Obesity is a reality for millions of Americans... According to the Centers for Disease Control more than one- third of U.S.adults are considered obese.. The condition can be conquered with diet and exercise but many people won't be able to do it by themselves ... We talked with a local woman who had bariatric surgery and has shed more than 100 pounds... She's showing off her new body in a way she never thought was possible... 3 00-0528-3354-59Lawson: Mary Vensel never imagined working the cat walk at 78 years old. But she has something to show off...even if it's a little out of her comfort zone.I'm a little nervous.I've never done anything like that before. Lawson: After dropping 120 pounds she's more comfortable then she's been in years. Mary battled breast cancer ...than lung cancer and had part of her lung removed. During the process she went from wearing a bikini at age 50 to lugging around an oxygen tank.I was on oxygen 24/7.My doctor and I decided that most of my problem was my obesity as opposed to my obesity and other things. 40:17Lawson: She ballooned to 305 pounds and couldn't walk from one room to another with geting winded. Mary had high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome and high cholesterol, after more than 15 years she decided with the help of her doctor to do something about it.My key is not to change the person--all people coming to me are beautiful, great personalities. I want to give them health and better quality of life.Lawson: Bariatric surgeon Dr. Miro Uchal recommended Mary get a gastric sleeve.During the surgery he took out 80 percent of her stomach.Why? because I know it works. it doesn't cause you any trouble and will give you tremendous weight loss and improve any disease related to obesity.Lawson: Recovery was not easy. Mary's stomach was so much smaller she had to change her diet completely.Mary Vensel: At first it's liquids just liquids and you do protein shakes// I tried baby food and i don't blame my children for not eating it.Lawson: And eventually she upgraded to whole foods but she can never eat the quantity of food she used to without getting sick. You have to chew thoroughly and eat slowly and you cant eat and drink at the same time. Lawson: Mary has replaced that food with exercise. Her daughter bought her a fancy pedometerThat's steps, miles , calories burned 44:59Lawson: and she puts it to work everyday. - I do 5-6 miles a week.// - I go ran or shine, hot or cold.Lawson: And now a first, walking the catwalk at St Vincent's as a success story. Someone who took control of her life and vows to never let food control it again.Mary: It's changed my life. It really has changed my life from being a couch potato to doing what i want to do. The 17 models who participated in the fashion show represent a combined weight loss of 22-HUNDRED pounds. For more information about Saint Vincent's weight-loss services, visit jax-health dot com slash weight loss or call 450-6090.