Andrea McLay a Member at Bodyfix Gym Christchurch, with No Excuses.

We have seen Andrea (pictured below with her daughter) grow from her visits to Bodyfix, to seeing a Personal Trainer weekly, getting a concession card incase she wanted to ‘pop’ in between PT sessions and now, her very own membership to visit multiple times a week and most recently, doing anything she could to get in, even when her legs stopped fitting right and she could barely leave the house, she found a way to get to the gym!

Read on to find out how Andrea lost her legs and how important it is for her to move her body.

Andrea McLay and her daughter

Andrea McLay and her daughter

– How did you lose your legs? 

I had meningococcal septicaemia when I was 16, the disease had caused extensive damage to my legs, so that I could ‘get on with it’ the best option was to have my legs amputated below the knee. At the time it didn’t take long to learn to walk.


– How are you able to walk?

I use prosthetic legs, made by the team at Peke Waihanga the Artificial Limb Service in Burwood. I use a liner/ sock that attaches to my skin and then a pin from the sock attaches to the leg. A simple process, that takes only minutes to put on and take off.


– What does your exercise consist of? 

My usual exercise consists of walking to school and back for my daughter and a training session with the awesome Carolynne. And more recently 2-3 times a week outside of that I try to re-create my session with Carolynne on my own.  I like challenging myself- to try and achieve a faster time, or more distance. (I can’t stop so close to a round number… I have to get to it).


– Your feelings of a gym say when you first started to now? 

I originally found Bodyfix from the team at Parafed running weekly sessions, which was a great way to ease some form of exercise back in.

Now I love my weekly session with Carolynne and now I am comfortable to attend on my own.

I love the friendly feel of the gym and that everyone is there to be a better version of themselves.

I love hearing Moo Yahooing and Hollering when taking a step class- it makes me laugh out loud!


– How has being at the gym helped you?

Being at the gym has helped me focus and add a schedule to my day as well as being stronger.


– What has been the most challenging time for you Andrea? 

Probably the past 18 months or so.  When my daughter started school,  I was feeling pretty lost with my days and my purpose, and I found myself in a tough space mentally. I am very grateful to my GP and my support system who helped me and continue to do so. There was something missing and that was getting my body moving! So when I was able to, I contacted Carolynne to get back to it.

Since Feb of this year, my legs haven’t been fitting great, causing me pain, and restricting my movement but Carolynne adapted our sessions and plans so I can still workout. My gym sessions were the relief when I was essentially house bound for 6 weeks.


– Are there times when you get down? And how do you pick yourself back up.

Until the last 18 months I would have said no, but now I know I need to focus on the here and now, there are many things that we can’t control… like the Pandemic and my family being in the UK. But we can control our bodies and our mindset.


– With everything that has happened to you what is your best advice to everyone our there in regards to fitness….&…….life xx

My advice- is take every opportunity that comes your way, do the small things that make the world a better place.

Article by Jessica McDonald

Hi, I am Jess, Gym member, staff member, and customer service ninja here at Bodyfix. You might have seen my face behind the desk, online or simply around the gym. I love that I get to have conversations with our Members and Staff alike to bring you these stories. No matter where you see me, I am always up for a Hello!

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