Welcome To Whistler

Frequently Asked Questions

What we do

We work full time with women who are presently outside healthy weight range (and at beginner fitness level) for 1-8 weeks in beautiful Whistler  to transform body, mind and spirit…becoming lighter and happier every day. Focused on human development through physical fitness, we inspire women from all over the world to get fit, lose weight and feel great! Our specialty is in one hundred pound weight loss. This takes an average of 7.5 months following Cat Smiley’s Jump School program before and after your stay, with 8 weeks stay in Whistler. Watch Linda’s story below.

Who we are (and are not)

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 request our Starter Kit  before signing up, and watch the video presentation fully as it shares insider information on that program. It’s not a sales pitch, it’s the straight up details!

What fitness classes we do

With the beauty of nature all around you, you’ll quickly forget about what you can’t do and instead feel motivated about what you can. We meet you at your fitness level – come as you are, not as you think you should be. Every workout is about success. Results are accelerated as you find that stubborn person inside you and convince her to be an athlete.

What you eat here

The food style at Whistler Fitness Vacations is modern. Dishes are energizing and delicious – many guests say that it’s one of the highlights of their program! Our program is all about preparing you to take this healthy way-of-life home with you. For this reason, guests cook their own meals, following our simple to follow meal plan. It is gluten, wheat, dairy and meat free. Heck, our meals are so good we’ve even got a book out. The Planet Friendly Diet is available in major bookstores around North America, and in our online store.

Why our program works

We have an incredible success rate, that is both sustainable and doable. It embraces holistic, balanced life values – recognizing that you’re going to be going back to a hectic life where time may be in short demand! Our many happy clients have the best answer for this, so hop on over to our review page.

Weight Loss Results From Previous Guests:

How to get to Whistler

Getting to Whistler is easy, thanks to the 2010 Olympics that were hosted in our town. We made way for millions to journey their way up the stunning Sea-to-Sky highway, which is one of the most scenic roads in the world. Whistler is located in the southern Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains, just two hours north of Vancouver. There are lots of shuttles that depart from the airport and bring you straight up to your lodging door.

Your stay is Sunday arrival, to Saturday departure. We regrettably are unable to coordinate lodging for those wanting to arrive earlier or stay later as our office/admin support is limited. Fly into YVR on Sunday before around 1pm or so. Initiation meeting is 5.30pm Sunday (check in after 4pm).
Fly out on Saturday from around noon. Most shuttles on Saturday start around 7am. It’s 2-3 hours drive to the airport. So if traveling internationally, really the earliest flight you could catch is about 11.30am on Saturday. The program ends at 2pm Friday so if you want to leave then you can. Do not get Vancouver in Canada confused with Vancouver in Washington!

Driving here is not recommended. Parking fees will apply and can be upwards of $30 per day as per the strata management… there’s honestly no guaranteed way around it (even the locals are struggling to find parking these days!) For this reason, we recommend that you go car-free during your stay at Whistler Fitness Vacations.

Where to signup
What people say
Do I qualify

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.

Below is a partial list of requirements.

• 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 13 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, unless accompanied by guardian over 21.
• Are able to follow The Planet Friendly Diet  (some modifications can be arranged as needed)
• 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.
Click here to see what kind of medical conditions we are unequipped to work with.

Will you have my pace?

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, then yes, workouts will be at your pace.

Multi-week lodging

Multi-week stays do not need to checkout or change rooms. Most of our fitness retreat guests stay for several weeks.

Payment Plans

Whistler Fitness Vacations does not offer payment plans. We accept Visa and Mastercard. Our best deals are pre-season. Be sure to get on our email list so we can let you know when that’s on!

Are you pet friendly?

Yes! We are indeed. Dogs stay for free in our pet-friendly lodging  – you just need to sign the Westin’s waiver upon arrival.

One BIG thing to note however is that pets can’t be left alone in the room when you’re not there, and we don’t allow pets to join us in the day. This is because it is impossible to program as a group, and we want to avoid personality conflicts between our team dogs and guest dogs (territorial behavior etc).

For example, perhaps you are in the ‘blue team’ for your fitness level, but the Fitness Director assigns you a bike ride or a hike on a trail that is not pet-friendly (some Provincial Park trails are very strictly no dogs, and Whistler Blackcomb trails do not allow). Or, we assign you a pool workout. There is no staff assigned to be on standby to take care of pets while Mum is at work. There is a dog daycare a few blocks away and Whistler Babysitting also will take care of dogs for the same price of human childcare.

We’ll always help out as much as possible, but unfortunately despite our good intentions, the WFV team is really not able to help much due to logistics. One day we would love to be 100% pet friendly both during the program as well as with the lodging, but for now, it only works if you can convince your spouse to join you on the trip – or if you arrange in advance to get pet sitting.

Call the concierge at the Westin on 604-905-5000 for updated information on the best options – hopefully it’s improved since we wrote this FAQ! 

IMPORTANT! Our team dogs Bear and Paco join us occasionally on the trails. Typically they stay at the back of the group on ‘sweep’ to take care of anyone who is struggling at the back. Our fitness guides will also take them on your tour sometimes, leading the pace.  If you are afraid of dogs, please let us know in advance.

Can my family stay with me?

Yes, absolutely! It’s great to have your kids and spouse… bestie…anyone you like can join you at no cost, because it’s your private guest room.

In saying that, we don’t provide food for them, and they are unable to join us for any part of the program. We don’t have a drop-in day rate, and we can’t coordinate their participation whatsoever. It is highly recommended to exercise caution when inviting friends and family if they are likely to be unsupportive of your ‘zero outside food policy’, very strict diet plan and high likeliness of being somewhat grumpy while tired. You will be tired, and socially exhausted at the end of the day probably so it’s a good idea to consider the pros and cons before inviting loved ones.

Injury management & medical advice

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 (on the booking page). 

Binge & emotional, out-of-control eating

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.

Customized diets and specialized items

We do not offer customized diets, nor do we suggest recommendations for those wanting to adapt our menu. If you are vegetarian or don’t like fish, you’ll need to come prepared with some vegetarian ideas to eat instead of fish. It’s crazy fast shopping and hectic on Monday morning with everyone in the grocery store, and we honestly don’t have opportunity to discuss what you might like instead of fish. This is a great opportunity to google vegetarian options prior to coming. Look at the meals before you come so you know what might work as a substitute.

Our menu is set, carefully planned to ensure optimal energy and weight loss. All guests must follow our food plan unless medically unable or require adaption due to vegetarian needs.  

 In some cases, we can include specialty items to accommodate food sensitivities and of course, 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.

You will need to come prepared to cover additional costs associated if you require groceries that are not on our shopping list or if your grocery bill goes higher than others on the same week as you in the group.

All customized food shopping must be done privately with our fitness director, arranged in advance at an available time. While we will do our best to make sure that this private shop does not make you miss your workout, the way our schedule goes, it is very difficult to avoid it. We also can’t guarantee that it will be possible. If you have strict dietary needs, we recommend that you order a copy of our book in advance and create the adjustments prior to arrival. You may be required to purchase your food in your own time on Sunday evening, and you’ll be reimbursed based on our allotted budget for that week of groceries.

Vegetarians, Celiac, Diabetic, Kosher & Halal diets

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. Kindly note, although the program is women-only, the facility is not. North American culture is as such that both men and women use public facilities equally, however we try to use facilities in off-peak hours. Some women wear burkinis. You will have opportunity to pray on Fridays before 1.45pm.

Customized diets and specialized items

We do not offer customized diets, nor do we suggest recommendations for those wanting to adapt our menu. If you are vegetarian or don’t like fish, you’ll need to come prepared with some vegetarian ideas to eat instead of fish. It’s crazy fast shopping and hectic on Monday morning with everyone in the grocery store, and we honestly don’t have opportunity to discuss what you might like instead of fish. This is a great opportunity to google vegetarian options prior to coming. Look at the meals before you come so you know what might work as a substitute.

Our menu is set, carefully planned to ensure optimal energy and weight loss. All guests must follow our food plan unless medically unable or require adaption due to vegetarian needs.  

 In some cases, we can include specialty items to accommodate food sensitivities and of course, 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.

You will need to come prepared to cover additional costs associated if you require groceries that are not on our shopping list or if your grocery bill goes higher than others on the same week as you in the group.

All customized food shopping must be done privately with our fitness director, arranged in advance at an available time. While we will do our best to make sure that this private shop does not make you miss your workout, the way our schedule goes, it is very difficult to avoid it. We also can’t guarantee that it will be possible. If you have strict dietary needs, we recommend that you order a copy of our book in advance and create the adjustments prior to arrival. You may be required to purchase your food in your own time on Sunday evening, and you’ll be reimbursed based on our allotted budget for that week of groceries.

Do you provide support during meal times?

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.

Continuing the program at home

With all guests receiving Whistler Fitness Vacations home edition in paperback, the meal plan is easy to continue for as long as you like!  Our fitness team keeps in touch with you though the WFV cell phone as much as you’d like after your stay – they often shoot you quick hellos to make sure you’re keeping up the great work! We love when alumni keep us posted on their progress especially on social media! WFV staff policy mirrors professional standards of customer relations (see terms for details) however the owner of the company Cat keeps in personal contact with alumni’s often for years after their stay.  It really is up to you!

Outdoor programming & rainy day workouts

 

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.

Digital detox, chewing gum, headphone & cell phone usage

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. You’ll have opportunity to use cell phone at lunch, and use headphones on certain indoor cardio assignments. We have a strict ‘no gum’ policy between 8.30am and 2pm, as per our insurance and liability. Your liability is void if you are found with gum in your mouth in the unlikely event of a claim that involves medical attention relating to breathing. It also is not part of our dietary philosophy as we are trying to stay away from preservatives and sugar.

Credit Card not working?

Although we have enabled all countries to use our signup form, occasionally some countries do not work due to WooCommerce updates or situations outside our control. We know that Saudi Arabia, African countries, Dubai and the U.K. are presently unavailable. Please select your country first then follow the steps. If your transaction still does not work, wire transfer payment will be required.

Whistler Fitness Vacations is committed to website maintenance, including the operation of a working online store so while we emphasize with your situation, it is the participants discretion to call their bank to arrange credit increase, or to pay by wire. If the amount exceeds your cards limit, you are most welcome to sign up for our minimum program (one week studio) and pay the remaining by wire, or authorize us in an email to charge remaining balance at a later date. Please email us for details of this, and let us know how we can help.

Go to the registration documents tab on the product page to download payment instructions via wire transfer.

The amount to pay is the amount showing on your package selected. Note, for wire transfers, it is important that you email team@whistlerfitnessvacations.com a copy of your payment receipt. We are unable to reserve your stay until full payment is posted into our account therefore please consider this when making travel arrangements. Stays will be confirmed within three business days of receiving your payment of the program.

Will I experience altitude sickness

 

No, you won’t have any issues with the altitude here. Altitude sickness can be felt at altitudes higher than 1 mile high 5,280 feet – but is most commonly a problem at altitudes over 8,000 feet.

  • Whistler Village (Valley) Elevation: 675 m (2214 feet)
  • Whistler Mountain – Summit Elevation: 2,184 meters (7,165 feet)
  • In summer months (July and August) we are on alpine one to two days a week. Spring/Fall activities are mostly in the valley.
Are you open on public holidays?

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 2018 in B.C.
• Victoria Day (Monday May 21)
• Canada Day (Monday July 2)
• B.C. Day (Monday August 6)
• Labor Day (Monday September 3)

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 if they are inconvenienced with reduced staffing and potentially changed activity options.

Why can’t you show pricing on the site, or give it over email/phone?

At first, it seems like a royal pain that our pricing isn’t public. And we apologize for that. However there’s method to this madness: and we’ve since discovered that those who get the most frustrated about it, really aren’t our ideal customers anyways. Our program is built upon the foundations of love and support… and we really want you to be happy here. The only way we can do that is by having you come into our program with realistic expectation of us. That’s why, when you sign up to find out the pricing, you’ll also get to know our program better. This initial opportunity to follow procedure is a surprising great way to guard the authenticity of WFV.

Here’s why:

1/ Whistler Fitness Vacations is a luxury weight loss retreat suitable for about 1% of visitors to this website. Many of our guests want to keep how much they paid secret.

2/ We’re intentionally small in our group intake each week with all our Whistler staff ‘hands on’ at the retreat – not in the office. The Westin Resort and Spa front desk and concierge is our guests 24/7 support while in Whistler. Not only do we avoid paying New York city pricing for office space downtown Whistler, we also can put our employees to work helping our guests, instead of sitting in the office doing a job that could be automated.

3/ Our administrative team is 100% off-shore, with Cat Smiley the point of contact for sales enquiries, May through to September. She maintains this responsibility because she truly believes that your body, and life change is deeply personal. Whistler is a seasonal town, and it’s the only way to ensure the same caring support person from the start to end of your journey. Cat’s time is chiefly spent coaching guests through their body transformation at the retreat. She has about one hour a day for phone call enquiries, which is why we’ve stopped using that available call time to tell people pricing. See reason #1 above as to why we don’t “just have these details public”.

4/ We want our program signup to be available 12 months a year, even out-of-season. From October through April, Cat Smiley is working on other projects and contracts during that time, with limited availability to get back to customers promptly for personalized phone calls. To get in touch during these months, call 604-906-7377 with details of how we can help, and we’ll email you back by the end of the business day. Or email team@whistlerfitnessvacations.com direct.

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