Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Biggest Loser: Fitness Ridge-Final Thoughts!

So after a full week at the Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge, here is my final assessment. I’ve tried to break it up into categories.


-Pros: Well…there are none. It is what it is. I came into Utah on Saturday and I’m thrilled I did. If you can, I would recommend this option. A lot of other people did this.

-Cons: If you fly into the Las Vegas Airport there are some crazy time change issues when getting into St. George, Utah. You fly into Pacific time zone then go into Mountain during the hour and half drive. So it’s just something to keep In mind. A lot of people missed the opening events on Sunday because of this. Also unless you rent a car, you need to take a shuttle from LV to St. George. This is an additional cost.


-Pros: The food is wonderful! I was really surprised as to how filling the 1,200 calories a day was. The wait staff is very accommodating to people food allergies, diets and preferences. Also, there is a salad/fruit bar that you have access to all day. So if you need a little boost mid-day that is available to you.

-Cons: CAFFEINE!! This was a huge issue for me. They do not allow caffeine at the Resort. I thought it was because caffeine dehydrates you but you learn mid week that there are no real side effects. HELLO?? Then why can’t I have it? (Granted it’s pretty easy to just leave the privacy please sign on your door and keep something on ice all week but of course I didn’t do that J ). Also there were one or two days where I just didn’t like the meal. The thing that sucks is that there is really no other option.


-Pros: The rooms are amazing! Lots of space, TV with a DVD player, free internet, very comfortable bed. The rooms were actually enjoyable to just rest in.

-Cons: With that said, the walls are made of tissue paper! You can hear everything. So if you are a light sleeper the best place for you to be is on the 2nd floor at the end so the wall your headboard is on is not shared. Some people said they could hear the person next to them snoring!!! The air conditioner also sounds like a diesel truck. So bring a small fan with you if you need some light noise.


-Pros: The workouts are tough. They are what you make of it. If you don’t push yourself you won’t get the results. I see this as a pro because it’s like in the “real world”. I had really great results because I kept pushing myself. The instructors are great for this too!!

-Cons: You are broken up into 3 groups and you work out schedule is different for each group. Sometimes this was great, and other times it just sucked. After an 8 mile hike sometimes you wanted to get in the pool to loosen up or the stretch. For my group we got cardio intervals like 3 times! So it was just hard to get a great calorie burn because you just killed it during the hike.


-Pros: Some of the hikes were just breathtaking. If you are in a smaller hiking group you are basically getting a private tour. Which is just priceless.

-Cons: If the weather is bad or you are not in the Fast Intermediate/Advanced the hiking choices can be limiting. A lot of people got sick of the hikes. (I was in the Advanced so our hikes were new every day) Another thing is that if you are in the Advanced group, they push you, VERY HARD. Almost too hard in my opinion. I think the hike guides (who are outsourced) do not realize the other work outs we do so you can’t go at this crazy fast pace the entire time. Hiking 8 miles in 2 hours is REALLY fast. Just something to keep in mind.

Tips and info:

-FEET FEET FEET!!!!! Take care of your feet. Bring blister gel, blister pads, get blister socks, ect.

-Break in your work out shoes about a month before you are going to the ranch. I made the mistake of wearing my really old tennis shoes thinking they were good and worn in. WRONG, I should have gotten new ones. You end up walking about 12 miles a day. So it’s worth investing in a new pair of shoes.

-If you are not a fit person, you need to start working out AT LEAST two weeks prior to your arrival. You will get more out of the program and the likely hood that you burn out/get injured will be decreased.

-The spa is amazing. Book a massage mid-week so you can make it the rest of the week. It saved my quads!

-The store at the resort is your friend! If you forgot everything, you could survive out of there. Things were not overpriced and the shop manager is very helpful!

-Take advantage of the test that is offered. (RMR and VO2) These will help you when you get back into the real world. If you are there for multiple weeks, get them done at the end of your stay. Weight loss changes the results.

-Bring crystal light or Propel water flavor packets. It will just break up the boring water you drink all week. (Or Starbucks instant Via coffee if you need a pick me up…..wait I didn’t do that! J)

-If you’re wanting to go here to lose some serious weight 30lbs+ you should really consider staying 2 weeks or more. To be able to establish some great habits and get a jump start, the longer you stay the better your results will be.

-I have heard that there is an option where you can stay off campus but still be a guest the ridge. I’m not sure of the price difference in this but if you are trying to cut cost, this could be an option.

All in all this is a wonderful, supportive, and kick ass place to be! I would recommend it to anyone who has any goals for health and fitness. I met people that I hope to stay friends with for many years to come and I learned a lot through our educational classes and seminars.

If anyone has any questions, please please please feel free to contact me! I am very open and honest and will answer anything. KirbyStuart @

There is also a referral program so if you call them and mention my name we can both get something sweet out of the deal! Email me for more info!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Adventure-Day 8: Stop Sign 2.0 & Testing Out

Day 8: Stop Sign 2.0 & Testing Out

I was really nervous about running Stop Sign again. My feet were killing me and I was just sore and tired from the week. I really wanted to beat my time of 55 minute for the 4.3 mile hike/run. And.......

I ran it in 53 minutes!! 2 minutes off!! WoooWHooooo

A picture of the first four that made it up! I came in 2nd and Judy (on the right) came in first at 51 minutes. She killed it! So proud of her! Yes that is blue tape on my shins. It apparently helps your muscles.

So with all the excitement of finishing early and everything, my iPhone arm band holder flew off my arm annnnnnnnd the screen cracked. AGAIN! DAMN IT! The phone still works but it is just beat up. I am going to go in on Monday and see what they can do, if anything.

My poor phone....My boyfriend told me that State Farm has iPhone insurance. I will probably be looking into that.

The rest of day was spent laying out by the pool and doing laundry. It was heavenly to just relax and not be working out/moving. That night we had graduation. Where they show the DVD that they made for that weeks stay. It was awesome! I'm on there a lot because I was dancing horrible in Cardio Dance Jam. Hahaha! Headband and all. Then who ever wanted to say something about their stay and what they learned during the week spoke. I was very happy to speak and share my story with everyone. That there are ups and downs, gains and losses but that you have to stay focused on your goal and reach out when you need help.

This morning I was very excited to "test out" which is you weigh in and compare your weight and measurements to your test in. I am THRILLED to report that I had the following results:
-Lost 4lbs
-Lost 2.1% of body fat
-Lost 6 total inches

Very happy with my results!! I really have the motivation to keep going and work on hitting my goal. I'm going to do a "Final Assessment" post about all the pros and cons about Fitness Ridge. I learned so much and met some wonderful people!!

My Adventure-Day 7-Lets get physical!

Day 7: Lets get physical!

It's Friday!!!!!!!! I really needed a good day after the horrible day that was Thursday. My feet were still killing me, so I loaded up on tape and blister pads from the store here at the Ridge. I taped up my feet and I finally got some relief!! I was weary on going on another advanced hike but I am thrilled that I did!!

We went on a hike called "Slots". It gets it name because we crawl through these literally slots that are in between the huge rock formations. It's really tight quarters and luckily I'm not claustrophobic! I didn't bring my camera! Along the way we saw a ton of petrographs and they were so interesting. I took a video of one of the larger scenes we saw.

It was really great looking at them and hearing what they mean!

When we got back my feet were hurting a little bit. And because of the infection I had been banned from pool work outs. So I got to take Cardio Dance Jam twice!! I was in heaven!!! I wore my headband the only way I knew look like Olivia!!

The dances were really fun and such a great work out. It was such a cool way to end the week. All that is left is to re-run Stop Sign to see if our time improved and get tested out (aka, weighed in!).

Friday, March 5, 2010

My adventure-Day 6: I officially hit the wall...

Day 6: I officially hit the wall...

I'm going to be honest. Thursday was rough....I had to wake up pretty early to get this RMR test done. This is a test that reads how many calories you burn while at rest so you can know how many additional calories you need to burn to get to your goal weight.

(Not me but you get the idea)

But what this picture doesn't show is how your nose has to be plugged up! So you wear this really uncomfortable close pin. It was really uncomfortable but if you just keep saying "in and out" you can get through it! SO my results were REALLY good. I can basically work out for 30 minutes a day while eating 1,800 calories a day and I will get to my goal in 7 weeks. I love how this test is all mathematical. Takes all the guess work out!

All this while, my foot is killing me. Even walking in flip flops hurt. I was really hoping it would go away with some moving around...OH was I wrong. Against my better judgment, I went on the advanced hike with my group. I even told the lead guide about my toe and just that I was having a crappy day. So if we could just chill the pace down, that would be amazing.


We went on the hike and it was miserable. It was already cold and rainy when we left, when we got a little up it started to HAIL. Full on hail. I wore a windbreaker and I thought that this would help. It also was crazy windy. As in 40mph winds....while hiking...with an infected toe? The wind just took my windbreaker and made it a giant sail. I was being thrown around everywhere. At one point I just stopped and freaked out. I honestly didn't feel safe. (Drama queen...)

Here is a video from our hike. The wind is really loud! Also, you will see these two tiny white dots below, those are our vans where we started. And to think we went up another 1,000 feet and the wind blew harder...

Every single step of this hike hurt. I usually am real chatty on the ride back to the Ridge but I was silent. I was just over it. All of it. I have a horrible wind burn on my face that makes me look like I have some weird infection!

I soaked my foot in some hot water and espom salts and that really helped. I wish I could have done that for the rest of the day but I remembered I had another test scheduled. I got a VO2 test. This test (also called a stress test) measures at what point does your body begin to burn fat. You just run until you can't anymore (toe.toe.toe). My results were good again. I have a really strong heart and it will really help me finish my weight loss.

(Not me again)

Once we ate lunch I started to feel better. I talked to the trainer and just leveled with them about my foot. So I got out of the pool class (thank goodness!) and they let me bike with my flip flops. It was perfect, I got my foot ready for our hardest cardio class. Treading! It's cardio intervals on crack! Great work out and my foot didn't hurt!

I'm sorry I'm bitching so much, it was just a tough day!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 5: Call me Cliffhanger!

Day 5: Call me Cliffhanger!

Yesterday was a great day! Our hiking group went on this amazing hike. We kind of got together and said that we had to take it easy today. The guides were totally cool with that and we went on the "Camel back" trail and had a lot of fun. For every really steep incline and hard climb we got to a point where we could take pictures and goof off.

This is by far my favorite! Go hiking!

Can you tell they tilted the camera a bit?? Haha!

I'm on the right in my disco pose.

This shot was a little scary! It was taken on top of one of the "camel backs" on the hike. You can see them in the distance in the video below.

Great video from our hike. I forgot to take one from the view from the camel back. You can see them far off in the distance.

I have to admit that when we started finishing the last mile of our hike, I got some serious pain in my right foot. I was sure it was a blister and would just power through it until I could treat it. We got back to the Ridge and did some work outs (again, I can't even remember!! I'll post our schedule after the week is up). I do remember that I was in kickboxing and my foot was killing me. After it I ran to my room and started looking around and found that my right pinkie toe/nail is completely infected (Nasty, I know but oh well!). I kinda started to freak out. So I treated it as well as I could and kept going through the day.

One of the best things I did was I booked a massage for Wednesday night. Everyone said that booking one mid week was good. SO GLAD I DID! My quads were in so much pain that day. I have to admit that I had never had a massage before. I know! Crazy. It was wonderful and I'm now hooked.

Half way done and while it's a ton of work, I'm having a blast!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Adventure Day 4: QUADS!!

Day 4: QUADS!!

I basically passed out at 8pm after dinner last night. Which was wonderful!! I was exhausted after our first full day of activity. I awoke bright and early to breakfast. It was okay, it was a fruit, yogurt and granola parfait. I ended up eating some of it and just grabbing some fruit.

One of the side effects of finishing so fast in the "Stop Sign" hike was that I pretty much got thrown into the Advanced Hiking group. I've only been hiking a few times and my legs were hurting from all the stuff on Monday! There were two other people who joined that group and we decided that we'd tackle the mountain!

Well a mountain can not even begin to explain what this hike was!! We started off a really fast pace, basically speed walking.

This is a picture about 1 hour into our hike. Our guide told us we were going to hike to that cave. UGH!!

Well we made it to the cave! I thought I was going to pass out. Here is a video I took while we took a break. The view was amazing!

Here is my hiking group. Me on the left, Ross and Judy. They are such an adorable couple! One of the only things that got me through this hike was our gossip about last nights Bachelor. They are also in my work out group (team blue!!) so we've gotten to know one another well.

The biggest thing I'm facing is that my quads are pretty much spent. I'm not going to say I "over did it" on Monday but I guess I'm just use to having a full day of recovery after I run like that. So it's been a challenge. I'm also been having this pain in my right little toe. It's very weird, but more on that later!!

Honestly, the rest of the day was a blur! I know I worked out but couldn't tell you what classes I took! I really enjoy it here and am looking forward to getting back to losing weight while I'm at home.

My Adventure Day 3: "Stop Sign"

Day 3: "Stop Sign"

I was WAY to tired to blog last night. So I'm a day behind but oh well! I was pretty surprised that on Sunday night I was able to get to sleep. Thanks to some Tylenol PM, I passed out at 10 o'clock. Let me tell alarm at 5:30AM came early....(I'm not a morning person). Our first class was intro to circuit which was basically "Gym 101". It was pretty boring to those in the group that have been in a gym before. But I'd later appreciate how we didn't move before our "Stop Sign" hike.

Breakfast was great! English muffin, eggs and turkey bacon. It tasted amazing and actually was filling. We are on a 1,200 calorie diet while at the Ridge. There is a salad/fruit bar that we have access due during the day (all with healthy choices) but it is in addition to our diet.

Then we went on our first "Stop Sign" Hike. Morning hikes are a huge part of the schedule here. So first thing this week we are timed while hiking on a paved 4.3 mile hike/walk. This will give the instructors a gage on our fitness level as well as which hikes we should go on. I was determined to finish this in under 1 hour and 10 minutes. I've always been a distance runner and I wanted to use the pavement to my advantage. Everyone said that at the 2.5 mile mark where we run along side the road got very hilly. (and I'm not a hill/incline runner) So I knew that I had to run to that point.

I exceeded my expectations!! I finished "Stop Sign" first at 55 minutes. I was THRILLED!! It had been so long since I've run like that. Ever since my back, I haven't run at all. So it was good to know that my abilities are still there.

(I made it!!!)

The logic of running to the road worked great for me. I made it there in about 27 minutes and then just power walked the hell out of the rest. The hills and inclines were INSANE! I have to admit that it was a little embarrassing. Only because I'm a place where some people didn't even make it a mile. I admire them so much for getting out of their comfort zone and wanting to change their life.

With that said, I am getting plenty of "Now, what did you want to get out of this week?" AKA "what the hell are you doing here, you're one of the smallest people here?". I mean people don't understand that there does come a point in your weight loss journey that you get unmotivated/plateau/eat bad and just get off track. It's like I might be small to them but to me I have such a long way to go until I'm at my goal weight. ESPECIALLY these last 10-12lbs. This opportunity came at such a perfect time for me to get back on track. I'm really great full to have it!

After the hike we basically worked out a ton! Circuit training, Step Class and a pool class (I never knew pool could be so difficult). My quads are pretty much in pain from the "Stop Sign" run. (A huge disadvantage of pushing myself) So after our evening lecture, I passed out at 8:00pm.

So far, still going great. The first day was hard! But it's just new to my body and it will (and did) get easier.

Monday, March 1, 2010

My Adventure Day 2: "Hi, I'm Kirby..."

Day 2: "Hi, I'm Kirby..."

Yesterday I got some really good rest (the kids didn't make any noise, THANK GOODNESS) and headed to have my final "meal" before heading to the Fitness Ridge. I ate at the place in my hotel and decided on a healthy option. (I really wanted the burger with some cake!) But I went with grilled shrimp and a salad.

I took the shuttle to the resort and this place is beautiful!!! There was so much information to read over so I didn't get a chance to take pictures, but there will be some soon!

My cool name tag!

I got checked into my room and then I had to get "Tested In". This is where you weigh in and get measured. You weigh in with the doctors that are on staff. And while weighing in is NEVER fun, it is such a supportive and kind enviorment. After that I decided to work out. (People were looking at me in the gym like I was nuts) But I figured that since I'm here to work out, might as well get a start on it! After that we had dinner and orientation. The food was really good!! I was surprised it was good and actually filling. You eat with everyone who is staying at the resort (which is 68 people total) and I made friends with these two hilarious girls from New Jersey. They were so sweet and one of them had been here a week already and gave me great tips and advise. The BEST advise was to book a massage for mid-week. (Done and done). Orientation was pretty much a snooze. If you read the information they sent you prior to arrival, you had already heard it all. Once that was over I headed back to my room and actually got to bed at 10:30pm!!

So the first day went great. I'm off to go on our "Stop Sign" timed trial hike....I'll explain this if later, if I survive it!!