Billie Ann

You are walking a quiet path through a beautiful park. Something glimmers ahead of you. As you reach it, you look down and there in the rocks is a single antique key. You pick it up, stick it in your pocket and walk on never knowing what it opens. After all, every key opens something! The key to starting anything is to decide it is time . . . and then to really mean it.

January 2013, I had a freak accident, knee surgery and tried to find a new “normal.”
The road back wasn’t going well anyway, but in early March when it took me three days to recuperate from hosting my son’s 8-year-old birthday party, I knew the time had come for a change.  I had the key and needed to find the door it opened. 

Dr. Frank Chae was able to see me at the end of March. The next key, required by my insurance company, brought me to Kelly Elliot, a nutritionist who started me on a six-month program.  With a few pounds gone, a smile came across my face.  At the same time, a dear friend and co-worker handed me a new key, helped me with gentle words and persistent prodding to “get my butt in the gym.”  I was truly in training for this pending, life-altering event.

The next key came as a phone call on October 30. And I remember it as if it was yesterday. “Billie Ann, you’ve been approved by the insurance company!  We are so excited for you and this new life you will begin. Dr. Chae has an opening on November 9 at 2:00 p.m. Check in is at 1:00. Do you want it?”   My reply…“Yes, it is mine!  Just give me a moment to work out the logistics at my job and I’ll call you right back.”

Support from my family, friends and job opened doors in my heart and surrounded me with the support I needed to have my life, as I knew it, change right before my eyes.  Surgery day came, and while it was a tough road at first, all things came together with each passing week. I watched the weight drop, the clothes sizes go down and being called “the incredible shrinking woman” while making clothes donations to friends along the way.

Another key, another door with my meeting an outstanding trainer Chris Hanenburg. She took me to places I’ve only thought about before and now I’m the one saying, “I did that!”

A most precious key, the key to my heart, belongs to my son, Brendan. He decided to measure how well I was doing with his hugs around my waist. I’ll never forget the day he was able to touch his two middle fingers together as he hugged me. I still get chills recalling his face looking up at me as if we had just won the lottery! Now our hugs have a whole new meaning for me, each and every day.

Not all keys are shiny and new. One door that I hadn’t anticipated was the loss of someone near and dear to me who never got to see the new me. “Dad, I know you look down on me every day and I’m sure you’re proud of your little girl. I love and miss you very much!”

The next key came in February 2015. My workouts became more intense and my eating habits were ramped up to score a healthier me. Yes, there have been challenges and a few hiccups along the way. But the moments that will never be forgotten include a time last summer when I was asked what my total weight loss was. As I answered 128 pounds, the next words surprised me, “and I only wish I had done this sooner!” Now 150 pounds gone and from a size 28 to a 10, I’m truly blessed.

I only wish now for one more key. To bring together “the me” that never thought it would happen with “the me” who has persisted to get to this healthy point both mentally and physically.  I am working to believe the door to the future, to the way I look and think and believe, is mine for the creating and I have the key. I can make anything happen!

It only takes a single key. The will to say “it is time . . . and then to really mean it.”

Billie Ann_BeforeBillie Ann_After