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Slim Pickin's

More than a week later, I am still on course to reach my goal. I'm now about two pounds lighter and set on paying careful attention to my eating and exercise. And it's only April. My local pool doesn't open until Memorial Day and I'm not heading to the beach until June. With newfound resolve, inspired by a spa start, losing the rest of the five pounds should be a piece of cake.

Mmmmmm . . . cake.


Deerfield Spa fitness director Miriam Stevens demonstrates workout techniques. (Rob Upton - For The Washington Post)

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GETTING THERE: The Deerfield Spa is on 650 Resica Falls Rd. in East Stroudsburg, Pa., near Allentown, about 265 miles from Washington.

SLIMMING: A two-night stay at Deerfield Spa (800-852-4494, www.deerfieldspa.com) ranges from $422 for a Sunny Corners, a small room with twin beds and a bathroom on the hall, to $633 for a room with a king-size bed and private bath. Price includes all meals, programs, activities, tax and service charges. Massages and other treatments are extra. Classes range from a noodle workout in the pool, to hip-hop workouts, to tai chi, to boxercise. Instructors sometimes take requests if a preferred class isn't on the schedule. Sessions are seldom canceled even if just one person shows up. For those who like to hike, a naturalist takes groups to various locations; I ended up at the Tannersville cranberry bog early one morning. There also are lectures on fitness and other topics, including dream interpretation. Massages, facials and body polishing are some of the treatments available for an added charge. Services range from a 25-minute calming facial ($40) to an 80-minute glycolic body treatment ($170). There is no tipping, but a 17 percent gratuity is added to all services.

EATING: Choose carefully. Your calorie count is in your hands. "Specials" included a cheese blintz with blueberry sauce for breakfast and flounder stuffed with crabmeat for dinner.

OTHER WEIGHT LOSS SPAS: Canyon Ranch (800-326-7080, www.canyonranch.com). An upscale Western spa with several locations. The Lenox, Mass., branch requires a three-night minimum stay. Rates for a single range from $2,030 to $2,490 and include $300 for chosen spa and "health and healing" services. Fitness activities and meals are included.

New Age Health Spa (800-682-4348, www.newagehealthspa.com). The peaceful holistic spa in Neversink, N.Y., appeals to yoga followers. A two-night minimum stay for one ranges from $552 weekday to $868 on the weekend, depending on room type, including taxes and fees. Meals are almost all vegetarian.

New Life Hiking Spa (866-298-5433, www.newlifehikingspa.com). The Killington, Vt., spa is known for its hiking program in the Green Mountains. The season runs May 14 to Oct. 21. Single occupancy is $245 daily for up to three nights and drops per night for longer stays. For a list of spas: www.spafinder.com.

INFO: Pocono Mountains Vacation Bureau, 800-762-6667, www.800poconos.com.


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