From one beginning to the next; a stay at WellFit Zion will build you up while you trim down

FEATURE — On the surface WellFit Zion is simply a place to go to lose weight; its immersive fitness and weight loss program is designed to give guests a structured way to lose pounds and inches and jump-start their health. But dive in deeper to the program and what guests really experience is a transformative wellness journey that focuses not only on exercise but nutrition, education, relaxation and community.

A beautiful sculpture greets guest as they enter WellFit Zion in St. George, Utah, May 22, 2018 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

WellFit Zion, formerly Green Valley Spa and Resort, is owned by Tami Clark. Clark took over ownership in October 2017 and said she is gently loving the resort back to the place that many people in Southern Utah and guests of the resort knew Green Valley Spa to be.

Clark came to the destination fitness and weight loss spa industry in Southern Utah many years ago as a guest of the National Institute of Fitness – a weight loss resort where Red Mountain Resort is now located – and fell in love with the program and the people so much that she made it her career.

Since then, she has owned, managed or helped establish several premier weight loss spas throughout Southern Utah and across the country, including several of the The Biggest Loser Resort locations.

Clark, along with a highly trained and passionate staff of fitness and nutrition experts, has created a holistic fitness and weight loss program that is as much about pushing physical limits as it is about conquering fears, altering mindsets and gaining a sense of community.

“WellFit has that sense of community that is so important to the program,” Clark said. “It’s fun to see somebody start from wherever their beginning is and continue to get stronger and form friendships that last lifetimes.”

The approach has been working for people like longtime guest Primeau, who said he only goes by that name. Primeau arrived at WellFit Zion in November 2017 for what he intended to be only a three-week stay. Instead, he extended his time until Christmas and then returned after the holidays. So far he has stayed over 20 weeks at the resort and has lost 100 pounds.

Primeau (left) enjoys a hike with other guests of WellFit Zion, a premier weight loss and fitness resort in Southern Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of Primeau, St. George News

For Primeau, the resort’s carefully designed program, which balances exercise and nutrition along with weight loss education, has allowed him to be able to just put his head down and do the necessary work, he said, work that has not only led to significant weight loss but has also helped him conquer fears and summit obstacles both real and figurative.

A key component of WellFit’s program is the hiking, which provides guests with a “life-affirming and fantastic cardio exercise experience,” according to information from the resort’s website.

The resort offers guided hikes for every level on every terrain Southern Utah has to offer. Guests get a physical workout while enjoying the unique desert scenery of the area. Long term guests like Primeau enjoy the challenge of conquering more and more difficult hikes as they progress on their fitness journey.

“It’s cool to kind of repeat a hike a week or two weeks later and see where you got to the first time or see the hill that gave you the trouble and then be able to really do it,” Primeau said.

The continued progression that guests experience as they tackle more difficult terrain is what makes the hiking program the most popular activity at the resort, Clark said.

The gym at WellFit Zion is stocked with an array of cardio and strength training equipment for guests to get the best workout possible for them, St. George, Utah, May 22, 2018 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

In addition to the guided hikes, WellFit Zion offers a wide array of fitness and cardio classes that include popular workouts like aqua aerobics, Zumba Fitness and cardio hip-hop dance classes.

The resort also offers an assortment of spa treatments, including massage therapy, medicupping, facials and more to help guests relax and de-stress from their daily lives while they concentrate on their wellness.

Though Primeau has enjoyed his time at WellFit Zion and has seen a large degree of success, he said he recognizes that he will have to go home and back into the “real world” eventually. But he said he feels confident he has been given the tools to continue with his health journey long after he says goodbye to the resort.

“I have the energy and the motivation now to go and do stuff that I never thought I’d do before,” Primeau said, adding that he has learned a lot about the types of fitness regimens that work for him and how he can implement them in his daily life.

For the resort’s chief marketing officer, McKay Taylor, educating guests and arming them with the tools to continue a healthy lifestyle outside of the structured program at the resort is one of the most important concepts of WellFit Zion’s philosophy.

Taylor is a certified dietitian, certified personal trainer and health educator at the resort, but he said his life wasn’t always on a healthy track.

Taylor was once almost 140 pounds overweight. Having undergone his own personal weight loss and health transformation, he is well-equipped to help guests gain the strength and guidance they need to get on their own healthy path and stay there.

No one is destined to be fat, and no one is destined to feel that way,” Taylor said, adding that coming to WellFit Zion can give guests the confidence they need to break out of the cycle of feeling like they are meant to be fat forever.

His aim as an educator at WellFit, he said, is to help debunk many of the myths surrounding weight loss and how real health occurs and then educate guests so they have the tools that they need to be successful both at the resort and when they go home. This approach definitely struck a chord with Primeau.

“There’s no better investment than an investment in yourself,” he said. “Being here and having that supportive community with you the whole time really helps you and pushes you and makes sure that you’re successful.”

WellFit Zion is a seven-day minimum program that begins and ends on Sundays. The program is catered to teens and adults of all fitness levels.

To learn more or book a stay, visit the WellFit Zion website.

Written by HOLLIE REINA, St. George News.

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