CLEVELAND -- Terri Black used to weigh 314 pounds. She says she's been obese her entire life and started dieting at age three.
By eighteen, she was diabetic.
Before she was forty, she suffered two heart attacks and had stents put in her arteries.
Terry's obesity caused a host of health problems, including joint pain, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea and hypertension.
She was taking thirteen pills a day to treat her medical problems.
Finally, her doctor told her if she didn't lose weight, she would die. He suggested bariatric surgery and Terri had it done at St. Vincent Charity Medical Center.
Over the next 16 months, 160 pounds melted away, but she's quick to add the surgery didn't cure her obesity.
"They taught me how to appreciate food, how to fix it and eat it, but it's a total lifestyle change," Terri says.
St. Vincent endocrinologist Dr. Joumana Chaiban says people don't have to make dramatic changes in order to get on the right path.
The easiest thing to do is stop sitting in front of the TV.
She says every 20 minutes, get up and walk around the house, climb stairs, walk the dog, anything to get moving. Eventually, she says those small things get bigger.
Her second tip is to clean out all of the junk food in the house, including sugary drinks and snacks. Out of sight, out of mind.
Portion control is key, too, and she suggests using smaller plates.
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Finally, Dr. Chaiban says make an appointment with your doctor and a dietitian. They can give you guidance and a nutrition plan that fits into your lifestyle.