Frequently Asked Questions
First, a little introduction – who we are and what we do. You might also like to meet other guests, as it’s always nice to meet people who are similar to you. More information about the owner is here, who is also the Fitness Director. It’s a good idea to check her qualifications and credentials, to be certain that you’re training with the best! Being green is important, so as you’ll want to check the companies commitment to eco-tourism. Scared of wildlife? Not very comfortable in the woods? Reassure yourself here, where you can also verify business credentials. Other important things to find out is what would the expected results be (we have a customized calculator so that you can get an accurate estimation as to how much you’d lose on your stay). And are these results permanent? Find out here!
One of the greatest benefits about our program is that we are exclusively for beginners. We have designed the schedule and workouts very carefully, so that your safety is guarded. As long as you meet our base fitness requirements (which you can review #9 below), then yes, workouts will be at your pace. You can check the signature classes here, find out more about our daily schedule here, and learn about the kind of low-impact workouts that we do here. Whistler Fitness Vacations is especially suited for seniors whose approach to life is perhaps younger in spirit than their body may reflect. You can learn more about the guided cardio adventures that are offered everyday at our wellness retreat here. And of course, as our program is 100% outdoors, getting familiar with Whistler weather in the mountains is also helpful.
You can find out how to get here on this page, learn about the weather here, plan some fun and crazy adventures here, and dream about the incredible mountains that tower above our town here. There are many amazing spas and massage treatment centers that you can add on to your stay. You might also like to plan your stay around an upcoming event – check the Whistler event calendar here.
We have one standard package for all stay duration, providing the same base services and schedule. From here, you can opt to upgrade your package with luxury lodging that is pet-friendly and comes with premium facilities, service and amenities.
The menu follows The Planet Friendly Diet and can be reviewed here – you can also purchase a hardcopy in any North American bookstore. Not much of a cook? Click here to read more about how we can help. Our plan is gluten, wheat, dairy and meat free – adaptations to the diet can be found here. Want to take a break from cooking? We have unadvertised options for those who prefer to dine out, that will be auto-emailed to you when you request pricing.
Our best rates are for twin-share rooms. While we don’t match guests, this option works well when joining our program with a friend or in a group. Review our guest rooms here, and get some tips on some fitness preparation here! Be sure to save your space on the program before getting a cat sitter, time off work and buying flights – contact us now, if you haven’t already done so, for the password to our pricing and booking.
Whistler Fitness Vacations is a weight loss retreat for beginners. If you do not need to lose weight, and are not a beginner, then we are not the right retreat for you. We are best suited to guests with waist measurement over 32 inches, whose motivation to lose weight is health. You will need to be able to walk freely without pain throughout the program, as our strongest focus is on hiking. Everyday we will be walking and your pace needs to be in the aerobic zone, which means that your heart rate will be elevated to a level where it is uncomfortable to talk. If you have injuries that restrict you achieving this training zone, our program may not be as well suited to you as other retreats who do not have such a strong hiking focus.
It’s very important that your stay with us meets expectation, so please review this FAQ page carefully to ensure that your expectation is in line with what we will deliver. Your time is valuable and we want you to have an amazing kick start towards healthier living – but we can’t be all things to all people.
- Whistler Fitness Vacations is green and zero-waste. Guests cook their own meals, with pre-portioned ingredients.
- The Planet Friendly Diet is designed for beginner cooks, with meals taking less than 20 minutes to make. Consumption of outside food could lead to your removal from the program.
- Our Fitness Director assigns your next workout block based on how your body is responding. She supervises your day and we don’t provide an advance schedule.
- We don’t provide counseling and are not a medical facility. Sometimes it is helpful to have a friend or family member that can be there for emotional support when you need it.
- Many enjoy their alone time at night, while others prefer to eat together. The choice is yours!
- We strive to offer multiple paces per hike. It is important that you are at beginner level when you arrive.
Please let us know if there is anything that we can help you with.
Whistler Fitness Vacations operates on public holidays with reduced staffing and changed activity options. We may also have smaller sessions as reduced inventory is available to us, due to the higher demand in Whistler on holidays. The daily schedule will often have an additional workshop, social hike, or independent swim/skate/workout. We also may coordinate a group adventure activity (extra cost).
Public Holidays for 2016 in B.C.
- Victoria Day (Monday May 23)
- Canada Day (Friday July 1)
- B.C. Day (Monday August 1)
- Labor Day (Monday September 5)
- Thanksgiving (Monday October 10)
Although every effort is made to minimize interruption to fitness retreat scheduling, we recommend guests try to plan their fitness retreat on days that don’t coincide with above dates.
Multi-week stays do not need to checkout or change rooms. Most of our fitness retreat guests stay for several weeks.
Whistler Fitness Vacations does not offer payment plans. We accept Visa and Mastercard.
Whistler Fitness Vacations provides programming for exclusively for beginner exercisers who fit the below requirements. Please ensure that you do not arrive at a higher fitness level than we accommodate. We recommend you prepare for your stay with stretching, mobility, balance, gentle walking and strength activities in addition to cleaning up your dietary patterns, as opposed to following an intensive cardiovascular program. This ensures that you will be ready to progress safely in our program, without risk of impact injury.
- Complete their fastest mile (power walking or jogging at their highest pace) in under 25 minutes
- Complete their fastest mile (at highest pace possible) in a slower time than 11 minutes
- Do not have an injury that restricts them from reaching the aerobic zone on hiking trails
- Have not been treated for anorexia or bulimia in the past 2 years
- Are over 21 years of age at time of arrival
- Are able to follow The Planet Friendly Diet (some modifications can be arranged as needed)
- Inform us ahead of your stay if training wheels will be required for your bicycle, and be prepared to bring your own bicycle if you are under 5ft1 or over 6ft.
- Inform us ahead of your stay if you are unable to participate in water activities for any reason
Although it is expected that guests may have restrictions based on previous injury or conditions, all participants should still be able to be comfortable training in a group environment.
We accept guests with chronic anxiety and depression on a case-by-case basis.
Whistler Fitness Vacations is not a medical facility, and does not have medical staff. All guests must carry insurance to go to the doctor, should they become injured or ill. If physiotherapy is required, it is an extra cost. If you become injured during your stay, you may not be able to participate in some (or all) workouts until you are safely healed. We are unable to diagnose or adapt your workouts without receiving exercise prescription from your physiotherapist or doctor.
See terms and conditions for more information.
Many come to Whistler Fitness Vacations with these challenges. While we are not an eating disordered clinic, we are well set up for people who have issues sometimes with control, portions and overeating.
- Cooking is for one person only – no leftovers or extras.
- We only purchase ingredients that are needed.
- Everything is counted.
- We only provide you the cheese that is needed for your week.
- There are no breads or pastas – or foods that may trigger body or mind binges.
- Portion sizes are HUGE, filled with fiber. You will feel like you’re eating a lot.
- Outside food is not permitted – strict rules.
- Education sessions for improved understanding of food science.
Please note, we don’t have therapists on staff – nor do we offer counseling. We recommend that our program is used in conjunction with health care professionals that can help you with this, before and after your stay.
Our menu is set, carefully planned to ensure optimal energy and weight loss. We kindly ask that all guests follow our food plan.
In some cases, we can include specialty items to accommodate food sensitivities. There will always be freedom to exchange basic produce items for your preference; for example, if you don’t like mushrooms then you don’t need to eat mushrooms. This is one of the reasons that we do a team grocery shop on Monday. Please come prepared to cover additional costs associated if you require groceries that are not on our shopping list.
All customized food shopping must be done privately with our fitness director, arranged in advance.
Our nutrition plan has been suitable so far for diabetic and celiac guests, however individual sensitivities may vary. It is gluten, wheat and dairy free. We recommend that you purchase a copy of The Planet Friendly Diet prior to your stay, to discuss with your health care professional for personal substitutes as needed.
We are not certified Kosher or Halal, however follow safe guidelines in keeping with these diets. We can provide chopping boards, knives and measuring cups.
No food is prepared with alcohol, including things like vanilla extract. There are no by-products of animal used, including gelatin or lard. We use cows yogurt but you have option to use soy instead. We only have freshly caught fish, none that have died in the water – they bring them out of the water in the nets. We don’t use cheese or whey. Produce is inspected to make sure it’s bug free. Vinegar isn’t used, and grains aren’t prepared in butter or any other animal fat.
Pool-related activities are outdoors, in a public place at your lodging. Usually it is very quiet – some women wear burkinis. You will have opportunity to pray on Fridays before 1.45pm.
No, we don’t provide support during dinner times. Guests have the option to cook together and The Planet Friendly Diet has simple directions. We have many first-time cooks who love how easy our plan is to follow. Staff is happy to go over the recipes with you at the end of the day, to help you feel more confident.
With all guests receiving The Planet Friendly Diet in paperback, the meal plan is easy to continue for as long as you like! Cat Smiley is only an email away for support after your stay, and of course available on all the social channels. You can call the office anytime that you’d like to connect. We’re here for you for as much as you need.
Whistler Fitness Vacations is an outdoor program, and when it rains, we try to find more sheltered trails. We also have the option of using our beautiful partnership health club facility, which is very practical for cross training. Every week has at least a few hours scheduled in the weight training and cardio studio which is helpful especially for gaining confidence in workouts that may be similar to something you would do at home.
For the most part however, please come prepared to be outside all day. There might be bugs, wildlife sightings and sitting in the dirt for lunch. Dogs are often off-leash and might say hello. There are washrooms on most trails but sometimes it’s just the woods. Some say that Mother Nature is hot and cold faster than you can say ‘Smoothie’ but we believe that if you can empower yourself to workout in the West Coast weather, you can empower yourself to do anything.
During scheduled hours, we ask that all guests refrain from using their cell phones and headphones. This is to keep the social vibe of the program and help you stay present with your workouts. It is also for wildlife safety and to make the guides jobs easier to keep people together.
Finding Yourself Again
If your doctor has said that you need to lose weight and now you find yourself without the choice, we’re here for you. We are one of the few weight loss retreats that accept guests up to 400 pounds, as long as you can walk freely without pain and meet the base fitness requirements in #9 above. Reach out if you have any questions about your personal requirements, such as epilepsy, diabetes, special conditions or concerns. Fitness Director and Master Trainer Cat Smiley speaks daily with women like you who are wondering if this program is for them. She is available between 4 and 6pm Monday through Thursday on 604-935-4228 (direct line).