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Feeling 35 Years Younger After Partnering With Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center

July 11, 2022

Deana Doub, from Hillsborough, NC, partnered with the Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center to help her lose more than 60 pounds. Deana’s goals included weight loss, increasing exercise and fitness, and finding a balanced diet that would work for her. Deana was thrilled to work with Christine Tenekjian, RD, a licensed dietitian and nutritionist, health and wellness coach, and certified personal trainer. Together they came up with a plan to help Deana find weight loss success, meet her exercise and fitness goals, and feel younger.


Dee enjoys a walk with her dog in the forest adjacent to her home.

Why did you choose to seek care?

As a former multi-sport varsity athlete at a Division I university, I have always understood the importance of exercise. There has never been a time in my life when I have not exercised. Even when I was overweight, I was still in good health, except for my weight. Initially, I was 30 pounds overweight. Then during menopause, I gained another 30 pounds, which I carried for years. Then when the COVID-19 pandemic closed the gyms, I added another 25 pounds. I was also a very light smoker. I did not even smoke every day and stopped smoking in 2020. When I sought care, I continued to exercise and walk. I had gained so much weight that jogging did not seem like a good option with the stress it would put on my joints. The additional weight I had gained was making exercising uncomfortable. I had never experienced this and was very unhappy about it. Then I injured my back, and it was evident that I had to get some weight off to heal.

How did you hear about our services?

I have lived in the area for a long time and have always heard about the Duke Diet and Fitness Center (now called the Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center). It has a reputation for people being able to work with the staff and get their weight under control. In April 2021, there was a study (Duke Resilience Study) listed on my My Chart, and the study would provide me with a health coach. It sounded like exactly what I needed!

Which provider(s) do you see, and what do you like about seeing them?

Christine Tenejkian is my provider. She is highly knowledgeable, has a diverse knowledge base, is personable, and has a great sense of humor. I have also found that she is always right, but I try not to tell her that every time we meet! She is great! I was fortunate to be assigned to Christine Tenekjian as my coach in this study. She was exactly what I needed. She helped me with proper diet and eating habits, guided me back to the gym, and helped me establish a workout routine that I enjoy and challenges me. She was the total package I needed to find success.

Please describe your experience working with Christine.

The experience could not have been better or more successful. Christine kept me motivated, set realistic goals, and reined in when I would get impatient or try to set unrealistic goals. A good coach works with you and guides you to success. That is what I found with Christine. She worked with me to help me find a balanced diet that did not leave me hungry. She understood my fitness goals and referred me to appropriate books and guides to help me find success. As she says, no single answer fits everyone, but she worked to help me find what works for me. Another great thing about Christine was that we both have a sense of humor!

What health goals did you have when you came to seek care, and how did Christine work with you to achieve these goals?

My goal was to lose weight and get back to a healthy weight for me, enjoy exercising again, and be fit. I have never felt my age. Until the back injury and the last 25 pounds I gained, I never felt a day over 37. After I got the weight off and went back to exercising; now I feel at least 35 years younger than my actual age. I am jogging more than I did 35 years ago (just not as fast)! I used to run 4-5 miles every morning, and now I do more than that.

“I feel at least 35 years younger than my actual age. I am jogging more than I did 35 years ago (just not as fast)! I used to run 4-5 miles every morning, and now I do more than that.”

Can you give an example of how Christine brought a health concern to your attention and the process for the next steps they recommended? How are you doing with this health concern today?

Recently Christine gently pointed out I needed to get back to strength training, and she helped me find a routine. I took her advice, and I continue to increase the weight and have doubled many of the weights I was previously doing. I feel great and am getting stronger and getting back muscle definition. I am impressed!

Christine also emphasized the importance of quality sleep for weight management and improvement in your life. I was not getting the eight hours of sleep I knew I needed. We discussed using a weighted blanket, and since I started using one, my sleep has improved by an average of an hour every night!

“Christine also emphasized the importance of quality sleep for weight management and improvement in your life.”

What would you say to a friend or family members if you were to recommend the Duke Lifestyle and Weight Management Center services?

I would recommend Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center. They can help you with the entire package you need to help get the weight off and healthy. They have all the tools and personnel you need to be successful. Losing weight is about more than just dieting and exercising. It also involves sleep, stress management, and other factors.

It all needs to be put together for real success. Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center has the staff to help you reach or exceed your goals by addressing the many factors in weight management.

“Losing weight is about more than just dieting and exercising. It also involves sleep, stress management, and other factors.”

Is there anything else you would like to share?

Anyone who does not feel great needs to see the Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center folks! Feeling your best is not just about weight but about being fit. This involves exercise, and the people at the Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center will help you find what works for you. They also have a fabulous monthly newsletter with wonderful articles and some reasonably priced short classes that are helpful. Managing your weight is about managing your lifestyle; they can help you with the entire package.

“Managing your weight is about managing your lifestyle; they can help you with the entire package.”

I have worked with Christine for 11 months now. In that time, I have gone from walking for 30 minutes and doing light weight lifting to doing an intense strength workout at the gym for an hour and doing a 2-hour slow jog, and I feel great when I am done. Sometimes I extend my jog because I am not even tired! A year ago, I would not have even believed that was possible.

In the last 13 months, I have lost 90 pounds. I lost 30 pounds before the study started and working with Christine. I lost the remaining 60 pounds since I began to have help from her. I am impressed, feel great, and I am delighted! The last pounds to lose are always the hardest, but Christine has kept me focused, motivated, and encouraged and helps me set appropriate goals.

I am thankful and blessed! I wish everyone could feel as good as I do!


Duke Resilience Study:

About Duke Lifestyle & Weight Management Center

Duke weight management specialists counsel and oversee non-surgical treatments to help you change your eating habits, adopt healthy lifestyle habits, lose weight, and maintain your weight loss. We have been helping people successfully lose weight, manage medical conditions, and transform their lives for more than 50 years. Here’s how we can help you live a healthy, active, fulfilling life.

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