Physically, I'm half the woman I used to be, but as a result of my journey with gastric bypass surgery I've gained a lot. I'm Julia, and this blog is about the miles I've traveled in transforming my body, soul, and spirit while shedding more than 160 of the 300-plus pounds I carried before surgery.

I'll share my personal experiences of restoring my health and changing my lifestyle, and I'll offer spiritual encouragement, social and emotional tools, nutritious recipes, health information, and more. I've had a few challenges along the way, but through all the struggles I've grown stronger and regained my health and my life. I had my surgery on Easter Monday, 2006, which I call my personal resurrection day. Because of my transformation, I now look forward to many more "miles to go", and I invite you to travel with me on the road to a happier, healthier lifestyle...yes you can...I just did!

water, oh yeah!

We all know getting enough water is necessary to avoid dehydration—and especially during the summer heat.

Getting enough fluids is also a concern after weight-loss surgery.

New weight-loss surgery patients sometimes find it challenging to get in all the fluids needed because of limited stomach capacity. As a new weight-loss surgery patient, it seems all I did those first few days was sleep, walk, and sip. 

Even though you may not get it all in at first, it is important to keep at it. The amount you can drink at one time will increase the further out from surgery you go. So hang in there, soon you'll get the hang of it and you'll be feeling better and looking cheerier in no time at all.

We have all heard that you should get in 8—8 ounce glasses of water a day. That's 64 ounces! But that's only if you weigh 128 pounds. Actually, you should get in half your body weight in ounces each day. So the less you weigh, the less water you need. But it is possible to drink too much water. So, in order to replenish the body with enough water without overwhelming the cells, the Institute of Medicine determined the ideal amount is approximately 16 8-ounce cups (3.7 liters) for men and 11 8-ounce cups (2.7 liters) for women.

So why is it so important to drink (or sip, in our case) so much fluid? Drinking water helps you lose weight and have healthier skin. Your liver plays a huge role in detoxification and burning fat. Your kidneys flush out the fat and toxins from your body. But when you don't drink enough fluids your liver has to work harder to detoxify your system, so your liver can't burn as much fat as it could.

Drinking water also helps your skin stay healthy and after all that weight loss, healthy and supple skin is important, too. So when you drink enough fluids you are helping your body help you lose weight, get healthy, and look great.    

Remember, carbonated beverages do not offer sufficient hydration and can cause dehydration. They are very acidic and can negatively affect your new pouch. Carbonation cause gas bubbles which can stretch your pouch, causing pain and comprising your new weight-loss tool. These are best eliminated from your diet. 

The good new is: protein shakes CAN be included into your liquid count. You may find adding lemon is a refreshing additions to water.

Tea is also a good alternative, which offers as much hydration as water, and it also has antioxidants to help you return to health. Use artificial sweetners with caution, they can slow weight loss. Just a little, tiny bit of sugar, honey, or agave is better than too much artificial stuff.

The food we eat also provides about 20 percent of our water intake. Foods such as watermelon and spinach, are 90 percent or more water by weight.

Lap-band patients may find drinking warm liquids (especially in the morning) relaxes those tight tummy muscles.

So drink for your health...Yes, you can. You have many more miles to go!

peachy keen summer treat


A Peachy Keen Summer Protein Shake

—it's peachy and creamy! 

...and yes, you can have whipped topping! 


  • 1 scoop Snytha 6 Vanilla Protein Powder - (mixed with water)
  • Ice
  • 2 Tablespoons of fresh chopped peaches
  • a a little squirt of whip topping!


blend, top and serve

Posted on Monday, August 24, 2015 at 07:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in | Comments Off

our changing identity


You can tell a lot about a person by their uniform. Whether a nurse, a fireman, a chef, or a basketball player—clothing reflects who we are—our identities, personalities, and values. 

In a sense, we all wear uniforms. The clothing we choose makes a statement. Whether it’s the teenager in a self-discovery phase, the preppy college student, or diligent homemaker, our own personal “uniforms” say something about who we are and what we value—that is, unless we are obese.

If you wear any size above a standard size 12, you’ve probably had difficulty finding clothes that fits your personality. As my size increased over the years, I struggled with shopping. It was both frustrating and depressing. I hated the limited, unstylish larger-sized options. Those XXX-sized clothes revealed more about my size than my personality. As a result, I had just one shopping rule—if it fit, and somewhat covered my body, I purchased it.

But those big, bulky clothes did more than just cover my body. They actually hid me. They were my “fat uniform”. They allowed me to camouflage my true self. They became such a security blanket that I struggled to let go of them when I started to lose weight. You know, just in case the surgery didn’t work, or I gained the weight back.  

I quickly realized that I had to let go over the old me and start embracing the new one. I knew if I kept those old clothes, they would serve as a crutch to fall back on. I had to learn to take responsibility for my success; I couldn’t hide behind excuses any longer.

Recovering from obesity means more than getting to wear new, smaller and more stylish clothing. It’s also about what not to wear.  As we shed the pounds, we also need to shed our "old out-dated identities" of our former selves. We are not who we were, we have changed.

So as the weight falls away, lay aside those plus-size security blankets. You'll reveal more than a thinner you, you will uncover your dynamic personality, your new found sense of self-worth and truck loads of self-confidence—be yourself—the one you really are! 

the turning of the tide

"The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Having a low moment, don't despair, even when your at your lowest, things can start to turn around for the better. Hang in there, you're going to make it. 

We can choose to hold on to the past and the pain in our lives or use our energy to let it go and move forward. What we choose to do right now will make a difference in all our tomorrows.

We may not have the ability to change every circumstances in our lives, but we can change the things that are within our power to change. Sometimes we just need to choose to change ourselves and the way we think.

We can change the way we think, and the things the think about. We can choose to focus on the good and not the bad. After weight loss surgery, I found I had to change my attitude and the way I thought about myself.

I had to change my attitude from victim to victor.

I had to be intentional, choosing to be grateful for the things that I had and let go I what I didn't have.

We can choose to be happy. You can't live a positive life with a negative mind.

Abraham Lincoln said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” 

and it was Art Linkletter who said,  “Things turn out best for the people who make the best out of the way things turn out.”

I believe the freedom of choice is one of God's greatest gifts. So make the best of of a bad situation by making a choice to choose.Just choose. The tide is turning. Be prepared for something great to happen. 

Yes you have many more miles to go! 

Posted on Monday, August 10, 2015 at 09:03AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in , , | Comments Off

hiccups? anyone?

Everyone has hiccups, but after having weight loss surgery, it's not unusual for hiccups to occur more often.

  • So why do we get the hiccups?
  • How do we stop them?

or better yet...

  • How do we avoid getting them in the first place?

Hiccups can occur for many different reasons. They can occur from sudden temperature changes inside a room to sudden temperature changes inside our stomach. They can also occur from a bloated stomach as well as excessive drinking or smoking. There are spices that irritate the stomach leading to extra acidity within the esophagus—which could lead to hiccups. Hiccups can also occur when we are under stress, in shock or even excited.

But the reasons most of us, especially us RNY weight loss surgery patients, get hiccups are because we eat too fast or we eat too much! Ut oh....guilty as charged!

That's right. Hiccups could also be a sign that we have overeaten or have eaten too fast. 

Okay — how do you cure hiccups? Some say eat sugar, putt your finger in your ears, hold your breath, stick out your tongue, have someone surprise you, scare you, or tickle you. But there is no guarantee that any of these things help get rid of the hiccups. But there might be something you can do to lower your chances of getting hiccups to begin with.

Eat slowly.  Hiccups can be prevented by slowing down while we eat. Eating and drinking slowly helps avoid gulping air—resulting in the amount of air that is trapped inside the digestive tract. Not drinking from a straw can also help reduce the amount of air in our tummy. Ingesting a lot of air could irritate the vagus nerve. 

Avoid overeating. The amounts of food that you eat are equally important. Experts suggest that hiccups could be a sign of overworking our digestive system. By reducing the amount of food we eat, by a bite or two could make a big difference—adjusting our portion size until we find just the right amount for our pouch size.

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