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!

local support meeting —dr. miles

Miles Support Group Meeting

Tuesday, September 4,2018

6:30 pm

NHRMC Orthopedic Hospital

(formerly Cape Fear Hospital)

3rdFloor Education Room North

Topic / Guest Speaker: Jamie Swanson, with Pampered Chef, will share recipes and products that can assist you in preparing proteins/meats, and even your own natural frozen treats! 

Posted on Friday, August 31, 2018 at 10:07PM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in , | Comments Off

the carb connection

It seems that the low carb diets are making the news these days. So how well do you really understand carbohydrates? Not all carbs are created equal. So which ones do we need to eat for greater health and which ones do we need to have just on occasion.

In my book, Out of Obesity and into the Promised Land, I explain the importance of balancing carbohydrates and proteins. Carbohydrates are not "bad" we just need to eat them in the right portions and with the right combination of other foods. Choosing foods with higher nutritional value instead of the high sugar or highly processed foods is extremely important.

Healthy carbs are essential for balanced nutrition and health, especially after weight loss surgery when food portions are smaller and should be loaded with nutrition. 

Carbohydrates are made up of foods such as fruits and vegetables. In their natural state, (which means un-juiced) these foods are balanced in nutrients, fiber and natural sugars - some have lower natural sugars than others. Foods that are higher in carbohydrates are food such as grains, pasta, bread, potatoes, rice, and beans. It doesn't mean these foods are "bad" for you, it just means you should balance them in your diet and eat them in proper amounts.

Carbohydrates are a part of a healthy, balanced nutritional diet. They supply our body with energy. We just need to make wiser choices. For example, I substitute honey for processed sugar. Although honey is a higher sugar food, it is a natural alternative. Honey digest slowly and therefore doesn't spike blood sugar —a teaspoon a few times a day is healthy alternative for cooking or adding sweetness to an afternoon snack.

Foods that are packed with highly processed sugars aren't healthy, make you feel bad, and cause weight gain. I would suggest if you have a sweet tooth to get in the habit of first substituting sweeter fruits, or even making healthier varieties of muffins or breads. On occasion you can treat yourself to a few bites of your very favorite sweet treat. My only caution is to make sure that you can be totally in control of those few bites. Making a habit of treats can plays tricks on you—it can set you up for sugar addition. Then you'll end up with the same food cravings that got you into the weight battle in the first place. 

Remember, it's important to get in those healthy proteins first, such as fish, chicken, beef, and pork. Then add in fruits and vegetables—then adding a small amount of those energy foods—carbs. Higher nutrition means making choices that are as close to nature as possible. This also means choosing to eliminate other highly processed items—like processed cheese.

Balance is the key. Diets that are unbalanced also offer us unbalanced nutrition and increase health risk. Eighty to 90 percent of your diet should include healthy fruits, vegetables, proteins and carbs and healthy (plant) fats and a very small percentage of occasional treats. Balance means including all food groups in the right portions.

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

Posted on Monday, August 27, 2018 at 10:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman | Comments Off

clothing: the new you

It's time to down size...with style!

In her book, Winning After Losing, Stacey Harlprin says, "Ridding yourself of the old clothes is as important as ridding yourself of the pounds." I found this to be true.

Wearing clothes that are too big doesn't make you look or feel your best. It is much easier to overeat when clothes have too much stretch or don't fit properly.

It's also important to purge those larger sized clothes that we don't wear anymore. We need to make room in our wardrobe for smaller, age appropriate, updated styles.

It was really hard for me to get rid of my old clothes after I lost weight. It was more of an emotional issue than I expected. I found security in having them tucked away, just in case. It wasn't just about the money I'd spent or even liking the items themselves, it was the fear that I might have to go back to them, just in case I gained the weight back. Then I realized that having those old clothing meant I was expecting myself to fail. They became a crutch for not moving forward with the present.

Stacey recommends that the best way to shed those old clothes is the same approach you lose weight, a little at a time. Periodically, I would go through my closet and take out clothing that was way too big. I invited a few friends over to take their pick, handed them out to others who were losing weight, and distributed some to ministries who would see that they were given to people in need. I recycled the fabrics I could use for other projects, such as quilts, and I even started a new business in creating handbags and totes from old clothing.

I stated to replace the old clothes with new finds, by shopping clearance sales. Then when I was in a size for more than one season, I started  filling in my wardrobe with classic pieces, a few at a time.

It had been a really long time since I had been shopping in a regular store or kept up with the current trends.  Downsizing give you the opportunity to make changes in your wardrobe to compliment the new you. Don't forget hair and makeup, accessories, shoes, and even undergarments. Down size with style and flare! It's the new you!

You're going to make it this time...out with the old and in with the new...yes, you can you have many more miles to go. 

best bariatric surgery blogs of 2018

Renew Bariatrics says,"Here are the 40+ blogs in the bariatric surgery space worth reading and subscribing too. Learn better post-op nutrition, fitness, vitamins, and more."

And Miles to Go Blog is listed as one of them!

According to Renew Bariatrics, they "carefully picked these top bariatric blogs because they’re actively working to educate, inspire, and empower their readers with frequent updates and high-quality information."


"Another blog that recounts a woman’s (Julia) life journey after bariatric transformation is MilesToGo. Julie had gastric bypass surgery in 2006 and now uses her blog as a platform to share recipes, motivational ideologies, and resources for those considering weight loss surgery or already on their post-surgery path. If you’re looking for a well-established blog that comes from a woman who lost more than 160 pounds, head over to MilesToGo and read her firsthand account of post-bariatric surgery life."

Looking to nominate a blog for this category? Email info at Renew

Click here to view the list

Posted on Monday, July 30, 2018 at 10:00AM by Registered CommenterJulia Holloman in | Comments Off

oh, honey, honey!

Recently, I've been studying honey. I became interested in honey when reading the biblical story of Samson. Samson defeats a lion, then later returns to find honey there— retrieving the sweet reward even among the bees.

I've learned a lot about honey that I never knew before, honey is one of the most amazing foods I have ever seen. It's a natural preservative. It's good for just about everything, including, believe it or not, stabilizing your blood sugar, weight loss, and even promotes sleep. Athletes use honey for strength and energy.

Honey contains Vitamins such as A and C. These nutrients are good for vision, skin, and bones. Honey is considered an antioxidant, fights cell damage and even cancer. It helps maintain healthy teeth by strengthening enamel. It is anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-fungal.

Honey can be helpful with stablizing your blood sugar (when eaten in small amounts). It's a treatment for certain eye conditions, a cough suppressant, improves sleep, increases your body's immune system. It reduces cholesterol, helps curb your appetite and promotes fertility. It helps heal wounds and dry skin. You name it, and honey cures just about everything. 

I find that honey is a tasty addition to my afternoon snack of meat and cheese. When purchasing honey, look for the darker colored varieties. Raw honey, which means its unheated, is best because it still contains its natural nutrients. 

Honey is digested slower than can sugar so it doesn't spike your blood sugar, causing it to crash, however make sure you only eat honey in small amounts, especially if you are diabetic. I start my day with a teaspoon of honey at breakfast and find it especially helpful at bedtime for promoting sleep and stabilizing blood sugar overnight. When your blood sugar is steady, it reduces cortisone levels which in turn reduce stress. A teaspoons throughout the day is good for you. Taste several kinds:  Orange Blossom, Tupelo, or a local wildflower variety.

Spiritually speaking, honey is symbolic of God's Word. In it's natural state, with nothing added or taken away, honey is just like the Word of God - it's eternal. A little honey every day is just like "tasting" God's Word everyday—it's healing, it keeps you spiritually strong and promotes good health.

In the story of Samson, he experienced supernatural strength. Led by God's Spirit, he was empowered to overcome the adversaries that stood in his way and the end result was sweet and rewarding. I encourage you to discover more about the benefits of honey both physically and spiritually.  Enjoy! 

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

Taste and see that the Lord is good... Psalm 34:8

How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!     Psalm 119:103