Beyond My Boobs by Angie Christine

Beyond My Boobs is now available on Amazon.com.

Discovering you have breast cancer does not always come in the form of a routine mammogram or finding a lump. Sometimes it is found in the most unsuspecting ways. As Angie discovered she had five tumors, after the decision to have breast augmentation, her plans for a perfect boob job changed to one of a bilateral mastectomy and her ovaries removed! Angie shares a very real and candid story of her diagnosis, surgeries and recovery, all while keeping focused on God. Todays views on faith and healing are not always those reflected in the Word of God. Angie creatively lays out this comparison for the reader at the start of each chapter. "Beyond My Boobs" will show you God’s true heart towards His children; all with a few laughs and tears. 

After working on blogs for many years and being a fan of the gym, my life was thrown into a spiral with the words "Well, it's cancer." Not only did I want to share a more in-depth and personal version of my journey with friends and family, but also to reach those who may be going through it themselves and reassure them they are not alone. And so "Beyond My Boobs" was born. 

Maybe you too have been diagnosed with cancer, learned your body won't move like it once did, and have had an overwhelming discovery you will be treated differently like me. Find peace in God's arms! I believe everyone can learn something from a survivor's story. Whether that be my story or yours. Don't be afraid to share!! If I reach one person and they fall in love with God for the first time or all over again, I have done what I set out to do. This book does not shove my faith in your face, but there is no denying how HE played a very important role in my household during this trying time. 

Each chapter of BMB starts with the world's view on the chapter's subject and then compares it to the Word of God and what He says about that same matter. The most important thing I learned through all of this cancer crap, was that I needed to focus on God and not on my boobs. That there is life AFTER a radical mastectomy and reconstruction. Although I may not be able to do the things I once did, I came to realize I really don't want to. My goals have changed. My friends have changed (some left and some got stronger. I welcomed in a whole new world of survivors). And my heart has changed. 

Turning in the heavy gym weights for a few pink pistols and a shooting range, I found a new sport which is now slowing turning into a Susan G. Komen fundraising event. I am so excited for this next "chapter" of my life. 

If you know someone that could benefit from this story, please share the link. The book will be available in paperback as well. Hopefully that will be released by spring. 

April 12th, 2014 will be THREE years since my diagnosis and taking on the name "Survivor." I can't wait to celebrate with a paperback book in one hand and a pink pistol in the other at the Tap, Rack and Cure event June 21, 2014. 

Thank you so much for following along on my transformation to survivor with me. God Bless. 

Happy New Year! 

Excerpts from book: 

#1: We curled up on the couch with my head in his lap and he read to me. I remember these times being some of the most precious ones. There was a newfound closeness between us. We had an unspoken bond between a husband and a wife that will never be replaced. We related to each other like never before.  We leaned on the Word of God knowing that we were only listening to the facts the doctors were reporting. We would not say I HAD cancer. I was DIAGNOSED with cancer. I was going to FIGHT cancer. It brought me comfort to know it wasn’t mine. Jesus died on the cross and bore my sickness. Cancer was on Him, not me. 

#2: Doctor Aitken pulled out my previous file folder with all my augmentation information and said, “Unfortunately, we won’t be needing any of this anymore. We have to go to Plan B. So everything we discussed prior about the augmentation you can just forget and let’s talk about where we go from here.” She then explained what my Plan B looked like. And once again, I was faced with a Plan B. I so wanted to go back and finish Plan A.

#3: A few days later I received an email from the staff at the Grand Rapids SGK office. They asked if I would be interested in doing a photo shoot for them, with a professional photographer, and have my story printed on their website. As I read the email I started to cry. I knew this was one of those doors God was starting to open for me.  But I was also humbled that they would want to share my story. I didn’t feel like anyone special. I felt like I escaped the chemo and radiation and why would my story be inspirational to anyone? But the more I talked to them and we discussed my story, I came to realize that my story was one of Hope. My story was one of a new generation of survivors. That if found early, we could survive without the chemo.  


Zumba #2 - Completed first week

Here is the end of Week #1. My second video review on Zumba Exhilirate. It's going well. Had a few issues with my flooring and with my lymphedema acting up. Check out the link to watch on Youtube or watch the video on Tuffphi.com Have a blessed week. ~Angie Christine. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqrSEhgBUQk&feature=youtu.be 



It's Time to Zumba

The look and feel of Tuff Phit has changed over the last few years. But then again so have I. But one thing that hasn't changed is.... being phit isn't easy. For anyone. It can be very tuff at times. It takes motivation and commitment. It's tuff when you don't want to get out of bed early to do your workout. Or the times when you want to go to the bar and have some beverages and a huge taco nacho pile with your friends, instead of going to the gym. Or the biggest one for me personally, is when you are told you have breast cancer and all you knew and loved about the gym became an afterthought. Surgeries, recovery, and medication with side effects became your priority. A story of "I used to" soon takes over you and you lose all focus of fitness.

Well for many of us, starting over happens again and again. Thus the phrase, "Starting Over." I'm not perfect and don't claim to be. I am not going to tell you it's been an easy two years and I was in the gym only a few months later, then stepped onto a stage and won a bikini title.

So where do I go from here? Finally to Zumba. I have thought about this for a while and even talked about it on the FB fan page. But can I finally do it? Can I move and shake and get all crazy? I think I can. I have to put down the  memories of bench presses and the insane pushup regimen I used to do and just start somewhere.

So with all that being said..... I am going to document my entire Zumba at home fitness experience. This will be from the perspective of a breast cancer survivor. I have had major reconstruction surgeries which, no joke, cut up my chest muscles and misplaced my back and ribs. But I am done with the excuses or feeling sorry for myself and all that has happened. It's time to take these mountains that get in our way and push forward, climb them, and see what's on the other side.  I hope this can encourage you to start moving as well or continue if you already are in full swing.

I know I am not the first to do this type of documentation and I won't be the last. But it's MY first time trying Zumba and who knows where it will lead. I did a class a few years ago at a gym with a friend and I remember wearing a heart rate monitor and burning 700 calories. So it's time to just suck it up and do it on a regular basis.

If you have the at home Zumba DVD system I encourage you to start it with me. Or head to a local gym and sign up for their classes.

I am patiently waiting for mine to come in the mail. I will video everything from getting the set to my first workout so you can follow along with my strengths and my weaknesses.

I will also have links on the Tuff Phit home page for purchasing Zumba items and will continually promote their Party in Pink products. (See video below)

So let's get this party started shall we? - Angie Christine.


Life of Pi

Life of Pi is one of those books that will stick with you for Life. I know because it has mine. Why am I doing a book review on something that has nothing to do with fitness you ask? Well, maybe it does.

I was given this exact book as seen here, a few years ago by a co-worker for my birthday. Her being a book junkie and loving the book, she wanted someone to discuss it with her at work. She didn't quite get the ending or was left with questions that were not answered. She needed a "book club" to talk about this amazing journey. I was amazed by this book then and again, as I finish it today, I am reminded of how awesome it truly was.

In the Life of Pi, in short, Piscine Patel and his family move their zoo from Pondicherry, India to Canada. A confused boy looking for faith and a true God, leaves everything behind and travels with family and animal to a new life.

The ship sinks. Leaving him tossed to a life raft with a spotted hyena, an orangutang, a broken legged zebra, and a bengal tiger. Now you ask, how is that possible? All of them living together on one boat? Well, they don't. They eat each other. Leaving the tiger, Richard Parker, and Pi alone on a small boat fending for themselves. With trials and struggles, they eat only protein from the sea and Pi turns the boat into a circus ring, training Richard Parker to respect him and turn to him for food and water.

Now, what does this have to do with TuffPhit?


Gym Gems

Gym Gems is jewelry for the gym enthusiast. Beautifully crafted of sterling silver, you won't be disappointed. It's been a while since I have told you about this lovely company, Gym Gems. If you have a heart for the gym and working out, making a better you, then share it with the world by wearing a Gym Gems piece. You won't believe the complimentary comments you will get while wearing your jewelry. When I am wearing my necklace, people at stores or anywhere I am out, will make comment on it. Asking "is that a dumbbell?" Like they are surprised I would be wearing a charm like that. It's not that they think I wouldn't workout, but it's because it is such an unusual charm, they don't see them every day. Then they say "that's really cool!" So be as different as your workout and sport a Gym Gems!

My toggle necklace is probably my favorite. It's very feminine in that it's a smaller dumbbell. It looks great with the out-on-the-town outfit. Since these are real sterling silver (all marked with the 925) you will receive a a gym gems gift box, a velvet bag to store it in, and a gym gems silver polish cloth. These items will help keep your jewelry looking great for years to come. If you invest in your body in the gym, invest a little in your jewelry too!


Trigger Point Therapy - The Grid Review

As you all are well aware, I have taken quiet a bit of time off to battle my way through breast cancer and then through all the surgeries and recovery. Working out has been a new and slow journey for me. Some days I feel up to running on the treadmill and then I am tired for days. With an adjustment to medications, and LOTS of vitamins, I am getting my energy back.

When working out, whether you are experienced or a beginner, aches and pains are part of the process. I was approached by tptherapy.com  to try their foam roller, The Grid, and see if this helps with my recovery. I haven't done a review on any workout equipment in so long due to my lack of gym time. But I found this to be the perfect item for review. Even with a little workout, stretching and massage are so important.

I took my time on this review because I really wanted to give the product a fare shake.  Many times after a light jog or speedy walk on the treadmill, I would get off and roll around with my Grid to stretch out. Which then actually became a part of my workout. For me, this is very important in my time of recovery and healing. I found there to be lots of different uses for The Grid.


True Natural Sunscreen

I have recently told you about True Natural Sunless Tanner. The one that smells like a lemon pie? Well now it's time for sunblock. With the winter blues behind us, it's time for some real Vitamin D. 

I received my sunblock a few months ago, but without the sun shining bright, there was no way to test it. Now with June in full swing, my inflatable pool up and ready to go, it's time to protect the skin. Being a breast cancer survivor I am always looking for ways to keep myself healthy and educated on things in our lives and environment that cause cancers. TO much sun is one of them. Also, not enough! We have to find that happy medium. 

While Vitamin D is essential to good health, burning your skin is not. The perfect combination is a little sun at the beginning of the day and then protect the skin the rest. If you are planning on being out in the sun all day for family reunions, beach parties, or doing yard work, protect your skin naturally with True Natural. 

True Natural Vanilla Coconut , with an SPF of 50, is perfect for the entire family. You can trust this product to use on your entire body and on your face. The lotion goes on clear leaving you with no white residue. The scent is not strong at all. It smells for only the first few minutes and fades away quite nicely. It's not a coconut you would expect from a lotion. You know, that "suntan lotion" smell. It's very light. 

It's not sticky on the skin, but I did find it to be a little tacky on my palms after applying and felt I needed to rinse them off. 

This sunscreen is made with organic aloe vera, organic coconut oil, and zinc oxide. This combination reduces the risk of skin cancer and anti-aging. Here are a few other key points from True Natural: 

1. 100% natural, zinc-oxide based formula
2. Nano-particle free - 200nm and greater particle size - 2x the EU definition of nano
3. Invisible on the skin - no white film common with zinc based sunscreens
4. Exceeds the new FDA guidelines for Broad Spectrum protection - if used as directed, reduces the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging from the sun
5. Non-greasy formula - smooth, and easy to apply
6. Travel size 3.4oz tubes that are TSA carry-on approved
7. Bio-degradable and reef safe
Comes in all-natural vanilla-coconut scent and also in unscented versions for babies and those with sensitive skin. So if you are looking for a natural solution to sunscreen for you and your family, check out my friends at True Natural.  

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