Welcome To Elly McGuinness !

All About Me
Elly McGuinness was my PT for the 20 Week Challenge and she really does rock. Elly has a great way of getting you to achieve results that you never thought you good. For instance I can now do 10 full press ups and leg press 175 kg. 20 weeks ago there was no way I could have ever achieved that. Elly has done a great job at keeping me motivated throughout the challenge (and beyond) with organising outside the gym events, eg, pole dancing lessons and mountain biking at McLeans Island and keeping me glued to my phone while I wait for the weekly text challenge. She has helped me to realise that weight loss and getting fit and healthy is a journey and that little, consistent changes will reap big rewards. To date that means a loss of 9kg and the tools, know-how, desire and self belief to lose another 9kg and so on until I reach my dream weight. I have very much enjoyed my time with Elly over the last 20 weeks and look forward to training with her for the next 20. – Rebecca

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“Elly always seems to go above and beyond the call of duty. She was very encouraging and ‘ever present’ with her regular texts – whether it was for the quote of the week or text challenge with an activity we needed to do ASAP and text back with details. Even with a large group entering the challenge under Elly, she still managed to respond personally to my texts. I especially appreciated that I felt I could whine to her like when I felt I had plateaued on my weight loss. She was totally supportive and said if I was doing the right things I would see results, and sure enough my next weigh in after this I had another big loss. I also appreciate all the effort Elly had made to organize various weekly activities for us to try out. I know I never would have tried out Rapaki Track if she hadn’t organized a group to go. I was really disappointed to not be able to make the pole dancing as it sounded like fun. I have been attending Elly’s group classes in Kaiapoi since shortly before the challenge began. Even though I live in Christchurch I find these classes are so good they are well worth the drive. In our one on one sessions I find I get a really good workout and push to do much more than I would do on my own. – Joanne
“One person can make a difference and every person should try.” Why I entered this challenge?: I’m guessing a lot of people entered this challenge to lose weight, get fit and challenge themselves. I was the same but in additional to these I thought this challenge could change my lifestyle and help me in fighting depression. I have done a mixture of counselling and medication which helped in some ways. Therapy brought about another diagnosis of anxiety which eventually made sense because of how I was socially. Therapy was one of the hardest things I have ever done but extremely helpful. Whenever I had an appointment with my GP, she would always mention going outside and getting fresh air and finding some time to exercise. Finding time wasn’t the problem but my energy levels were low due to not eating and I just wanted to stay in bed. After a super crap year with the earthquakes last year I didn’t see anything good happening for me this year. But at the end of January I was browsing online and found a yoga class that I thought I might do. It was only for 6 weeks, had a small amount of people and I figured I’ll go to a class, see what it’s like and put myself out there. I was really nervous about the first class but the instructor was very positive and helpful. When filling out the form for her it had medical conditions which I said yes but didn’t elaborate. She emailed me and asked me if I could let her know what they were just so she was aware. I thought about and finally just told her about my depression and anxiety. I figured if I didn’t like the response from her, I didn’t have to go back to the class. I have major issues with trusting people but her reply was simply amazing. She was very supportive, understanding and told me about goals that we could focus on to help me and other things that could help. Because of this inspiring email that I got I decided to carry on with the yoga and started personal training with her. I really liked her holistic approach and have never looked back. I have gone from somebody who would either be in bed or at work to somebody who is now hardly at home. I saw this challenge at something I could focus on and help me to move on with my life. With week ten approaching it has given me a lot of my confidence back, heaps of energy, goals to focus on and new opportunities. Although I do still have my bad days, they are dwindling. Thanks to my PT who has given me the motivation to keep on living and for all her support. Extra: At the start of the challenge I was still facing some major issues, I struggled with self harm, eating, and anxiety but after nearly 19 weeks I am eating regularly (I have also been bring lunches from home), have become so much more confident in both myself, my presence and even in my studies. Last week was probably the first week where I conversed in Maori in all of my classes instead of just speaking english. (This was a big accomplishment for me because a lot of the time in class I use to just sit their quietly or would sometimes just leave class). Although I still have issues and am still tackling them, I now believe that one day I will be off antidepressant, although it may not be for a while. At the start of this year I saw myself being on them for the rest of my life, which made my mood levels drop and suicidal thoughts increase. But over the last few weeks I have noticed so much change in my mood and behaviour that it has given me the strength to change the thoughts in mind to say that one day I will be off them. . Throughout this challenge Elly has sent me inspiration quotes, extra challenges, weekly events and been a huge support for me to lean on. She has introduced me to so many new things that I love, am passionate about and which has given me ideas about using my psychology background and going into the world of fitness as a career.She has also introduced me to so many other inspirational people that just give me more motivation every single day. I have always used my weight as a barrier because of things that have happened in the past but with the help of counseling and Elly I have been able to conquer my fear and become a much stronger person without needing that barrier. Elly deserves this award because she goes the extra mile, is very motivating, funny, happy, inspiration, loves her job and knowledgeable.Elly is also very organised and has great time management. Elly is my hero(superwoman!), a fantastic role model and always there! – Rachel

Elly’s New Book Is Now Available

Elly is a great PT – always smiling as she encourages you to do ‘just one more’ – actually, more like, ‘you’re doing great, I’m sure you’ve got five more in you’ – but it goes much further than the PT sessions. Elly goes above and beyond to engage everyone in this challenge, from regular email and txt correspondence with motivational quotes, words of wisdom, and weekly challenges, through to finding extra activities to extend us way past our comfort zone. I’ve not been able to attend everything, but have found myself attending things ranging from boxing to meditation. Elly takes a genuine interest in how we are doing, and will always ask ‘what else can I do to help you?’. She works within the various limitations – whether physical, mental or financial – and offers suggestions to just push the boundaries a little more. I usually get bored with exercise, but Elly has always found activities to keep me engaged and re-focused. The biggest thing Elly has given me in this challenge is solutions to engage the mental focus – I have always said or thought ‘I can’t do that’; Elly’s words of wisdom and encouragement have enabled me to think about how I can do that. That’s something that will last far beyond the end of this challenge. – Wendy

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“Elly has helped me in so many ways it is hard to quantify.

So I’ll try to be brief… she has…

  • Organised excellent weekend adventures such as
  • Tramping up to a DOC hut in the back of Mt Oxford (including organising the food, DOC passes, cooking, water gathering, and providing positive cheer all the way along the 10 hour journey),
  • Adrenalin forest,
  • Surfing,
  • Biking around McLeans Island and Bottle Lake forest, (all in her own time… )
  • Clip n climb (I’m taking the kids in my class this week…. I’ll take some photos!!!)
  • Listened to those around her and organised fun stuff like pole dancing
  • Taken into consideration the things I love to do and scheduled them in to my programme (like boxing)
  • Given us weekly text challenges (I have included a photo of my students doing the star jump text challenge)
  • Sent weekly quotes that are inspiring to keep us on task
  • Without her I wouldn’t have been such an active part of the class camp I went on with my students (I included a photo of me on the low ropes course).  I took part in none of these last year… basically I felt that I couldn’t do them
  • I walked into camp around the port hills with all of my students largely because of the walks I had done with Elly around a similar walk (in the weekend…. in her own time) so that influenced 15 young disabled kids… (she has created that wonderful domino effect because I am now more active with the students I teach and with my friends)
  • Provided delicious healthy nutritious snacks for our trips and activities (my favourite is the Em’s power cookie ‘Original’, and fantastic scroggin for our 5 hour tramp around Mt Oxford) and organic lettuce for my salad that came from her garden… picked at 5.30 in the morning before her long day!!!   Talk about dedication!!!

Elly and I have just passed our 1 year anniversary!  I am constantly astounded by her energy, kindness, generosity, patience and spirit! I can honestly say that without her dedication and determination i would not be here today.  She doesn’t push me…. she makes me push myself and that is a huge gift….one that I am eternally grateful for.  – Meegan

Elly has been awesome!!!

Over the last 20 weeks she has helped me push past boundaries both physically, mentally.

I can now run for longer, am stronger (in body and soul – a very happy Buddha!! J), eating better and have done a lot of things I don’t think I would’ve done if not for Elly’s super fun group sessions – rock climbing, Adrenalin Forest, hiking and meditation to name just a few!!

She made every session exciting, and her Boot Camp gave me a chance to mix with new people and challenge myself even more.

Her positive attitude and super happy nature is so contagious she just makes me want to reach for that goal and beyond.

Training with Elly has changed me in so many ways I can’t really thank her enough.

I can’t wait to see what she has in store for me 2011!  – Anna

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I write for a number of publications and generally publish a blog once a week about finding ways to enjoy a more happy and healthy lifestyle.

I also come across a lot of useful healthy information all the time. If I find something of value, I'd love to share it with you.

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