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!

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…

body music

Sheet music is written in black and white, but music is not heard in black and white. The notes represent something much bigger.

As the music begins to play, notes are transformed into sound waves. These musical sound waves are received by our ear “drums”. Not only do they change the physical atmosphere around us, but  now they have the ability to change our thoughts, our feelings, and our mood.

Our weight loss is not a black and white matter either. Although it may appear so on the surface. Whether we admit it or not, the thoughts we are telling ourselves have the ability to change our feelings and our mood.

Our thoughts and emotions are signals, producing bio-chemicals, which relay messages and communicate information from our brain to our body’s cells. This creates what researchers refer to as “body music”. In her book, Who Switched Off My Brain, Dr. Caroline Leaf explains groundbreaking scientific research done by Dr. Candace Pert, which shows how our emotions are cellular signals that directly impact our mind and body.

Our mental attitude and the thoughts we think regarding the weight loss experience and ourselves are vital and directly determine our long-term outcome.

Our success can't be measured solely by the clothes we wear or the numbers on the scale. These aren't the only factors involved in our healing and recovery. Just as in music, weight loss includes many variations of up and down rhythms. Sometimes our losses may be fast and jazzy and other times we seem to slow to a waltz while reaching a rest or plateau. But we must trust that all of these phases are just a normal part of the process.

It’s during these times we can change our focus from frustration to just enjoying where we are in the journey. We can use these rest periods to make other adjustments in our spiritual or mental attitudes. 

It is an important part of our healing process to begin to recognize our emotional health as well as our physical health. As we begin to detox our brain, we will become more skilled at feeding our mind and emotions with healthy thoughts.

As you practice playing a new musical instrument, the more you are able to add rhythm as simple tunes advance from “Body and Soul” to “Beethoven’s Fifth”. Soon your body, thoughts and emotion will come together in concert and you will be well on your way to the grand finale.

Yes, you can....tune in next week for more of this on-going series. 

getting in tune

In the world of music, the keys or strings of a musical instrument represent the different notes of a musical scale. An instrument's strings can fall "out of tune". As a result, the keys no longer play the sound correctly.

In a band, a choir or orchestra the instruments must be adjusted to play in the same tone. Without proper tuning, they're nothing more than random notes playing in chaos. 

At times, it may seem to us that everything around us is working together for our demise. It may seem to us that we are weak and have failed at our many attempts to lose weight.

Maybe you are where I was, I felt as if there was no hope at all for achieving health and a slim figure. I thought and felt like a failure and that I was doomed to be overweight and unhealthy, my whole life. This was my truth as I saw it. Random thoughts playing in choas.

Weight loss surgery changed my body, but I had to change my "tone" or my thoughts, mindset and attitude. As my body began to reveal a new truth, my mind had to come to share the same realization. I had to train my mind to believe the new truth. I needed a "tune-up" mentally with a new truth.

Solomon wrote in Proverbs 23:7, “ As a man thinks in his heart, so is he .” I had to began to fill my mind with thoughts of success. 

Romans 8:35-39 “ Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

I found there was still hope for me. With weight loss surgery and God’s help, I had been given a new opportunity to conquer this battle. I discovered a truth, which has allowed me not only to achieve success, but also to sustain it. The truth that goes beyond what I see and feel. A truth that allowed me to escape from the limitations that held me and the freedom to become who I was created to be.

A tuning fork produces a "pure tone". It establishs a single note that each player can "tune to". This helps the musician adjust the instrument into alignment with it's intended sound. In the medical profession, tuning forks are used to test our hearing. Before x-rays, physicians used tuning forks to detect bone fractures. I had to do the same. I need to hear a different sound.

I had to identify the broken thoughts I had about myself and begin by aligning my thoughts and applying new truths to my life. I had to "tune in" to a new truth—one true sound. I found that by applying God’s thoughts of victory and success for my life, instead of my thoughts of lifelong defeat, I could bring the chaos in my life into order. This is the "sound" I was made to imitate.

Re-tuning my thoughts—a change of mind. This began the second step in my journey of weight loss surgery success. You can too.

You have many more miles to go.

local june support group

SAVE THE DATE

JUNE SUPPORT MEETING - Dr. Miles

TUESDAY,  JUNE 6, 2017

6:30 PM

Special Guest Speaker: Kelly Broadwater

with a Panel of Weight Loss Surgery Patients

Topic: AFTER CARE

thoughts in key

The second part of this harmonic symphony is recognized by changes in mindset, thought patterns and attitudes. This is where brain surgery would help if it were that simple, but I’m afraid it requires a bit more than that.

What we think orchestrates many of our bodily functions and has a profound effort on our wholeness as a person.

I am convinced that our bodies can work with us or against us in this effort. The first gateway to change is through our thoughts.

Seeking to gain a positive attitude and learning how to lose the “loser” mentality to adopt a “can-do” and “will-do” attitude is our second order of business. No simple task...but very doable!

But it's not just about a positive confession, its about our whole mindset in general. It's just as important to feed our minds healthy thoughts as it is to feed our body healthy food.We must be willing to change our thoughts and attitudes, uncover new self-esteem, and discover our unique purpose.

These processes take determination, commitment and a pursuit to realize our true worth and value. As we learn how to take care of our physical self, we must learn to take care of our soul, mind, and emotions. Finding the truth about who we really are, tearing down the destructive lies we have believed about ourselves and replacing them with new, positive and true beliefs.

In her book, Who Switched Off My Brain, researcher Dr. Caroline Leaf, has scientifically determined that toxic thoughts and emotions undermine and destroy our immune system preventing its ability to do what it was designed to do. She also relates that research shows that around 87 percent of illnesses can be attributed to our thought life, and approximately 13 percent to diet, genetics and environment. Studies conclusively link more chronic diseases to an epidemic of toxic emotions in our culture. There is no longer any doubt that what you think affects your emotional and physical state.

As with music and song, the most important element is to establish the correct key. Music moves through many stages from soft and loud, fast and slow. Any given selection contains flat notes as well as sharp, but always remaining 'in key'. Finding truth will put us in the correct key, allowing us to step into renewed health with a sound mind.

There is truth as we see it and then there is God’s truth. Does the view you have of yourself match the one that God has about you? Which will you choose? Are you ready to allow your innermost thoughts to follow the rhythm of God’s truth?

He has created a song and his hand is extended as he waits for you to enter the dance that was created just for you. Are you beginning to hear the music?

More about getting back in tune on our next post.

Your new reality is just a thought away.