Losing a huge amount of weight is next to impossible. So, some people have turned to Ozempic and Wegovy.

However, weight loss specialists know that managing the behavior that led to obesity is a critical piece to losing weight.

“When my brother called me and told me he had a dream of me dying, that was my turning point,” said Sidney Bynum.

By then, Sidney Bynum weighed 745 pounds and had given up.

“Obesity is a chronic disease. It’s not willpower, it’s not as simple as eat less, move more,” said Dr. Sahar Takkouche, MD, Bariatric Medicine at Vanderbilt University

Research shows 650 million adults worldwide are obese—meaning a BMI of 30 or higher. This leads to fatty liver disease, diabetes and metabolic disorder. Thirty-seven percent of overweight women are also depressed and suffer from self-blame and loathing.

“I struggled a lot because…I didn’t love myself and I really didn’t just care about life,” Bynum said.

In 2020, Bynum got down to 527 pounds to undergo bariatric surgery followed by anti-obesity medications. Vanderbilt doctors addressed the mental issues through both in-person visits and telemedicine because at that, time she was not ambulatory.

“It’s important to have a multi-disciplinary approach – somebody who can see this patient holistically and not necessarily just treating the weight or the number on the scale,” Bynum added.

It clicked for Sidney Bynum.

“She came in and once we met, I saw a spark in her. We connected, and I thought, ‘I have to help this person.'” said Dr. Takkouche.

“She saw something in me when she first met me. And she saw how I just wanted to give up on myself, but she wouldn’t let me give up,” said Bynum.

Did it work? Sidney now weighs 312 pounds, is able to walk and inside her body is much, much healthier.