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!

the tips on me: forks down, please!

Feeling as though you are eating too much?

Are you eating too fast? 

Feeling too full after a meal?

One solution: slow down 

Mealtime after surgery, should be slow and easy. It's sometimes hard to break old habits, or easy to fall back into them, little by little. But one of the things, I have noticed lately is that if I remember to place my food, or my fork completely down for a few minutes, I eat less.

So, my tip for today: Put your fork down between bites. Rest. And Focus.

Even if you're eating hand-held foods, such as a sandwich or a taco, place your food back on your plate between bites and wait a few minutes before taking another bite. This will help you feel full gently and help prevent overeating. This will also give you time to feel your fullness level.

After weight loss surgery, it may only take one bite to make you feel like you have overeaten. Taking small breaks will give you time to concentrate on taking smaller bites. It will also allow you to feel whether you need to keep eating or stop. The key is to eat enough within healthy limits and not too much. Even after 12 years, I still have to remind myself to practice the basics. 

In the beginning, after surgery I needed more concentration at mealtime than before. If I got distracted by too much going on, noise or conversation, I noticed I didn't eat correctly or feel well after I ate. That's why practicing the basics of portion control and lifestyle change is important. Practice can begin even before surgery and keep practicing not and then for a lifetime! 

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

go a little deeper

Before weight loss surgery we are required to face, what is for most of us, an extremely intimidating interview or evaluation with a psychiatrist. 

Why? Do they think we're crazy?

No...certainly not! Even though our sanity depends on a "little craziness" sometimes, it's doesn't mean there is anything to fear.

Obesity comes with it's share of years of being judged unfairly by others as undisciplined, with no self-control and maybe a little "crazy." But really, we're no different that the rest of the world. Our "crazies" just happen to be more obvious than some.  

By that I mean—we just happen to turn to food for comfort and to cover a life-time of hurts, stresses, heartaches, pain and low self-worth, it doesn't mean we're crazy or any different than any one else. 

It's really a starting point to help us identify life's stresses and how we can conquer them. Just as we have physical tests to help determine if we are ready physically, this evaluation is to determine our mental preparedness. 

Weight loss surgery is a lifestyle change, which requires determination to change. This surgery is as much about "mindset" as physical compliance.

These professionals are there to help us return to health, they understand underlying issues that turn us toward our addictions and can offer solution toward healing. Rarely do these interviews result in decline of surgery, it should be a tool to help us find our way to health.

It will be helpful to have a plan for dealing with stress before the interview. 

Asking yourself questions beforehand will help prepare you for the interview. 

  • Do I understand the lifetime commitment I are making to compliance with diet and exercise?
  • Am I  willing and ready to change my mind?
  • Do I have a plan to deal with stress?
  • Am I prepared with a plan to deal with addictive behaviors?
  • Do I have a plan that will hep me not to transfer these behaviors over to other vices?
  • Am I willing to get to the root of "what's eating me"?

You can probably tell by the questions that behavioral changes will be in order to be successful, however—changing our behavior doesn't fix the issue at the root. What we really need to to change our mind by discovering what makes us eat in the first place. Success takes a lifetime commitment, willingness to get to the root issues, as well as a mindset to change. You can read more about these important changes in my book, Out of Obesity and into the Promised Land, available on Amazon.

 This interview is for your benefit, you're going to make it through just fine...Yes, you can!

too far in the ripe direction? freeze it!

I love avocados. They are healthy and delicious. A great addition to salads, homemade dressings, and even on a sandwich. But I found myself wasting a lot of avocados because eating such small portions, I couldn't eat them before they went bad.

Just like bananas, avocados are one of those things that go too far in the ripe direction in a hurry. And even when stored in the fridge, they turn brown quickly.

But then I found a solution. Freeze! By that I don't mean stop eating them. I mean literally put them in the freezer. Yes, you can freeze avocados! 

  • Just remove the peel and the skin.
  • Freeze, whole, cubed or mashed or make quacamole.
  • Add lime or lemon juice if desired.
  • Place in bags or jars and freeze. 

Remember, when freezing long-term in glass, make sure its tempered (the type used for canning) or specifically labeled for freezing purposes. Freezer safe glass can crack as food expands, so always leave about 1-inch of space between the top of the food and the lid.

Any way you freeze them, it works. No browning. Just thaw and enjoy. 

Yes, you can eat them. It's true that avocados are higher in fat, but it's the healthier plant kind, so with small portions you can still enjoy them. Keeping fats to around 5 grams per meal will help eliminate dumping. For example, 1/3 of an avocado equals 8 fat grams. Eating the right portion of plant based fats is good for you. Avocados have tremendous health benefits. (On the left hand side bar you can search my post for the benefits of eating the 5 healthy fats.) 

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

Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at 10:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in , , | Comments Off

local support group -june - dr. miles

Miles Support Group Meeting

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

6:30 pm

NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital (formerly Cape Fear Hospital)

3rd Floor Education Room North

TOPIC: Head Hunger

 Special Guest Speaker: Chaundra Evans, RD, LDN,  CEDRD

Facilitator:  Kim Joyner, RN, CNOR

Posted on Sunday, June 3, 2018 at 10:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman | Comments Off

have a spring fling


If you want to shake things up, you've come to the right place.

This is my basic shake recipe. Add your favorite springtime ingredients such as strawberries or blueberris and have yourself a spring fling.

 Basic Shake Recipe

½  cup skim milk,  or 2 %, soy milk or water
1 to 2 scoops protein powder
1 cup ice cubes
Sugar substitute to taste
Add any flavoring ingredients