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!

miles to go has information at your fingertips

If you need support and information about what life is like before, during or after weight loss surgery, I've got it. My husband reminded me the other day that I have been writing articles for weight loss surgery support for over 8 years now.

Miles to Go started out as a handout just after I started attending my first support group meeting in February 2006, in an effort to have everyone who attended a meeting leave with tangible information in their hand. Then, it grew into a newsletter which was also available through Miles Surgical. A few months later, Miles to Go grew into an on-line blog in June 2008. About 5 years ago, Miles to Go launched a Facebook Page for more day to day support—for information at-hand anytime, anywhere, on your iphone, ipad, or computer.

From those earlier post in 2008 'til the present, all of the information archived for you on-line at or in combination with my new book, Out of Obesity and into the Promised Land.  

Miles to Go Blog features such things as local support meetings and events, information for making decisions on whether to have surgery and how to live successfully and confidently after surgery. You'll find tips on everything from how to dress with style to how to shop, or dine-out with ease. There's information on vitamins and supplements to how to select and recipes to help you prepare your favorite bariatric cuisine. And that's not all.

Having bariatric surgery affects more that just our physical lifestyles—so here, at Miles to Go, I also write about the relational, emotional, and spiritual areas of life as well. You'll read stories from others who have had surgery, including before and after photos, and you'll find a list of direct links to other support helps. And it's all just for you, because we have many more miles to go!

Posted on Monday, October 27, 2014 at 07:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in , | CommentsPost a Comment

steamed cauliflower

Fall is a great time for steamed cauliflower. Actually, any time is a great time for cauliflower and this recipe is quick, easy and delicious. 

Steamed Cauliflower 

  • cauliflower (cut and steamed)
  • salt
  • pepper 
  • butter
  • and blend...

That's it. It's just that simple!

I have found that those Ziploc Steaming Bags I mentioned in an earlier post come in handy for steaming vegetables such as this cauliflower. I add in a few teaspoons of water and put them in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. 

I place the steamed cauliflower in the blender with butter, salt and pepper and seasoned to taste, and serve. What could be easier than that?

Other recipes can be found of Miles to Go Blog in the "recipes" section or just click here

Posted on Monday, October 20, 2014 at 07:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman | CommentsPost a Comment


Over the last several months my husband and I have been reading the book, "Draw the Circle", which is a 40-day prayer challenge by Mark Batterson. One of the daily entries is based on Proverbs 16:9. "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps."

In this entry the author focuses in on the word "establishes" and defines it's original meaning in the Hebrew language. Now, If you've been reading my blog long, you know that I love to study and define words. I have found that when I actually take the time to look up words and define their meaning, it brings clarity and in context, it gives me a chance to really hone in on the true message of the passage. 

This word "establishes" in this Proverb text tells us that God determines, directs, prepares, and provides, as He sets each step in it's perfect place. It involves careful planning down to the smallest detail. It celebrates God's ability to redeem the past and orchestrate the future. This word can calm our fears, knowing that God is ever present—aware of our every move—He has everything under control. Nothing is too great or too small to escape His attention. He never sleeps or slumbers, always keeping an attentive watch on our every move. With each step we take, we can put our faith in the certainty that He has already established and choreographed each one and we can rest in the knowledge that in His ultimate wisdom, He has already prepared our next God-ordained opportunity. 

So no matter what decision you are facing, I encourage you to dedicate your next step to God's promise. 

In their hearts humans plan their course,
    but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Posted on Monday, October 13, 2014 at 07:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in , | CommentsPost a Comment

to eat or not to eat—chicken skin


One of the things I was told after surgery was not to eat chicken skin. So let's talk about why.

Cooking chicken with the skin on provides moisture, flavor and eye appeal. Although chicken skin contains more fat, I have read that there is not much difference in fat content or nutritional content on the thin-skinned baked chicken breast. However, wisdom should be used in deciding whether chicken has too much additional fat or added breading, especially on fried foods. Skin and breading take up room in your tiny pouch, leaving you no room for foods that offer more nutritional benefit.

Try this experiment:

  • Remove the skin from fried chicken along with the batter or breading to see how much there is.
  • Notice the differences between the skin of dark meat and white meat.
  • Consider the better choice—being able to eat more meat which offers protein, keeping you full longer, or the skin—which contains higher amounts of fat, oils or flour—making you feel too full then hungry later on.
  • Try the same experiment with baked or grilled chicken.

After bariatric surgery, our tiny pouch can't hold very much food, therefore, getting the proper nutrition is crucial for success, gaining a better quality of life and attaining improved health, (especially after mal-absorptive surgeries). Fat causes digestion to slow and it can make you feel sick and it can also make you feel like you swallowed a brick.

Chicken breast tend to be drier, so sautéing skinless chicken breast is a great option for adding moisture. When baking, try leaving the skin on during the cooking process which provides moisture and flavor, or choose to remove it before eating. This is especially helpful during the first few years after surgery (while your pouch is smaller and nutrition is critical) and especially if the chicken has been fried, breaded or battered. As your pouch matures and stretches, your portions will increase, allowing you to eat more food. But, remember, weight loss surgery is not about dieting —it's about making wiser food choices, establishing healthier eating habits, maintaining your weight loss and retaining your health for a lifetime. Enjoy!

october local support group meeting

Miles Support Group

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

NHRMC Cape Fear Site / 3rd Floor Education Room

6:30 p.m. 

Topic:  The Personality Profile

Facilitator:  Kim Joyner, RN

What is your motivation? Are you RED, YELLOW, BLUE, or WHITE?

Come join us and discover what "makes you tick". 

Posted on Monday, October 6, 2014 at 07:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman | CommentsPost a Comment
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