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!

fall in love with fennel

When I think of the fall of the year, I think of roasted vegetables. One of my favorites is roasted fennel.

Now before you immediately think you don't like it, you might want to reconsider. When trying fennel for the first time, I thought it would taste like licorice and I wouldn't like it. But as it turned out, it doesn't taste like licorice and I loved it.

Fennel really as quiet a mild flavor, sweet flavor. It's so easy to prepare, it could quickly become your favorite fall veggie. It can be eaten raw in a salad or roasted by itself or with other root vegetables such as squash or turnips.

I cut the bulb into slices and roast it with a little olive oil, a little salt and pepper and a little thyme (either ground or whole). Bake at around 400 until caramelized and tender.

I use save the top of greens for garnishing baked fish.

Give it a try—you just might be surprised.

Yes, you can. You have many more miles to go!

Posted on Monday, September 17, 2018 at 10:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman | Comments Off

go deeper


When solving problems, 
dig at the roots 
instead of just hacking at the leaves.
Anthony J. D'Angelo

Posted on Monday, September 10, 2018 at 10:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman | Comments Off


This year Richard and I will celebrate our 43rd wedding anniversary. 

Richard and I met in 1972. It was almost love at first sight, and we were married a little over three years later in September 1975. He has been the love of my life ever since. We have had our share of ups and downs over the years, but he has stuck by me through "thick" and "thin".

Our lives have changed in bit over the years. In 43 years we raised three children to adulthood, moved 7 times, and had grandchildren, even since my RNY surgery in 2006, just 12 years ago, our lives, look a lot different than when we first got married. 

In my book, Out of Obesity and into the Promised Land, I encourge those who are considering surgery to consider what their lives were like 10 years ago and even 5 years ago. And then think about what they want their life to look like 5 or 10 years from now. Most likely things have changed over the years and will continue to look different well into the future. 

Twelve years ago, just a few months after I had surgery, we were in the midst of planning weddings for our two sons. We now have 6 grandchildren and will be adding number 7 to the mix this month. 

We look forward, now in our retirement years, to celebrating the best years of our lives together with our growing family, our renewed health and a new appreciation and love for each other.   

We are in a different place, time, environment, and phase of our lives together than we were 43 years ago or even ten years ago. 

Happy Anniversary, Richard.   

Posted on Wednesday, September 5, 2018 at 07:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in , , | Comments Off

local support meeting —dr. miles

Miles Support Group Meeting

Tuesday, September 4,2018

6:30 pm

NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital

(formerly Cape Fear Hospital)

3rdFloor Education Room North

Topic / Guest Speaker: Jamie Swanson, with Pampered Chef, will share recipes and products that can assist you in preparing proteins/meats, and even your own natural frozen treats! 

Posted on Friday, August 31, 2018 at 10:07PM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in , | Comments Off

the carb connection

It seems that the low carb diets are making the news these days. So how well do you really understand carbohydrates? Not all carbs are created equal. So which ones do we need to eat for greater health and which ones do we need to have just on occasion.

In my book, Out of Obesity and into the Promised Land, I explain the importance of balancing carbohydrates and proteins. Carbohydrates are not "bad" we just need to eat them in the right portions and with the right combination of other foods. Choosing foods with higher nutritional value instead of the high sugar or highly processed foods is extremely important.

Healthy carbs are essential for balanced nutrition and health, especially after weight loss surgery when food portions are smaller and should be loaded with nutrition. 

Carbohydrates are made up of foods such as fruits and vegetables. In their natural state, (which means un-juiced) these foods are balanced in nutrients, fiber and natural sugars - some have lower natural sugars than others. Foods that are higher in carbohydrates are food such as grains, pasta, bread, potatoes, rice, and beans. It doesn't mean these foods are "bad" for you, it just means you should balance them in your diet and eat them in proper amounts.

Carbohydrates are a part of a healthy, balanced nutritional diet. They supply our body with energy. We just need to make wiser choices. For example, I substitute honey for processed sugar. Although honey is a higher sugar food, it is a natural alternative. Honey digest slowly and therefore doesn't spike blood sugar —a teaspoon a few times a day is healthy alternative for cooking or adding sweetness to an afternoon snack.

Foods that are packed with highly processed sugars aren't healthy, make you feel bad, and cause weight gain. I would suggest if you have a sweet tooth to get in the habit of first substituting sweeter fruits, or even making healthier varieties of muffins or breads. On occasion you can treat yourself to a few bites of your very favorite sweet treat. My only caution is to make sure that you can be totally in control of those few bites. Making a habit of treats can plays tricks on you—it can set you up for sugar addition. Then you'll end up with the same food cravings that got you into the weight battle in the first place. 

Remember, it's important to get in those healthy proteins first, such as fish, chicken, beef, and pork. Then add in fruits and vegetables—then adding a small amount of those energy foods—carbs. Higher nutrition means making choices that are as close to nature as possible. This also means choosing to eliminate other highly processed items—like processed cheese.

Balance is the key. Diets that are unbalanced also offer us unbalanced nutrition and increase health risk. Eighty to 90 percent of your diet should include healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins and carbs and healthy (plant) fats and a very small percentage of occasional treats. Balance means including all food groups in the right portions.

Yes, you can. You have many more miles to go!

Posted on Monday, August 27, 2018 at 10:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman | Comments Off
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