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Duke Employees Prove You Can Win For Losing

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DURHAM, N.C. — Durham is sometimes known as Fat City because it is home to several prestigious diet centers. When

Duke University Medical Center

employees decided to slim down, they passed on expensive diet programs and turned to teamwork.

At Duke University Medical Center, employees help patients get healthy every day, but that does not mean they are immune to the same weight problems so many people have.

"With the schedules we keep and everything around here, it's hard to make healthy choices." Duke employee Kimberly Nolte said.

Duke University Medical Center issued a weight loss challenge to all its employees.

"The challenge was to lose 2002 pounds in 2002," Live for Life coordinator Kerry Little said.

Employees divided into teams. Through e-mails and programs at the hospital, they followed a weight loss plan for eight weeks. Nearly 1,100 employees took the challenge. Instead of losing 2002 pounds, they almost tripled it, losing 6,000 pounds.

Five women have a lot to be smiling about. Known as the Winning Losers, they lost the most weight with a combined 75 pounds. Team captain Beverly Clark credits the group support for their success.

"Kim's always saying, 'Don't take the elevator, we're taking the stairs,' and watching what we eat at lunch. I know if I go to get a lasagna, someone is going to see me eat this," she said.

Barbara Kaminski lost the most weight at 35 pounds. She said the number no longer matters, but it is how she feels and how her clothes fit.

"As I'm losing the weight, I'm fitting into the smaller sizes," she said.

The program did not use a specific diet plan and no medications were used. Team members instead followed the food pyramid guidelines and they exercised. Even though the program is over, team members say they are going to stay on track. Their goal to remain the Winning Losers.