Leeds slimmer told to pile pounds back on to stay alive

Julie Dunbar after her dramatic weight loss Photo:

A woman from Leeds who lost 14 stone after weight loss surgery has been told to eat more than double the recommended calorie intake - just to stay alive.

Julie Dunbar: From this...
to this.

A woman from Leeds who lost 14 stone after weight loss surgery has been told to eat more than double the recommended calorie intake - just to stay alive.

Julie Dunbar, who lives in Farnley, decided to have a duodenal switch - a dramatic form of weight loss surgery which involves removing part of the stomach - when she reached more than 20 stone.

She had the operation in December 2010, and within a year she had lost 11 stone. Her weight fell more still - way beyond the suggested level.

She became malnourished and had to go back to hospital for surgery - which didn't work, as her stomach could not absorb the nutrients she needed.

In September last year she had further surgery after her weight dropped to six stone.

Julie has since gained some weight and it has levelled off - but she has to eat 5,000 calories a day - more than twice the recommended daily amount for a woman.

Julie said: "I looked into all the forms of weight loss surgery, and I chose perhaps the most drastic. But I didn't want to be fat and 50.

"But when I got to six stone I looked like I was on the verge of death. So it's come to a stage where I've got to eat all day in order for me to absorb enough nutrients and stay at eight stone."

Asked how she managed to maintain her eating pattern, she said her sister was her lifeline.

She said: I've got a sister. She helps me out so much. She does the shopping, I do the eating. People might look at me and think "she's really lucky", as I get to eat all day and not put on weight. But it becomes a chore in the end, and it's to stop me from starving. If I went back to eating how I would like to eat, I would go right back down to six stone."

Julie's diet now consists of cereal and a cheese omelette and toast for breakfast, and curries and Chinese dishes for lunch and tea - as well as crisps, nuts and chocolate as snacks.

She added: "It's a total nightmare. When you want to eat as much as other people and can't, you feel you're missing out. Now food is just a chore."