young.  I think for awhile (without my knowledge at the time),  my sons and families struggled with the 'new' Mom/Grammy.   I was oblivious of what was happening at the time since my happiness with my new husband became EVERYTHING to me.    Maybe I was ignoring my children/grandchildren---but I certainly never did it purposely.

These days,  I have a great relationship with all three sons ---but there's still tension within the rest of their families.   I have had to just 'let it go' ---and pray that someday,  those family members will understand that I love them all very much,  and that,  by getting married,  I never ever meant to hurt anyone--or make them feel as if I didn't care about them...

Would I change any part of my story?????  NOT a DROP of it!!!!!  I have the most wonderful husband that any woman could ever ever ever want... I am a blessed woman.  I wish that members of my family  could know George like I do.  BUT--the miles between us make that impossible.

I have learned that all people make choices in their own lives.  I pray that time will continue to heal those strained feelings within the family.  I love them --and hope that they will know that someday.  In the meantime,  I'm still the happiest woman in the entire world ---and have enjoyed these past 12 years with George more than one can imagine. I know that I'm still a 'work in progress'  ---and I pray this happiness will remain in me until the day I die. 

This photo is NOT me --but it could be.  I feel that kind of JOY each and every single day with George Adams.  Thanks be to God!

I'll close by saying that ALL of US can 'Change our Story' ---if it needs changing... I encourage each of you to step out in faith ---and find that deep HAPPINESS which may be hidden deep within you. 

Betsy playing in the Leaves!!!
All of the pictures except this one are from the internet.  I love quotes --and you know that if you read the ones I put on my sidebar each month... So many of these little quotes can speak to me---and hopefully to you.

George took this picture of me on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013 ---while we were raking/blowing/mowing leaves.... I was sitting deep in the leaves ---showing more of the HAPPINESS I feel!!!!!  Yeah for MY life!!!!  I wish this kind of life for each and everyone of you. God Bless!!!

Be sure to check out Kathy's blog... She may speak to you ---just like she does to me!

Don't forget to THANK those who sacrificed so much for our freedoms.  Happy Veteran's Day!


Friday, August 16, 2013

Positives vs. Negatives in our Lives

As you know,  my blog is named Joyful Reflections... Because I  generally blog about the happiness and joy in my life,  something I read recently made me think about blogging and bloggers.   Someone in a blog post talked about 'fake' bloggers who seem so happy and joyful ALL of the time even though we all know that life can be rough at times. 

We are all HUMAN and we ALL go through 'crap' in our lives at times--including me. I am definitely not always JOYFUL --even though I have a wonderful life and a fantastic relationship with my husband and sons.

FAMILIES can be wonderful ---but they can also be 'hell' to deal with at times.   I personally have gone through something in my family over the past several years which is very hurtful..  My husband and sons have been wonderful helping me through this situation...  I couldn't have done it without them...

SO--because we all go through 'crap' with other unreasonable people at times, and since we are not always JOYFUL,  I thought I would share some thoughts with you today --which may also help you with situations in your life at times,  like these thoughts  have helped me.

Above is something I try my best to live by.   I try to find the positive in all of life --even though it is not easy at times.   My motto is and has been for years:  "Surround Yourself with Positive People".  Luckily for me,  George is one of the most positive people I know!

This works for me MOST of the time...  The key:  Just look for something positive, and stay away from the negative!

Don't you love that 'heart' cloud!!!!!   Life is a CHOICE:  Choose to be happy.

This is my biggest regret of all... We all could play Monday Morning Quarterback--and do things differently if we had the chance.   BUT--that's just life... Some of our choices are good ones and some are not.    I made some bloopers through the years... BUT--I'm still ME and the people who love me,  love me because I am me!  I need to remember that, and celebrate this.

I  love this one.  We shouldn't ever have to PROVE ourselves to someone else.   WALK AWAY--although in 'family situations' that is not always easy!

Since I love hiking and walking,  this one is for me!!!!!  Good things are happening and will continue to happen..  I know that ---and I WILL keep walking that direction.

This is one of my biggest problems.  I keep asking "WHY" did this happen.... I want answers ---yet there are no answers.   I need to let it go --and just keep walking through my wonderful life, and forget about the bad situations.

This is for all of us....   There are so many positive, wonderful people in this world.  Spend your life with someone POSITIVE who enjoys life and enjoys being with you.

This one is for those of you who need to let someone GO.   I remember a friend telling me one time that she stayed with a certain person hoping that she could 'change' him... WELL--that never happened,  and all that other person did was to bring my friend down...There was no peace!  Very sad situation.

A negative person lives with negative thoughts constantly... If you know a negative person,  my advice is to get as far away from them as possible.   If you allow it,  they will bring you down!  Concentrate on the positives!!!!!

I have learned that being unhappy about a situation does nothing but give that other person power over my life.  I choose my own happiness.  How about you?

This may be my favorite one when dealing with a specific situation...   Love it!!!!!

Finally,  this one says it all---for ALL of us.  I did NOT write this post for you to feel sorry for me personally.  I'm FINE ---and I've dealt with my situation.    I did write it though to show all of us that we are HUMAN and we all DO go through things in life which are not pleasant, including ME.  It's all about how we deal with these situations!

We do LEARN from bad situations,  don't we?  I'd love for you to share your thoughts today.   The bottom line:  Find that JOY and stay away from those NEGATIVE people who just want to bring us down.  Be HAPPY and be thankful for the lives that we are living.  Thanks be to God.

Have a wonderful weekend and I'll be back to my JOYFUL posts on Monday!   I'm gonna have some of my new favorite ice cream today:  Blue Bell's  Caramel Turtle Cheesecake!  It will cure all negative thoughts--but of course,  you will have to shake out the calories!!!!! ha ha