Two miles into a 5-mile hike, with a rocky cliff to her left, a snow-covered trail underfoot, and a rogue spring whiteout pelting her cheeks, 52-year-old Lynn Robinson begins to cry. “I have to stop,” she tells her husband, Rob, as her intense fear of heights and shortness of breath tempt her to turn back.
Up ahead, spread out along the switchbacks at Matthews/Winters Park near Red Rocks, 31 others who have sacrificed their vacation time, and a hefty chunk of cash, to travel to “Extreme Weight Loss: Destination Boot Camp” fight their own battles. Most have tried a litany of diets only to gain back what they’d lost. Many still have weight-loss goals in the triple-digits. By leaving high-stress jobs and unhealthy temptations behind and immersing themselves in a program that focuses on the mental side of weight loss as much as the physical, they have high hopes that this time will be different.
“Instead of going on a cruise and gaining weight, we decided to come here,” Rob Robinson, 54, of Calgary, Canada, says of the intense, week-long program hosted by the University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center in Aurora. He gently clasps his struggling wife’s hand, and they start moving again, the mountaintop – and turnaround point ̶ coming into view high above them. “We needed this.”