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 maestro

This is where the orchestra comes together for the final performance. The fourth element in reaching continued success is the spiritual aspect of our makeup. These are issues of the heart. 

Dr. Leaf’s research has also revealed that neurologically speaking, your heart is ultra-sensitive to what you think and feel and your thoughts can directly affect your heart both figuratively and literally. 

In this process, our goals must be forgiveness toward others and learning to love ourselves. Forgiveness is a choice, an act of our will, and a valuable gift to others and ourselves. It releases us from toxic emotions. Forgiveness is not condoning someone’s behavior, but simply letting him or her off the hook. 

Your heart is not just a pump but it has the ability to pull every other system of the body into its own rhythm. When your heart is filled with love, peace and forgiveness, your entire body will follow as these tunes are resounded throughout your body, transporting life and health with every beat. 

A survey of more than 31,000 adults, released in May 2004 by the National Center for Health Statistics and NCCAM, found that 36 percent of those surveyed used complementary and alternative medicine. The number rose to 62 percent when prayer was added to the definition of complementary and alternative medicine. 

Where do we go for the truth, healing and the answers to life? Who or what will fill the void that is left when we no longer can feed our emotional hunger with food? Who will supply our innermost needs and desire for unconditional love and acceptance? Will we turn to a natural source or divine intervention? How can we heal the whole person, mind, will, emotions and spirit as well as the physical body in which we dwell? 

God holds the answers to our hungry hearts. Just as symphonies must have a conductor to guide each player into the part he must play. Without this Maestro leading and guiding this multitude of musicians, the entire orchestra would be pandemonium and chaos. 

The choice is ours. Wholeness and success can be ours… we can choose to live a life of fear, restlessness, anguish and disease, or one of hope, confidence, optimism and peace. The overture is about to begin…are you ready to play your part?

Posted on Monday, July 3, 2017 at 11:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman | Comments Off

heartstrings 

Along side issues of emotional hunger are hungers of the heart. 

Some of the hungers we experience usually seek to fill a void or hurt. Some of us seek to fill it with food, some with alcohol and drugs, some with sex, some with work, shopping or other activities, but the root issues are all the same. These are the issues that tug on our heartstrings until we find the answers that fulfill us. 

This is where our part comes in. Weight loss surgery helps us by offering a physical solution, but this solution, is just for the physical aspects. Accompanying physical activity and a healthy diet, are seeking answers to emotional and spiritual health. These require a willing and honest examination into our lives, motivations and beliefs. 

Regardless of the offense, let’s look at matters from another perspective as we examine our value and worth as a person, seeking to forgive others and practicing self-love in the process. 

In his book Soul Care, Peter Lord, explains the eight ways that the worth of an object is measured…who made it, what was made, uniqueness or limited supply, personal preference or choice, potential worth, permanence, practicality, and the price tag. 

As you ponder on these things consider that God himself is our Maker, we were made and created in His image, and we are unique. You are God’s personal choice. In us he placed supreme value and potential. Our bodily functions and performance is supremely practical and awesomely inspiring. We were created with a spirit that is eternal, and purchased at a great price, the life of Christ. 

These eight points begin to merge our emotional needs with spiritual ones and can be summed up by this powerful affirmation by Robert McGee in his book, The Search for Significance...

I am an awesome spirit being of magnificent worth as a person. I am deeply loved by God; I am fully pleasing to God; I am totally accepted by God. And when my person is expressed through my performance, the reflection is dynamically unique. There has never been another like me in the history of mankind, nor will there ever be. I am an original one of a kind, really somebody—and so are you!

Posted on Monday, June 26, 2017 at 11:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman | Comments Off

july support group meeting 

Our July meeting falls on Independence Day this year.

We will NOT meet on the 4th.

If you are interested in attending our second Monday meeting at the main campus, please email Kim Joyner for details.

I hope you have a great month. We look forward to seeing you in July.

Posted on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 07:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in | Comments Off

the orchestra pit

The important key to realizing just where our hungers arise is to begin to recognize their origins, tuning in to their position in the body. 

In a musical symphony the “orchestra pit” is below the stage and from this position leads the “on stage” action and emotion. 

In the physical areana, our stomach is like the “orchestra pit” which is positioned below the center stage. Our head we will compare to the “upper or center stage”.

The orchestra pit should lead the action in this show, not the upper stage. To bring things back into proper order we must ask ourselves, who is directing this performance anyway…is our instruction to eat coming from the orchestra pit or from center stage? 

Undertones: Physical hunger pangs come from the “stomach pit”. They could be described as musical “undertones” playing softly in the background. Physical hunger builds gradually and is felt as a growling in the stomach. This hunger is not accompanied by a sense of compulsion. These hunger pangs will occur several hours after we have eaten a meal. Like background music, physical hunger softly dissipates when we have eaten and leads to feelings of satisfaction and contentment. 

Overtones: Emotional hunger could be described as overtones, which tend to get our attention with loud, overpowering and sudden screaming in our heads to eat. Emotional hunger strikes suddenly and hits in the mind. It result is an urgent impulse or urge to eat a particular food and is insensitive to time or level of fullness from your last meal. Emotional hunger is distractive with its demands to be heard and results in shame and guilt. 

Until a few years ago, I didn't even know there was such a thing as "nutritional" hunger. But no matter how I tried, I just couldn't seem to get satisfied with the food I was eating, although I was eating a healthy and balanced diet. I discovered I needed to add a little more nutrition to my diet. (for more about this: search milestogoblog for superfood). Adding a little more nutrition to my everyday meals, and the problem cleared. (My book, Out of Obesity and into the Promised Land, covers a whole chapter on our many different kinds of hunger.)

We may receive our instructions from the “pit” but we don’t have to live in one. Its time for us to take center stage, acting out our life in wholeness, using our “head” to make wise decision and assume control of our actions only after receiving our signals to eat from our physical body’s place of hunger. With a little practice, we’ll be making our debut in no time.

rhythms of the soul

The third component in this four-part harmony is to become aware of our different hungers. 

We’ll have to get serious with the ultrasounds and endoscopies of a different sort, ones that let us view our inward reactions to emotional hurts and painful life situations that grow within us and keep us from reaching our fullest potential.

We'll have to look below the surface—we'll be searching inward, to discover why our life situations trigger our inward need to feed our many hunger. We must be willing to work on personal relational and emotional issues, as well as learn how to satisfy our bodies nutritional needs.

There are more hungers than just physical. Although we will be talking a little about nutritional hunger, we must also uncover our emotional hungers. Relational and emotional needs might be one of the hardest. Most of us don’t stop to think that there is more than just one kind of hunger. Relational, emotional, and nutritional hungers are very real and need our attention.

Some of these hungers in our lives are the ones we have been feeding or trying to “medicate” or “bury” with food. Taking a closer look at these hungers will allow us to discover what lays at the root our heaviness of heart and why others seem to sabotage our weight loss efforts. We must be willing to uncover our buried emotions.

Dr. Leaf says it this way, “You can bury your emotions, but you need to know that you are burying something that remains alive.” These buried emotions cannot be controlled but instead, they control us. 

In music there are pauses called rests, which add interest and emotion to the music. If the musician simply bulldozes through these rests without stopping or pausing, the entire piece would lose its impact. Anyone can play music, but an artist or accomplished musician interprets music, becoming sensitive to the rhythm, theme, words and story that are being communicated. 

Music, therefore becomes the vehicle for emotions to be communicated and simple notes begin to take on life and meaning. These rhythms which are defined as controlled movement and tempo, or pace and speed of the music, are essential to the expression and character of the whole and the very essence and heartbeat of the song. 

As in music, our inward emotions hold the key to our outward expression. We are very proficient at not feeling what we feel inside. This is like ignoring the pauses and rests in music. We must take time for introspection and recognize when our emotions are bulldozing through our best intentions.

Recognition of our emotions allows us to move forward toward greater health and wellness. We must learn to listen to our inward motivations. We must be willing to walk to the beat of a different drummer—one that is telling us that food will satisfy all of our inward needs and desires. We must stop, consider and regain our own inward tempo; becoming aware of our past experiences and conditioning, stored emotions and suppressed memories and how these dynamics affect our lives.

Let's learn what it takes to the bottom of our emotional, relational and nutritional needs. Yes, we can.   

Are you ready to dance to a different tune? Are you ready to rumba…