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'It would make me feel embarrassed. I know what they're thinking': Jacksonville woman once 525 lbs, fights back against obesity

Julie Dahlin is opening up about her weight-loss journey.

At her heaviest, Julie Dahlin weighed in at 525 pounds. In May of 2019, she took a big step and signed herself up for sleeve gastrectomy at Memorial Hospital. For six months, Dahlin met with nutritionists and doctors conditioning her body for a surgery she knew was necessary to save her life.

"It is difficult but you have to be at a point where you've hit bottom," Dahlin said. "You can't be active, you can't do things, you're watching everyone around you live their life and you're not participating. I want to be a part of my family's life and my friend's lives. I don't want to not be here." 

Credit: Keitha Nelson
At her heaviest, Julie Dahlin weighed in at 525 pounds. In May of 2019, she took a big step, signed herself up for sleeve gastrectomy.

First Coast News followed Dahlin's weight loss journey, which she'll share on Good Morning Jacksonville starting Tuesday, Feb. 4. In a candid interview, Dahlin shares how she feels society views overweight people.

"I found the discrimination to be everyday things like being out in public," she said. "Or when we would go to restaurants, you could just tell they're just staring at you or while you're eating or what kind of table you ask to be seated at. Traveling that's where I would see it the most. Getting in and out of taxis or buses or flights and things like that. People would just stare at you like 'Oh I hope she's not sitting next to me.'"