The following is an excerpt from Experience Life Magazine – Habit Changing Vacations
“Active vacation experiences can inspire lifelong passions.
Standing atop the 4,235-foot summit of Mt. Killington in June 2013, Jim Reynolds had never felt so proud. Just six months earlier, he’d stepped on the scale in his doctor’s office weighing 280 pounds. Now 50 pounds lighter, he had conquered the toughest hike offered by New Life Hiking Spa in Vermont — the one he’d been aiming to complete since his first trip to the resort back in 2007.
A 45-year-old software developer from Saratoga Springs, N.Y., Reynolds had been a yo-yo dieter for years. He repeatedly launched all-out efforts to lose weight — and inevitably lost the enthusiasm and momentum to stick with the extreme changes. The pounds always piled right back on.
“I realized that I needed to start making interim goals,” he recalls.
At New Life, daily hikes for people of all fitness levels are complemented by healthful meals. Guests can also choose among pool workouts, weight training, yoga, and kayaking. Spa treatments and cooking classes are also available.
Over the course of his seven (and counting) annual visits, Reynolds has taken a variety of classes, intent on developing habits and tricks that he can also use at home. A dessert lover, he learned how to make “ice cream” by blending frozen bananas and ice cubes; he discovered that a hiking buddy kept him accountable, so he found a friend to join him on his treks at home.
Over time, Reynolds’s health-supporting retreats helped him cultivate skills he has used to create — and maintain — a healthier life year-round (he went on to lose another 50 pounds in 2013). These trips also serve as his reward for keeping up with his new habits, an incentive to continue building on what he now considers a lifelong commitment.”
The following is and excerpt from Yahoo! Lifestyle – Fitness Vacations: These people lost tons as Weight Loss Resorts
“In 2003, my girlfriends and I were looking for something to kick-start healthy eating habits. At that time, I weighed about 240 pounds. I wanted to start a hiking and exercise program. So we all decided to take a trip to New Life Hiking Spa in Vermont.
When we left, we decided that we would hike every weekend and join a gym. We did, and we hiked every weekend. It was awesome.
However, my attitude had not been corrected. As soon as I reached goal, I quickly gained it all back, plus more. Though I continued to exercise and hike, it was obvious you can exercise all you want and not lose weight if you don’t control what you put into your mouth.
By 2005, I was up to 270 pounds. I continued to go to New Life Hiking Spa, and each time I left, I was healthy for a day or so and then I just went back off track. Some years I actually went to New Life three times a season. But if your head isn’t on right, nothing works.
In 2007, I went to China with friends. That is what put me over the edge. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t walk. I didn’t fit into the seats in the theater. I decided that this was it. I was going to lose the weight.
I went to New Life with a new attitude.
The schedule’s very simple. Every morning they offered a stretch class and tai chi before breakfast. After, there were advanced and intermediate hikes, or nature walks for beginners. We’d be back for lunch by 12:30. Once a week there’s an outing into the nearby town of Woodstock for a hike and a bag lunch. Then it was back to the spa for 2 p.m. afternoon activities.
Every day there was also a pool class or strength training or a cooking class. There was usually yoga or Pilates in the afternoon or a fit ball class. Classes went all the way to 6 p.m., when there was a meditation class. I never missed a class.
Meals were prepared, and they accommodated your every dietary need. I never had a lack of food, and I was always satisfied. I ate almost everything they served. If there was something that I didn’t like or wasn’t sure about, they’d make me chicken. And it was amazing how good the desserts tasted, since they were made with no sugar.” (Pounds lost 150)