Directed by Aoife Kelleher (One Milllion Dubliners) this inspiring documentary Nine Stone Lighter follows the journey of Writer, Producer and Actor Jules Coll as she undergoes Gastric Bypass Surgery for weight loss in order to cure her Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and transform her life. An engaging and real account of what has been a life changing decision for Jules as she learns to live with the aftermath and the realities of this really serious operation.
Aged 19 Jules Coll started to struggle with her weight. Her periods were always irregular but as her weight increased she noticed they became fewer. Realising that only having one or two periods a year couldn't possibly be normal Jules went to her GP who referred her to a specialist where she was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. However Jules weight gain didn't end there and instead she soon found that her expanding waistline was severely out of control. Having tried every diet under the sun and at her wits end Jules felt she had no option but to ask for some help.
Having been to see a psychiatrist who could find no emotional connection to her over eating and now weighing 19 stone Jules was finally given the go ahead for Gastric Bypass Surgery. Gastric Bypass Surgery is a surgical procedure where the stomach is divided into a small upper pouch and a much larger lower "remnant" pouch and then the small intestine is rearranged to connect to both. There are two steps during gastric bypass surgery: The first step makes the stomach smaller. The surgeon uses staples to divide Jules stomach into a small upper section and a larger bottom section. The top section of her stomach (called the pouch) is where the food she eats now goes. The pouch is about the size of a walnut and holds approximately 1 ounce of food. Because of this Jules will eat less and lose weight. The second step is the bypass. Her surgeon connects a small part of her small intestine (the jejunum) to a small hole in her pouch. The food she eats will now travel from the pouch into this new opening and into her small intestine. As a result, her body will absorb fewer calories.
This operation is a lifelong dedication to altering Jules eating habits. There is no way to cheat this operation. It is not reversible which means she has had to give up all fatty and sugary foods for life. For Jules this meant researching what sort of food she should be eating and ensuring that everything that now went into her mouth was nutritious and would work with her body. She also began to exercise for the first time in 17 years and was set a series of difficult challenges by a personal trainer. Along the way she discovered that the human spirit is an amazing thing and it is never too late to change your life.