Meet Tonda McGillis

(Tonda is a member of Andrea's team and leads certification courses, exams, workshops and events with Andrea and her team)



Food Glorious Food

Active describes my early years. I played sports, hiked, biked, swam. Later, if a ‘job’ was too ‘easy’ I’d choose something more physically challenging. I went to school with science as my major, and became a nutritionist. Continuing with activities, in the 1980's I was a group fitness instructor and personal trainer.

Yes, extremely active.

Active and, painful to admit, a little arrogant.

Certainly not mean. But, inside I judged the size and condition of others.

Because I weighed the same in high school as I did in my thirties I didn’t completely understand weight gain. I only had my own body as a teacher. I used to wonder how people could ‘let themselves get heavy’.

Karma’s a wonderful equalizer; life had a teaching plan.

In 1994, I was involved in a head on collision.

Believing I was indestructible, I refused tests at the emergency room; after all, nothing was broken or bleeding so how bad could it be?

Well, it turns out it could be pretty bad. I was essentially flat on my back for the better part of a year due to extreme soft tissue damage and, because all activity was stopped suddenly, my body didn’t have a chance to comprehend what was happening. It demanded the amounts of food I’d always consumed. And I fed it to its heart’s content and beyond.

Imagine getting into bed a size 8 and getting out a size 18. 

By 2010 I was a size 22; an 80 pound gain. But in my head I remained size 8. It wasn’t until I bought a pair of jeans with a waist size larger than the inseam that I did a double take. I was astonished. Not long after, I passed by the mirror after a shower and realized that I looked exactly like my mother!

I joined the gym the next day. It wasn’t the foods I was eating; I’m a nutritionist, I love GOOD food. It was a complete lack of activity.

I began training as an intermediate, even though I had been inactive for sixteen years. Though I would never do this with a client, I did do it to myself. I wanted the pain.

Thank goodness for muscle memory; my body responded swiftly despite being 52 years old at the time. In four months I dropped 25 pounds and gained substantial strength and muscle. Over time, I lost 60 pounds, but was stronger than I had ever been (it’s never too late!).

At the time of this writing, I’m 58, and I live by Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion: “a body in motion stays in motion.”

As well as bringing the science of food to the team, I lead with a sense of humility based on my experience. I know this quality helps clients feel comfortable, knowing I’ve walked a mile in their shoes.

Tonda McGillis BASc. (Nutrition), OHP/NCP

For 30 years Coach Tonda has been active in the industries of natural health, nutritional supplements and fitness.  First certified as a group fitness instructor and personal trainer in British Columbia in the 1980’s she then developed an interest in and pursued education in natural health and human sciences, eventually achieving a Bachelor’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition.  She is an Orthomolecular Health Practitioner (OHP) and Nutritional Consulting Practitioner (NCP) and is completing a Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition. Tonda works side by side Andrea Thatcher and leads programs for Andrea and canfitpro.

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