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!

lactose intolerance and whey

myth vs truth about bariatric surgery

There are a lot of misconceptions about bariatric surgery and what happens after surgery. Let's take a look at the truth. 

This article was printed from the American Society of Metobolics and Bariatric Surgery Website (ASMBS)

Misconception: The chance of dying from metabolic and bariatric surgery is more than the chance of dying from obesity.

Truth: "The benefits of bariatric surgery, with regard to mortality, far outweigh the risksthe chance of dying from the operation is exceptionally low."

"As your body size increases, longevity decreases. Individuals with severe obesity have a number of life-threatening conditions that greatly increase their risk of dying, such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and more. Data involving nearly 60,000 bariatric patients from ASMBS Bariatric Centers of Excellence database show that the risk of death within the 30 days following bariatric surgery averages 0.13 percent, or approximately one out of 1,000 patients. This rate is considerably less than most other operations, including gallbladder and hip replacement surgery. Therefore, in spite of the poor health status of bariatric patients prior to surgery, the chance of dying from the operation is exceptionally low.

Large studies find that the risk of death from any cause is considerably less for bariatric patients throughout time than for individuals affected by severe obesity who have never had the surgery. In fact, the data show up to an 89 percent reduction in mortality, as well as highly significant decreases in mortality rates due to specific diseases. Cancer mortality, for instance, is reduced by 60 percent for bariatric patients. Death in association with diabetes is reduced by more than 90 percent and that from heart disease by more than 50 percent. Also, there are numerous studies that have found improvement or resolution of life-threatening obesity-related diseases following bariatric surgery.

The benefits of bariatric surgery, with regard to mortality, far outweigh the risks. It is important to note that as with any serious surgical operation, the decision to have bariatric surgery should be discussed with your surgeon, family members and loved ones."

june local support group meeting


June Support Meeting

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

6:30 pm

Cape Fear Site   —  3rd Floor Classroom North

Special Guest:  Katie Jay

Director of National Association for Weight Loss Surgery 

You DO NOT want to miss!  Please go to Katie’s website and learn more about her story.

We will see you Tuesday evening!

Posted on Monday, June 6, 2016 at 08:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in , | Comments Off

seasoned with salt

A few years ago, I did an extensive study on salt. My interest began primarily because of a bible verse in the Old Testament Book of Ezra that says that salt was to be brought to the temple, without measure, and placed in a salt chamber so that it could be made with every offering.

What began as a spiritual study, soon spilled over into a full-fledged discovery of the value of salt—not only in biblical culture, but also in our modern-day life.

I had a lot of questions, such as: Why salt was brought to the temple without any limit or measure when all the other items, such as wheat, wine, and oil were all specifically measured? I also wondered why salt was commanded to be made with each offering. I mused about the importance of salt in biblical history.

The bible has a lot to say about salt—it was used as a purifier—remember that Jesus was "swaddled"? Swaddling was a purifying salt wrap. It was also used in the sealing of covenants as well as to demonstrate spiritual principles. The bible says that we are the "salt" of the earth and likewise our conversations should be seasoned with grace "as with salt". I'll let you research and discover these and other spiritual treasures for yourself, but for now—let's explore the significance of salt and it's natural life-giving properties in our lives today—and even how salt plays a part in obesity.

We know salt for it's seasoning ability, but that's just for starters. You may know that salt baths are wonderful for purification. But it's not well known that not all salt is created equal. What we should know is that salt is an extremely important element in our diet—so-much-so that we cant' live without it. We need the right balance of salt in our body. We even have taste buds specifically designed to let us know when and how much salt is present in our food. 

Table Salt

Table salt, as we know it, is manufactured by heating leftover crude oil flakes to 1200° Fahrenheit. During this process, the chemical composition is altered so that all of the nutritional benefits are destroyed. This leaves the end product about 97.5% sodium chloride. But table salt is not just sodium chloride. It contains an array of ingredients such as: anti-caking chemicals, iodine, MSG and/or white processed sugar, and aluminum derivatives such as sodium solo-co-aluminate and talc. Additives, designed to make it more free-flowing—Ferrocyanide, talc, and silica aluminate are commonly included. Aluminum intake leads to neurological disorders, particularly when no selenium is provided to help the body to chelate it. Aluminum bio-accumulates inside the body, causing further degeneration over time. Talc is a known carcinogen, though its effects upon ingestion have not been heavily studied. While it was once used in baby powders, the majority of such products now use cornstarch instead of talc, because of the known health risks. The F.D.A. has a special provision to allow talc in table salt, even while it is prohibited in all other foods, due to toxicity issues. According to current regulations, table salt can be up to 2% talc.

Ultimately, this processed form of salt is known to cause our body to operate in fight-or-flight response, retain fluid, and develop diabetes and gout. It raises our blood pressure, causes cardiac failure, damages the kidneys, aggravates asthma, causes kidney stones, and along with other health disorders— may even be responsible for obesity.

Having all it’s natural minerals removed, table salt, which would otherwise help to balance the blood pressure, consequently causes gross blood pressure fluctuations, instead of stabilizing it. This well-known danger has created an entire industry of "low sodium" foods.

Processed foods are very high in sodium, but it is always in the form of table salt, artificial flavors, or flavor enhancers. In the ultimate heart-health irony, low sodium products often contain monosodium glutamate, a sodium-based excitotoxin that causes heart attacks in people who do not have enough magnesium (from organic vegetables and sea salt). It is probably the most common reason for mysterious heart failures in young athletes, who simply fall-over dead at sporting events. The profuse sweating imbalances their electrolytes even further, to become the final straw on the camel's back.

But never fear, there is a healthier, natural alternative that's not only tasty but promotes good healthy in the process—and that is natural sea salt.

Natural Sea Salt 

Real salt in its organic form is extremely important for our body, in just the right amount, of course.

Naturally occurring unprocessed sea salts such as Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Pink Crystal Salts, are believed to be the purest salt available on the planet. With a history dating back to Earth’s creation, they are composed of dried remnants of the original, primal sea.

Himalayan crystal salt containing all of the 84 elements found in our body. Because of the amazing nutrient load, doctors of functional medicine report that regularly eating Himalayan salt can help:

  • Regulate the water content throughout our body
  • Alkalize the body
  • Promote blood sugar health and balance blood sugars
  • Promote sinus health and eliminate mucus buildup
  • Prevent muscle cramps
  • Promote bone strength
  • Regulate sleep
  • Build immunity
  • Increase energy
  • Provide electrolyte balance
  • Promote restful sleep
  • Regulate heartbeat and blood pressure
  • Improve brain function
  • Promote healthy pH balance in our cells (particularly in our brain cells)
  • Assist in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body
  • Help reduce the signs of aging
  • Aid in the absorption of food particles through our intestinal tract
  • Support respiratory health
  • Support libido
  • Promote vascular health
  • Regulate our blood pressure with sufficient water and potassium intake, helping us stay hydrated
  • Maintain sufficient sodium levels that help balance your sodium-potassium ratios 

Natural unprocessed salt contains: electrolytes such as magnesium, trace elements required for proper adrenal, immune and thyroid function and digestive enzyme enhancer, which helps your body absorb more nutrients from the foods we eat.

Sea salt naturally contains selenium, which helps to chelate or cleanse toxic heavy metals from the body. It also contains boron which helps prevent osteoporosis, and chromium which regulates blood sugar levels. Sea salt is one of the few sources for safe copper ingestion. Copper helps the body to form new arteries whenever the main arteries become too clogged. Small quantities of sea salt will actually lower the blood pressure of most individuals, because it provides the trace minerals that aid with blood pressure regulation. It can only stabilize the blood pressure when the industry-depleted table salts are removed from the diet. 


The consumption of processed table salt in our diet is creating mineral deficiencies which is partly responsible for the rising obesity epidemic. Since obese people are invariably malnourished, and are virtually starving, regardless of how much food is eaten—important minerals and nutrients are lacking in our diet. 

Salt influences our lives much more than we know, and there is a lot more to learn about salt, so have fun. And the next time you season with salt, consider the healthy benefits of natural, organic sea salt instead of table salt. Or try different varities—I just purchased Hawaiiam Black Lava Sea Salt—it's not just good for cracked feet, but helps as a laxative, digestive disorders and much more. Use it within the proper limits (sea salt is more potent than table salt) but DO USE IT—in good health!  

Yes, we can. We have many more miles to go!

Colossians 4:6  Let your speech always be gracious, (full of grace) as if it were seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

simple steps to success


No matter where you're going, it all starts by making the first few steps. Even before your feet make the first move, you most likely had a plan in your mind about where you were going and how you would get there. And so it is with success. Preparing for weight loss surgery is no different. You need a plan to help you know where you are headed and when you reach your destination. 

First, it's important to know why you're making the journey. I suggest you start by writing a list of reasons why you are having weight loss surgery in the first place. This will bring clarity and help you set your goals. You can do this even if you have already undergone surgery. You can start by asking yourself questions such as: "What does my life look like right now?" (before surgery)

Next, define how you want your life to look after surgery.  What are your goals? What are you willing to do to reach them? What do you expect from surgery? Are your goals realistic? 

A goal is something that we can achieve by our own efforts. Although we need support, information, and encouragement from others, we should be able to accomplish our goals without depending on the uncertain cooperation of others. Learning to distinguish the difference between what is within our abilty to change and what is not, is important. We must know what we want and be willing and equipped, both physically and mentally, to change our lives accordingly.

In my book, Out of Obesity and into the Promised Land, I outline how to plan for success—from making decision about surgery, to planning and carry it through to the end—I'll also offer you inspiration that will allow you to start your journey with confidence and end with success!

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

Click here to order Out of Obesity, from Amazon.

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