Verses of Health

Verse One

annette in the gardenHello All!

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Annette, aka “Verse,” so named by my  health mentor, Chris Omni. I love the name. It connects me to poetry, music and the Bible. I’m excited to begin this blog! I look forward to sharing what I’m learned, thus far, in my quest to make my body and spirit F.I.T.

This year found me overwhelmed by consequences of morbid obesity which I’ve carried most of my life. In May, I weighed 338 pounds. My arthritic knees needed to be replaced and my back remained weak despite a fusion surgery. My mobility was so limited, I found myself approaching a need for a motorized scooter. Walking more than a short distance caused shortness of breath and severe joint pain. I hurt so much that even walking from the handicapped parking at my job was too far. After swallowing my pride and asking, I received approval for a “prized” close parking. It was far more an embarrassment than a perk.

Verse Two

Annette kayakingI ended my last blog sharing about how vital water has been in my quest for best health. I started water walking at a community center and I gained strength and endurance. One of my water walking friends coordinated a kayaking adventure for women who’d never done it. When I heard a group talking about it, I was ecstatic—for them. Inwardly, I was sad that I was not physically able to join them. I figured I was way too fat and my mobility was still too limited. Then the group actually suggested I go kayaking too! I thought they’d lost their minds and/or greatly misjudged my ability. I said, “No Way!” The kayaking adventure was planned with a group called “Dirty Girl Adventures.”

Verse Three

Annette excercisingAlthough I’ve spent most of my life in Kansas, the most at home and at peace I ever feel is near large bodies of water. So, it doesn’t  surprise me my three most transformative adventures in this quest have involved water. The first time I saw an ocean, a tremendous weight lifted from my shoulders. I had such a distorted sense of my size that it took the sight of an ocean’s vastness to grant visual confirmation there was actually something bigger than me.

Verse Four


Like most of us, I enjoy seeing before and after pictures of people who have lost phenomenal amounts of weight. I belong to a population described medically as morbidly obese, so photographs of those who've lost 100-200 pounds impact me most. Those people are my super heroes and super heroines! They give me hope! They make, what often feels impossible to accomplish, look doable. But as dramatic as those pictures are, reading or hearing what kept those successful people moving forward between “before” and “after,” is the biggest help to me. I need to know what happened in the during of their struggles –what sustained them. I'm 50 pounds down from 340 pounds last June, but these last two months, my body is stubbornly lingering in the 280s.  I am still solidly in the “during” of my quest.

Verse Five


Are there any words more dreaded than these notorious nine— “Step on here so we can get your weight”? The scale—in the bevy of words I might use to describe a scale, “friend” wouldn’t be one. I’d more likely say, “nemesis,” “frustration,”and “disappointment.” For many of us, our actual weight is a secret guarded more closely than our age, income or true hair color. It’s widely accepted that few of us still weigh what our driver’s licenses say—if we ever did.

Annette's Books

Just Shy of the Stars small Descants for a Daughter small A Net Full of Hope by Annette Hope Billings

Order your autographed copies of Just Shy of the Stars,Descants for a Daughter or A Net Full of Hope now.

Click the images to order!

Thank you!