Fitness Ridge, A More Compassionate Booty-Kicking Camp, Part II :: Ivins, Utah

Part Two
Flash forward one week later.

We were both healthier, leaner, and, this is BIG, so much more relaxed and downright happy. Not one complaint had passed Sis’s lips for seven whole days, which has got to be an all time record! Fitness Ridge provides an intimate, structured environment, (though privacy is never an issue since there are plenty of places to go for a little alone time) with an abundance of caring, compassionate staff that simply will not let you fail.

Good Food, Great Exercise, Superb Services and Extremely Comfy Accommodations. (Can you tell I REALLY liked it there?)

The portion controlled 3 squares a day were filling and usually very tasty — we were both full of fiber for a change, as opposed to other things! The 1200 calorie meal plan allots 300 calories for breakfast, 400 for lunch and 500 for dinner. And trust me, they had you burning off everyone of those calories during the day.

We had begun as newbies, like teary-eyed little girls when confronted with our first 9 mile hike climbing 1,000 ft in elevation, but by mid-week we were scrambling up the cliffs with the advanced group, huffing and puffing with glee. HOORAH! Hikes are a major component in their weight-loss program and again they made it most pleasurable with the spectacular backdrop of Southern Utah’s red rocks, or exploring old caves decorated with hieroglyphics, or scrambling up an old volcano. Every day offered someplace different and they always provided at least three different levels- from beginner to mountaineering. You’re coaxed to push your personal envelope and enjoying every minute of it.

After the hike, it was necessary to stretch our newly discovered muscles in the aquacise class, held in the half Olympic-sized swimming pool. I previously thought that water aerobics was for blue haired grannies…but when weighted down with all the encroutements: some funny foam noodle thingy, dumbbells, and some rubber “swim paws?- it was tougher than the kick-boxing class. Sharon, one of my fave instructors, 6 ft tall, pretty, with grown kids and a body of steel, was always bubbling with infectious enthusiasm as she cranked up the boom box, blasting out the oldies. (Though I’ve got to admit, we all cracked up when one of the guests, David, a 20 year old young man who had been there 6 months and was down 120 pounds, simply wasn’t in the mood one day and said “I’m going to get out of this pool and come over and slap the Happy right off your face!?) For our reward we’d pop in the hot tub afterwards for a few minutes of delicious bubbling, way better than a slice of apple pie! (I can’t believe my fingers just typed that!)

Lunch was at 12:45 and we began to salivate in anticipation of Chef Cameron’s (who had previously cooked at many of Wolfgang Puck’s Vegas restaurants) fresh salad bar and creamy dairy free soups and a healthy sandwich, wrap or pizza. Who would of thunk those 400 calories could actually add up to so much food?

Lectures after lunch and dinner (one does need to digest while one hydrates non-stop!) were to the point and realistic, with clear hand-outs that provided you with the tools to continue your quest at home. Sis loved that the Fitness

Ridge experts acknowledged that living a healthy life style was hard, (she can be such a baby) but our knowledgeable speakers made the challenges feel much more like a game than a nasty task.

After the lunch lecture it was back to one of the gyms for classes. Maybe fast and furious circuit training, a hip-Hop class taught by a darling “townie? boy who owned the local dance school and was also a choreographer. But the one we really loved was the Living Drums class, where you rhythmically pound the crap out of huge fitness balls for an hour. Great upper body workout and totally gets rid of all your pent-up aggressions-so much better than an hour on the couch!

The Spa at Fitness Ridge is perfection. The 55 minute strong Swedish massage was such a deal at $65, it soon became our nightly pre- beddy-bye treat. (Although you could also chose shiatsu, hot stone, reflexology, a facial, mani/pedicure, acupuncture, even a full scale hair salon, etc.)Between us we tried 5 different massage therapists and not a lemon in the bunch.

Our southwestern styled double room was perfectly pleasant with two comfy queen beds, air con, cable TV & DVD with movie rentals available, and matching sinks, so no waiting for a quick scrub.

Recommended for anyone who wants to shed a few (or many) pounds, has hit a trouble spot in your life and wants to getaway from it all, looking to change a few bad habits i.e. too much good food and drink with too little exercise, or just want to get in some great hiking, then Fitness Ridge should be your go-to place.

Incredible program offered at an incredible price. So go ahead, sign up today…But only if you’ve got something you want to lose!

East Coast Top Eleven:
1. Free bikes and helmets provided for exploring on your own.
2. Michelle’s excellent yogilates class where I finally discovered my “core.”
3. Chef Cameron’s lip–smacking good Salmon Burger.
4. Jane Anne’s Swedish Massage.
5. Tai Chi at sunset outside on top of a Red Mountain- simply gorgeous.
6. No shortage of fluffy, freshly laundered white towels.
7. The brand new steam and sauna which unfortunately was opening the following week-but it looked fantastic!
8. Painlessly losing 6 lbs. + 3 1/2 inches off my waistline in one week.
9. Hiking up and back to the famous” Stop Sign” for a photo
op to show the nay sayers back home.
10. Free computers and an on-site coin laundry.
11. Communal group meals, good conversation had me eating much slower and
“more mindfully? which is a good thing.

West Coast Top Eleven:
1. Rappelling down the cliff, led by professional mountaineering outfit. Total adrenalin rush! (They also offer zip-lining!)
2. Saturday night outing to the “Chuck-o-Rama,? an all-you –can- eat buffet with Emily, Fitness Ridge Dietician, watching to see that we didn’t go over our 500 calorie allotment. Very informative.
3. Unleashing my inner rhythm at Drum Class.
4. Scrambling straight up the mountains with Leader
Larry who loved keeping our heart rates on high, and at age 70-ish, had what looked like zero body fat.
5. Water aerobics (great music) which offered a full body tone-up.
6. Chef Cam’s crispy Mediterranean pizza, made out of brown rice crust.
7. Quick and easy Chef cooking demos of recipes that we really would make at home.
8. Hitting the sheets early for some nighttime TV and falling deep asleep
in five minutes or less.
9. No Starbucks or wine–which allowed me to save almost enough money for a return visit!
10. Hiking thru the Slots /Overlook to experience some of the most
beautiful scenery anywhere.
11. Being surrounded for one entire week with a positive, fun
“you can-do anything” happy Fitness Ridge Staff–makes all the difference in the world.

For more details, visit

Or check out special pricing on Spafinder.

Posted by Janice Nieder on November 19, 2007 in Food, Travel

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