Documentary on One

Does My Bum Sound Big In This?

Joyce is only living a 'half-life'. A funny and creative person, she rarely leaves the house. She's morbidly obese. We follow Joyce as she tackles the complex reasons behind her weight, tries to shed her shell and 'find her way back to normal'. (2018)

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4.3/5 (64 ratings)

Documentary Maker : Emer Horgan

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Documentary maker: Nicoline Greer

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Does My Bum Sound Big In This?

Joyce is 55 years old and is, by her own admission, ‘living a half-life’. 

She has always been overweight but now is severely obese to the extent that her life has been affected dramatically. Five years ago Joyce developed chronic arthritis which means that she is in severe pain. Her movement is now so restricted that she rarely leaves the house and this sedentary life has led to her gaining an extra four stone – and this extra weight has been the tipping point for her life.

In March 2016, after several years on the waiting list, she secured a place for treatment with the Weight Management Service in Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin, where one possible treatment is bariatric surgery – more commonly known as gastric band surgery.

However, before she goes down this drastic surgery route, she’s going to try everything she can with the help of the team at the clinic to lose weight. In this documentary we follow Joyce over two years as she tries to lose weight and explores the reasons why she might have ended up in this place in her life. 

Joyce sees this as her ‘last chance’ to get a normal life back again.

Joyce makes people howl with laughter. Even facing such huge challenges in her life, she remains a vibrant creative person.

She has a solid group of good friends but is also aware that her self-esteem is now low.  Before she had to give up work she worked in theatre and is passionate about film, culture and the arts in general. 

At her first meeting at the Weight Management Clinic in May 2016 Joyce’s was taken by surprise by feelings of both shock and shame. Though she knew in an abstract sense that she was very overweight, she would never have identified with the other obese people attending for the treatment at the clinic.

She knows that the reasons for her being overweight are complicated and for Joyce it’s a constant battle to feel ok about herself and to stay hopeful.

This documentary explores the complex reasons behind obesity and the challenges and prejudices that someone who inhabits an obese body faces.

As obesity statistics multiply worldwise, we ask what’s it like to be one of these statistics?

What is the physical and emotional impact on your life, your health and your well-being of being obese?  And, most importantly for Joyce, is it possible to recover and regain all these things?

"Does My Bum Sound Big In This?" was produced by Emer Horgan and Nicoline Greer

Sound supervision by Ciaran Cullen 

First broadcast Saturday 9th June 2018

Obesity notes:

In 2016 the World Health Organisation declared that for the first time in human history more people in the world are obese than malnourished.  For governments, the obesity epidemic is causing massive headaches: headaches about the impending health crisis for citizens and the cost to the exchequer.

Today almost 65% of the world’s population is overweight and 2.8 million people are dying each year as a result of being seriously overweight. According to Donal O’Shea of the National Obesity Clinic, Ireland is Europe’s ‘fattest’ nation. Obesity is the number one public health issue facing every developed country. And the third world is not far behind.

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