This page is in place to assist you with questions you may have.  If you don't find your answer here, please feel free to email me:

1) Have you had any plastic surgery?

NO I have NOT had any plastic surgery.

2) What type of exercises do you do?

What is your secret to those abs?

I want to look like you, what is the secret?

Got any suggestions on exercises I can do to get the results you did?

Julie, what are your secret exercises?


Forty-five minutes out of surgery, I was up walking the hall.  I continued a walking routine, then added the below exercises starting 6 weeks out of surgery.

I walk 2 miles at least four times a week.  I also do some very basic exercises, as listed below.  No real secrets... just basic stuff that's fairly easy.  That's the way I like it... EASY!  :)

AB TWISTS:  Stand up straight with your feet apart.  Hold a broomstick below your neck, right in between your shoulder blades.  While keeping your hips forward, twist your midsection from side to side.  Do a complete twist with your right arm fully extended in front of you and your left arm fully extended behind you… then reverse.  Do them hard, fast, and hold your ab muscles in tight when you do them.  I do 100 full twists a day

SIDE BENDS:  Stand up straight with your feet apart.  Raise your left arm and reach over your head to your right side.  Hold for ten seconds, and repeat.  Do ten reps for each side.

LEG LIFTS:  Stand up straight while holding onto a chair.  With your foot pointed, lift your leg to the side/back.  Do 30 reps.  Repeat with your foot flat.  Change sides.

3) Isn't there other exercises that you do other than what is posted on your FAQ's section? NO.  All the exercises I do are posted here.  There are no secrets.
4) What are or were your eating habits?

What do you suggest as a menu plan?

What did you eat in Stage 1, 2, etc?

My eating habits change constantly.  One minute I'm eating like a bird... the next like a beast.  Chocolate and diamonds, however, continue to be a girl's best friend.  ;-)  The best way to keep up on my ever changing diet is to read "My Journal" from beginning to current.  It reviews foods that I have ate, foods that I have tried, foods that don't agree with me... and the latest happenings of my food adventures.
5) What influenced you or helped you to make a decision to have surgery?  Were you nervous?  Scared?  How has surgery changed you now? Wow.  I tell ya... these are some in-depth questions that can't be answered with two-liners.  To get a full view of these questions and to truly understand how I felt and the changes I've been through... read my "Journal" from beginning to current.  Yep... it'll take ya a few days... but I promise you'll laugh, cry, and learn what not to do.  hee hee
6) If you had it to do over again, would you have surgery? This surgery is the best decision I have EVER made in my life.  You MUST research... it's not for everyone... but I have been able to use the surgery as a tool and work in with my daily life.
7) Have you had your gallbladder removed? Yes.  My gallbladder was removed laparoscopically in 2000.... two years prior to me even knowing weight loss surgery existed.
8) Where are your surgery scars? All I can say is Dr. Taylor (gallbladder) and Dr. Champion (WLS) are darn good!  My surgery scars are barely visible with a tan.  Click here to see a pic up close and personal of my little scars.
9) Did you keep very active after and was that painful? 
I have been extremely active since surgery.... I am constantly on the go.  Within 45 minutes of me coming out of surgery, I was up walking the halls.  I did not experience any pain from surgery at all.  Laparoscopic is definitely the best way to go.
10) Did you have to wait a certain amount of time before exercising?  My doctor wants everyone to begin on a walking program immediately.  I then was allowed to do sit ups and more rigorous activities at 6 weeks.
11) Do you really have to be on the Atkins Diet the rest of your life? You're sort of on a tweaked version of the Atkins Diet.  Always eat your protein first, then if you have enough room, eat your veggies, then carbs.  Wait 30 minutes after meals to drink.  Everyone is different on what they can tolerate after surgery.  I pretty much eat like a normal person now.  However, when you have this surgery, your pouch gets a mind of it's own.  It will let you know what food it likes and doesn't like.  For instance, my tummy doesn't care too much for bread, rice, pasta, ice cream, or real sugary foods anymore.  Yes... I used to love those foods... but... once you get sick a few times from eating them... you don't want them anymore and you don't even think twice about it.  They make my heart beat fast, all my energy is drained, and the only thing that makes me feel better is to sleep.  I just don't crave those foods anymore... no love loss at all.  A size 8 tastes better than any food ever did!
12) Can't I just go on the Atkins Diet and lose the same amount of weight? First of all... let's analyze this and just be honest:  If you could REALLY be on the Atkins diet for the rest of your life and NEVER EVER cheat, would you have a weight issue now?  No.  Okay... Second:  The RNY is more than changing your diet habits.  You are also taking in less food and you are mal-absorbing calories due to bypassing your duodenum.  So... you eat less, don't absorb as much, and don't eat the same foods you use to.  It just works!  :-)
13) I hate taking vitamins, do I really have to take them the rest of my life?


Only if you want to live.  Not taking your vitamins will eventually lead to nerve damage.  It's become routine and I don't even think about it anymore.
14) What type of vitamins & protein supplements are you taking? My surgeon only requires two Flintstones daily, 1500mg of calcium spread out over the day, one 65mg Feosol Iron Supplement, and 40 to 60 grams of protein from your daily food intake.  Dr. Champion pulls his patients off of protein shakes after 6 weeks.  Please note, each surgeon is different.  Your doctor may have another regimen for you to follow.

In addition, I also take Potassium for occasional leg cramps and Zinc, Beta-Carotene, and Evening Primrose Oil for my Eczema (which I never have a problem with until I stop taking my vitamins).  Note:  Never take your Iron and Calcium together.  Your stomach fights to absorb one or the other... so one gets cancelled out.  My daily vitamin intake goes something like this:


  • One Flintstone Chewable
  • One "Peachtree Natural Foods" Potassium 99mg
  • One "Super Calcium Citrate" 500mg (order from


  • One "Feosol" Iron Supplement 65mg


  • One Flintstone Chewable
  • One "Super Calcium Citrate" 500mg


  • One "Super Calcium Citrate" 500mg
  • One Chelated Zinc 50mg
  • One Beta-Carotene 50mg
  • One Evening Primrose Oil 1300mg


  • I get my protein intake from my food throughout the day.  I always eat foods high in protein.
15) Are you and your hubby still happily married? ABSOLUTELY!  I love that man with all my heart and he loves me!  We have a fantastic marriage!  He is so understanding, so supportive, loves me unconditionally, and puts up with far too much of my crap!  LOL!  I would have left me long ago!  :)  He's a great man and should be put on a pedestal!  I love my hunny bunny!
16) How much did your surgery cost? This info is included in my journal.  Click here to read this info now.
17) Your skin looks incredible!  What is your secret?

I'm starting on my journey, what is your suggestion to get my skin to look like yours?

I really don't have any secrets.  Exercise, Water, and Vitamins play an important role in how well your skin bounces back.  I get asked about "any special creams"?  No, the only lotion I use is Bath & Body Works - Body Cream.  Pretty much any scent they have works all the same.  I use it over my entire body everyday when I get out of the shower.  It gets expensive... but... it must be working!  ;-)
18) Do you have any stretch marks? Yes.  They are all the way around my hips and my breasts, but they are very light in color... not white... not dark or red... just a shade lighter then my regular skin tone.  I usually keep a tan year 'round, so they hardly noticeable at all.  :)
19) Now that you've lost your weight, do you still think about "weight" everyday? Heck yeah!  Dr. Champion did tummy surgery... not brain surgery!  I weigh everyday!  95% of my thoughts are about my weight.  Every time I eat... I think about my weight... surgery... so yes... my life is still very much consumed by my weight.  I weigh everyday. 
20) I heard that alcohol effects WLS Patients differently, can you explain? The term "cheap drunk" comes into play here.  Here's the spill:  When a non-WLS patient consumes alcohol, it enters their stomach, is mixed with acid and any food, and is released a tablespoon at a time into the intestines every few minutes.  It may take the average person two to three mixed drinks over a period of 30 to 60 minutes to begin to feel a "buzz".  When a WLS patient consumes alcohol, it enters the pouch, doesn't stop to mix with any acid because there is none there, and empties right into the intestines.  I can feel a "buzz" after two swallows.  It is instant.  Think of it as an IV.  A half of a mudslide, and I am buzzing.  One glass of White Zinfandel will  have me completely drunk.  Great you say!  Quick, immediate drunkenness, without spending a lot of money.  Yeah, sounds great... but here is the downside.  As soon as a buzz comes on... it goes.  I can drink two mudslides and be completely, utterly drunk with difficulty standing.  Forty-five minutes later, as long as I drink nothing but water, I will be completely sober and able to drive.  So, in order to keep your buzz, you have to keep drinking... but... you have to do it slow... too much will make you sick... and we are highly prone to alcohol poisoning.
21) Has your sex life changed? Of course.
22) I read a lot about the "Julie Concoction" mudslide.  What is in it and how do I make it? Julie's Concoction =  One shot Bailey's Irish Cream, one shot Kahlua, one shot Skyy Vodka, over ice, topped with half & half.  Stir and enjoy!  :)
23) Do you go to a tanning bed?

What is the difference between a regular bed and a "super" bed?

Only when I have a special event coming up.  I will tan three times in the Super Bed before an event...  It gives me perfect results every time.

Every Tanning Center has different brands and levels of beds.  My Tanning Center is fairly simple with three levels of beds:

Average Daily Bed:  You can visit everyday for up to 20 minutes a visit.  This bed (in my opinion) is equal to one day at the beach on a cloudy day.

Super Bed = You can do up to 20 minutes.  Not an everyday use bed.  I suggest every three to four days.  You need a base tan to do this bed for 20 minutes.  This bed is equal to one day at the beach in the middle of July with little to no sunscreen. 

Turbo Bed = Awesome Base Tan REQUIRED.  You can do up to 20 minutes, which is equal to three days on the beach in the blazing sun with no sunscreen.

I do the Super Bed due to my busy schedule.  If I have no tan, I'll do the Super Bed for 10 minutes twice the first week. Then 15 minutes twice the second week. Then 20 minutes the third week.  If I already have a base tan, I can do two or three 20 minute sessions over a two week time frame and be super dark.

24) Will I have sagging skin?

Why do I currently have sagging skin?

You don't have a lot of saggy skin, why?

Any suggestions for me on reducing saggy skin?

Do you have any secrets about excessive skin?

Julie, can you personally help me reduce or eliminate saggy skin that you haven't told others?

Whether you will have or currently have sagging skin depends on so many factors. Here's a list of some items that play a part in whether skin will bounce back:
1) How old are you? Age, along with how long you've been overweight... If you are under 30, you stand a good chance of skin bouncing back to almost normal in most areas. Over 30 has a more difficult time. Think of it as a rubber band. A new rubber band stretched to it's max for say, 6 months or less, will usually bounce back into shape. A rubber band stretched to it's max for more than 6 months will be sort of be shriveled if it doesn’t dry up and break first. Our skin is just like that.
2) How long have you been obese? Again, how long has that skin been stretched out? If you're young and been obese for 10 years or less, with some maintenance, your skin should return to almost normal. If your skin has been stretched for 10+ years, it may have reached it's "breaking point".
3) How heavy are you? 300 pounds and under do the best with skin, and of course, if your young and been obese less than 10 years... Well, you stand the best chance of skin going back to normal.
4) Have you had children? I have noticed that WLS Patients without children versus those with children do better with skin

Here are some main points though... REGARDLESS of age, weight, kids, and obesity life... To make the most of what you're working with, you have got to follow these tips:
1) Exercise EVERYDAY. It's not a choice... It's not an option. You chose to have this life threatening surgery to make a change in your life so why aren't you doing it? Now... I could very well use the term "The pot calling the kettle black" because after the honeymoon period was over... my exercise routine began to slack.  However, in the beginning, when it counted the most for skin, I was doing my exercises everyday.
2) Water intake. This sort of goes back to the rubber band idea... In order for skin to maintain elasticity... It needs water. You must get in 64+ ounces of water everyday.
3) Vitamins. Simple... A healthy body will produce better results.
4) Lotions. I stay covered in Bath & Body Works body cream. The lotion adds to the moisture and keeps the skin elasticity.
25) Do you put your entire life in your journal?  My "Journal" is an accurate account of my daily/weekly happenings.  However, it would be silly to believe that it is all inclusive of all that I do, see, and feel.  I am a very open person and share a lot of my life with the public... but sometimes there are secrets a girl likes to keep to herself.  :)
26) Your breasts are so perky.  What type of bra do you wear? I wear "Flower Bali® Underwire"  I love it!  I purchase them from the outlet website.
27) Do you regret appearing in the swimsuit calendar since you lost your job over it? LOL!  Not for one second.  Appearing in the swimsuit calendar was the best thing ever.  It boosted my confidence, was so much fun, I met so many wonderful people, and if I had never appeared in that calendar... and never lost my Fortune 500 career... I would have never had the courage to do my photography full-time.  I am FREE now!  I love being self-employed and make more money now than I could have ever dreamed of at the "Fortune 500".  PRAISE JESUS FOR WORKING IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS!
28) Love your clothes babe!  Where do you shop? My favorite place to shop for cool club clothes is the "Body Shop".  When I want more dressy, casual, and business clothes... I shop at Macy's or New York & Company.
29) Did you experience hair loss?  If yes, when did it start and stop? I started loosing my hair at 15 weeks.  I lost quite a bit, but never enough that people would stare.  The hair loss started to slow at 30 weeks, and stopped falling out at 39 weeks.  Go to my journal and do a word search for "hair" to get more information.
30) Why are post-ops discouraged from donating blood? I spoke with the nurse at Dr. Champion's office to get clarification on this. She stated that we are asked not to donate because we mal-absorb iron. She stated it takes a normal individual one week to rebuild iron levels. A WLS Patient takes two to three weeks, or even longer. If a person is consistently donating, they can experience unhealthy iron levels. Of course, if the donation is a once in a while thing, for instance in an emergency situation, then it can be okay.
31) What is your favorite high protein food(s)? My answers are based on one serving size and the amount of protein it provides:
1/2 cup of Old El Paso Fat Free Refried Beans = 6g
1 Boca Burger w/slice of cheese & pickles (no bread) = 14g
1/2 Ribeye steak = 26 g
1 pint Egg Drop Soup = 5g
2 or 3 slices of Pork Tenderloin = 22 g
32) What is your favorite color? Black.  I love to wear black and black goes with everything... and hey... black is very slimming!
33) What type of music do you listen to? I love Jazz, Piano, & Guitar.  I also enjoy R&B and Hip Hop.  However, I get into all types of music... Rock, Country, Classical... Just depends on my mood.

I'm still in my honeymoon period and my weight loss has really slowed or completely stopped.  What is wrong?  How do I jumpstart it again?

I'm a plateau!  What do I do?

Give me some tips on loosing weight.

Plateaus for 3 weeks or longer are usually contributed to not following the rules.  The basic weight loss rules are not bendable or breakable.  In the first year, they must be followed for long term success... No exceptions.

Basic Rules for Weight Loss after WLS:

  • You MUST take your vitamins everyday. A Flintstone in the morning and one at night. A calcium in the morning and one at night.
  • You MUST drink at least 64 ounces of water a day and it doesn't hurt to cut out any sodas that you may be drinking.  Remember, consuming caffeine has a negative impact on your water intake.  For every ounce of caffeine you consume, you have to drink that much EXTRA water.
  • You MUST exercise 3 to 5 times a week for at least 30 minutes.
  • You MUST have three meals a day. That means you MUST eat breakfast with protein... like ham, sausage, or bacon. You must eat a lunch loaded with protein and you must eat a dinner loaded with protein.
  • Choose good snacks.  No snacking on carbs like chips, crackers, and/or candy.  Snack on fruits and/or beef jerky.
  • STAY AWAY from carbs!  Rice, bread, cereal, flour, etc.
  • Attend support group meetings.
  • Be honest with yourself.  Are you really doing ALL of these things?  Vitamins, Water, Exercise, Protein, and Staying away from carbs in COMBINATION is what causes our weight loss.  Remove just one attribute and your weight loss will slow or completely stop.
35) What medications are we to stay away from after surgery? You should not take any Aspirin, products containing aspirin, Anti-Inflammatory Medications, Cox 2 Inhibitors, Long Term Steroids, or any other drugs known to cause ulcers. Below is a list of the more common medications you should avoid for the rest of your life, unless absolutely necessary and then you must take a medication to protect the stomach from ulcers (Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, Prevacid)

Aspirin - Acetylsalicylic acid ASA, Asper~, Bayer, Ecotrin, Empirin, Halfprin, Novasen Solprin, BC Powder, Vincent's Powders, ZORprin, NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) - Advil, Aleve, Anaprox, Daypro, Dimetapp Sinus Dristan Sinus, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Excedrin ill, Ibuprin, Medipren, Mido, Nuprin, Pamprin, Trendar, Sine-Aid, Arthrotec, Cataflam, Votaren, Lodine, Fenopron, Nalfon, Indocin, indomethacin, Drudis, Rhodis, Actron, ketoprofen, Toradol, ketorolac, mobic, Relafen, Relifex, Naprosyn, Naprox, nabumeton, oxaprozin, Feldene, Pirox, piroxicam, rofecoxib, Clinoril, Saldac, sulindac Cox 2 Inhibitors- Celebrex, Vioxx, Bextra

Other Drugs to avoid: Fosamax, Prednisone, Actonel

36) Do you have any excess skin?  If yes, where? I do have some excess skin.  Not enough though to render any type of plastic surgery.  The question I get the most is about my underarms.  I have "mini" batwings.  However, wearing a sleeveless shirt is usually no problem for me.  It's only if I lift my arm and wave do I see the shake, shake, shake.  I do have a little bit of wrinkly skin at the very bottom of my belly where my belly meets my private area.  I also have a little bit of wrinkly skin in my upper inner thighs.  My breasts definitely need to be lifted and put back into place... thank goodness for good bras.  My butt looks like a hail-storm attacked with all the cellulite dimples... BUT... other than that, I'm pretty good to go.
37) Do you have any regrets? None what so ever!  I would have this surgery every year if I had to.
38) What was your starting weight and height? This info and some other interesting facts are located on the very front page of the website... just scroll down a bit.  I am 5'3" and my highest weight was 264 lbs.
39) I am experiencing or having XYZ symptoms...

I can't eat, drink, or keep anything down...

Can you help or offer advice for the problem I am having?

Although I was a Pre-Med student... I am not a medical doctor.  If you are having symptoms or conditions of any kind that do not seem right... then by all means, please contact your surgeon.  I cannot offer medical advice or provide you with a diagnosis.  I can only document in my Journal the things that I have been through and the suggestions made by own physician.
40) Julie, I'm starting my WLS journey.  Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for me? Yes.  Read all of the FAQ's and my Journal.  It is 7+ years of documentation to help you to be successful in your WLS journey.
41) Sometimes when I eat too much I get a "gasping hiccup sound".  What causes this?

Sometimes when I eat too much I get a runny nose.  What causes this?

Sometimes when I eat too much, my eyes water.  What causes this?

Hiccups, or just one big gasping hiccup, is an accidental reflex triggered by a stimulus to (usually) the vagus or phrenic nerves. This travels up the line to a nerve control center that for some reason sends out a "commence hiccup" impulse via the phrenic nerve.

The vagus and phrenic nerves go all throughout the body... which explains why so many things causes hiccups.  For example, a 16-year-old girl began hiccupping after receiving a blow to the jaw. A brain scan found that a blood vessel was pressing against the vagus nerve in her neck. Surgeons inserted a Teflon spacer between the nerve and the blood vessel, and the hiccupping stopped. When the spacer later fell out the hiccupping resumed.

When I experienced the "gasping hiccup sound", I always knew I had eaten too much. The Vagus nerve runs next to our new tummy pouch.  When I would over eat, my pouch would expand, causing it to touch the Vagus nerve... That in turn sent messages to my brain to create the "gasping hiccup".

In gastric bypass patients, it can also send other "messages". Some post-op patients will get one of three things when the pouch touches this nerve 1) a hiccup, 2) a runny nose, or 3) watery eyes.  Thank goodness I never got the runny nose or watery eyes... but the loud gasping hiccup in itself can be quite embarrassing if you're out in a public restaurant.  Crazy and weird facts for ya! :)

42) Julie, Can you give me advice on ways to lose weight that are successful without me having to have surgery?

Um... no.  If I knew how to lose weight without surgery... I would have done so.  I failed at every diet I tried and surgery was my last resort.  My doctor also told me that if you are 100+ pounds overweight, the chances of loosing enough weight to become healthy is almost impossible... so the odds were against me and against anyone who is more than 100 pounds overweight.

If you are not ready for surgery... The best thing for you to do is to interview people that have lost large amounts of weight without surgery.  They are the successful ones who learned how to change their lifestyle and found a diet that was successful for them.  Of course the golden rule is always take in less calories, burn more, drink lots of water, and exercise hard for 30+ minutes a day a minimum of 5 days a week.


Me, My Friend, My Cousin, My Sister, or My Neighbor is really good at taking pictures.  Can you tell me/them how to get started in the business?  Can you provide me/them with photography tips?

My philosophy is all about self-teaching.  When ever I want to learn something, I buy books, read, research on the net, and attend classes.  I highly encourage you/them to do the same.  When I started my photography business I was and am self-taught... meaning I put forth the effort to research and learn.  I never asked anyone what it takes to be in business.  Another philosophy is:  If you have what it takes to open a business, then you don't have to ask anyone how, when, or where to get started.  You just know, and what you don't know, you learn by research.  Research does not mean taking the easy way out and emailing someone for a quick answer.  Now, I am certainly not trying to sound mean, ugly, harsh or cocky.  I am simply way too busy to become a photography mentor or teacher.  Also, keep in mind... just because someone takes great photographs using the cameras pre-programmed modes, does not mean they can become a professional.  You must first learn to control the exposure of your camera... that means using that "M" mode or "Manual" mode, where you dial in the shutter speed and aperture.  A great chef may make some delicious meals.  However, that doesn't mean he can run a restaurant.  Running a photography business takes management/business skills first.  Taking "pretty pictures" is a very, very, very small piece of the puzzle.

Julie, I am currently suffering from infertility.  How long after WLS do I have to wait to try and get pregnant?

My doctor advises women patients to wait a minimum of 18 months after WLS before trying to conceive for the safety of the patient and baby.

Julie, How are you doing now?  Have you had any struggles with weight gain?  What does your current diet consist of?

All this information and more makes up 60% of my Journal.  Click here to go there now.

Can you help me find a reputable Bariatric Surgeon?

Sure!  That's easy.  You can search for a surgeon by going to the ASBS website.
  • Enter your zip code.
  • Be sure to click on the "Center of Excellence" box.
  • Hit Search
  • Any surgeon that has been awarded the "Center of Excellence" designation will have it listed next to his/her name in parenthesis.

A "Center of Excellence" designation provides the public with the assurance that the practice provides complete care for patients undergoing weight loss surgery and that they have a proven track record verified by an independent review organization. 

Any doctor that is a Bariatric Surgeon can pay is/her financial membership dues and become a "member" of ASBS... but being given the title of "Center of Excellence" is not something they pay for... it's earned.  Just food for thought.  :)


I am post-op and pregnant.  My OB-GYN is recommending a Gestational Diabetes test or Glucose Tolerance test.  I know this test involves consuming large amounts of sugar in a small amount of time.  What should I do?

Letter from Dr. Champion's office:

Glucose Tolerance Tests after Gastric Bypass


A number of our post-op gastric bypass patients have been asked to have a glucose tolerance test or GTT by their gynecologist if they become pregnant.  We strongly urge you to not have the test done, as it will result in the “dumping syndrome” with nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure and low blood sugar which could injure the unborn child.


After a gastric bypass any food or liquid immediately enters the small intestine and foods high in sugar cause this violent reaction.  The liquid cola or other solid food used to perform the GTT is essentially sugar.  In addition, the GTT will be abnormal in 100% of gastric bypass patients, so it provides no useful information to the doctor, and may in fact harm the fetus.


If your OB-GYN has questions, please show them this document and have them call our office to speak with Dr. Champion.  770-425-5525 ext. 4

48) What was your vitamin regimen while you were pregnant?

I switched to the Twinlab Prenatal Vitamins and took them three times daily.  I also continued to take my Super Calcium from the Vitalady three times a day.  In addition, I added Lipil to my daily routine.  It's a pregnancy gel tab put out by Enfamil for expecting mothers.

I've indicated the products below.  You can click the links to go to the websites: