Our Mission Trip to Guatemala

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My daughter, Hannah, & I have had a goal to go on a mission trip together for over the last four years. This year we were determined to achieve that dream and started our search at the beginning of the new year. We found the perfect one to best suit our passions and talents, and applied right away. We are very excited to announce that our applications have been approved and we will be headed to Guatemala in June 2018, through the Orphan Outreach organization! In the meantime, we are raising funds to pay for our mission trip.

Our Mission Trip will be to serve in the towns of Santiago and Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Both towns are severely poor.

SANTIAGO

Santiago is an area that was already poor, then became even more devastated by a giant mudslide years ago. This left so many orphans, and a number of towns that had to rebuild from nothing. In Santiago, we will be serving at:

-Good Shepherd School – serving through Christian education programs for the children, as well as working to improve their classrooms.
-Cerre de Oro community – serving the needy families of the Cerre de Oro community by providing smoke-free stoves and water filters. These families get so sick from drinking unclean water, as well as cooking for their families and inhaling the black smoke from the open fires. We will be trained on how to install the smoke-free stoves, as well as the water filters, and will go from home to home in the community to install those items.

CHIMALTENANGO

Chimaltenango – This town has a community that are called the “People of the Ravine”. This community, literally, lives on the town’s garbage dump. Their daily lives consist of rummaging through the town dump every day and searching for items that their family can either use, or somehow sell to make an income. Their young children even help them rummage through the garbage every day. Many of these young children will spend their entire lives living on the garbage dump, just like their parents and grandparents did. We hope to go and not only serve in the ways noted below, but to also share God’s word and provide hope that they can do something more with their lives.

Love the Child Baby Home – This is an area orphanage and we will be serving by taking care of the babies and toddlers at the orphanage.
Comprehensive Care Center – We will be serving and loving on the children of the ravine that are being cared for at the Comprehensive Care Center.
People of the Ravine – We will be delivering food and item packages to the families of the ravine, as well as spending time with them.

We would really appreciate it if you would like to contribute any amount (no amount is too small!!) towards our fundraising goal of $5,000 for our Mission Trip. If some of this information or the posted videos have truly touched your heart and you wish to do more, please feel free to donate directly to the Orphanage here: https://lovethechild.org

Thank you so much for your time while reading this long post, and for considering making a donation. ALL donations will go towards our international airfare, meals, lodging, in-country transportation, bottled water, and anything mission trip-related. If we raise more than our goal amount, the additional monies will be donated directly to Love the Child Orphanage.

CLICK HERE TO DONATE 

 

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Supplement School – Royal 21 Queen

BottleFrontFeatured Product1st Phorm Royal 21 Queen (Women’s Fat Burner)

Goal: Women’s Weight Loss

Form: Capsule

How I Use It: Swallow 1-2 capsules per day with water. Please see the detailed instructions on the product to determine your tolerance.

Why I think this 1st Phorm product is amazing:

  • It is specially formulated for women. Women have a harder time losing fat than men due to our biology and biochemistry, it is just a proven, scientific fact!
  • It won’t make you crash, like many other fat burner supplements out there.
  • It gives you energy and focus!! Who doesn’t need more energy these days?!?!
  • It helps maintain your hormones and many other issues that only women have to deal with when losing weight, such as depression, mood swings, hot flashes, excess water weight, and even menopause.

A few other things you should know:

  • There is no “magic pill” to get you where you want to be. Royal 21 Queen is close, but you would still need to be active, make healthy food choices, and drink plenty of water every day.
  • 1st Phorm also offers a fat burner for MEN. Click HERE to read more about the Royal 21 KING fat burner.
  • Royal 21 Queen is the fat burner portion of the Royal 21 Queen Weight Loss Stack. The Royal 21 Queen Weight Loss Stack also includes C-21 (reduce the production of the stress hormone cortisol) and T-21 (naturally balances thyroid hormone production).

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Want to learn more? Check out these resources:

Supplement School: Opti-Greens 50


Featured Product: 1st Phorm Opti-Greens 50

Goal: General Health & Wellness

Form: Powder

How I Use It: I drink Opti-Greens 50 every single morning. I usually mix it with Phormula-1 post-workout, but it can be mixed with water, juice or anything you prefer.

Why I think this 1st Phorm product is amazing:

  • It is low temperature processed. Why is that important? Because if it’s manufactured using a high-temperature process, it loses a lot of it’s nutritional value.
  • It’s jam packed with 50 ingredients, including greens that are 100% non-GMO and grown in the USA. It also has non-synthetic botanical superfoods, phytonutrients, digestive enzymes and probiotics. 1st Phorm has successfully create the most complete greens powder on the market today!
  • You would think something so healthy must taste horrible, but NO!!!!! This is the most delicious tasting greens drink I have ever had. It’s a mixed berry flavor, and it doesn’t even taste like a green, grassy, earthy-dirt kinda drink. I am not kidding you!
  • You may LOVE to eat your vegetables and think you don’t need a green drink, well you are wrong. Opti-Greens 50 not only gives you the vitamins and minerals you need, but it has…
    • Phytonutrients to help remove free radicals from your body
    • Digestive enzymes and probiotics to help improve digestion, increase immunity, and increase your energy.
    • Glycemic balance blend to help your body optimize the carbs you ingest and store them as muscle energy instead of storing them as fat.

Can you guess which one is 1st Phorm’s Opti-Greens 50 product?? 

Want to learn more? Check out these resources:

What are Supplements Anyway?

Are you new to learning about supplements? Well, I’m happy to help make it a little more understandable!! I have to admit, before I educated myself about supplements, I thought they were actually really bad for you. I would even see people at the gym put powder in their shaker cups and think, “I can’t believe they are so out in the open about taking steroids!” Yes, I thought the powders they were using were steroids!! Ha. It’s so funny to me now.


Here are a few questions I get asked often (and my responses)…

  • What are supplements?
    • Dietary supplements can include vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, and more. They come in many different forms. They could be a tablet, a capsule, powder that you add to your drink, or even protein bars. That means the B-12 vitamin you take….is a supplement!!!

 

  • Why should I take supplements? Can’t I get everything my body needs from eating whole foods?
    • Yes, eating whole foods and maintaining a well balanced diet is definitely recommended. Supplements should never be the only source of nutrients for your body. They are made to supplement the foods you eat every day. When taken properly, supplements will give you an extra advantage. People have different goals, such as building muscle, weight loss, or just general health and wellness. You would choose supplements based on your goal.

 

  • What supplements do you take?
    • I take different supplements based on my current goal. Right now I am into weightlifting and have entered my first NPC Bikini Competition, so I use Phormula-1, BCAAs, Opti-Greens 50, M-Factor Goddess, and more. I only use 1st Phorm products because I know that they are manufactured in a FDA-approved facility. I also personally know many of the 1st Phorm employees and KNOW, without a doubt, that there are no fillers or extras in the 1st Phorm products. I KNOW that they use only the top quality ingredients, too. I will be posting more information about each individual item I use, so you can learn and decide if it is something you want to try.

 

  • Where should I go to buy my supplements? There’s a GNC down the street and I know Walmart sells protein powder.
    • NO. Please don’t go to either of those places!!!! It may be cheaper, but that is because they are adding extra things (sometimes not even food) into their products to manufacture them cheaper! It would be better to not use supplements at all, than to use supplements from Walmart.
    • GNC’s employees are NOT certified nutritionists and their sales people make a commission! Personally, that would make me think that they don’t have MY best interest in mind. In addition, they have so many different brands. Do they really know how each product is manufactured and are they 100% confident that what the label says is 100% true. I’m not sure really, but I wouldn’t want to risk it either.
    • I recommend going online to www.1stphorm.com. They have tons and tons of information available on their products. They have bundle options, if you aren’t sure what to combine. If you still have questions, you can call 1st Phorm HQ. Anyone that answers the phone is a NASM certified trainer and nutritionist with a minimum of five years experience.
    • If you live in Missouri or Illinois, I would recommend going to a Supplement Superstore (S2). You can go to their website to find locations. www.supplementsuperstores.com . All of the S2 employees are NASM certified nutritionists and can help you come up with a meal plan, including which supplements to take. They have so much knowledge and are so helpful!!!

  • Why do you only use 1st Phorm products?
    • As I mentioned above, and simply stated, I trust 1st Phorm products. 1st Phorm uses only pure, top quality ingredients. They also manufacture their products in a FDA-approved SQF (Safe Quality Food) Level-3 Inspected Facility. Level 3 SQF Certification is a “Comprehensive Food Safety and Quality Management System.” Level 3 raises the bar by focusing on food quality, as well as safety.
    • Here’s a video from the 1st Phorm CEO, Andy Frisella, all about the 1st Phorm difference. The 1st Phorm Difference Video
    • 1st Phorm is a PHAMILY. We all support each other. It doesn’t matter what age you are, whether you have tattoos, the color of your skin, if you’re new to working out, or if you are a 1st Phorm sponsored athlete…we all support each other like family!

 

  • I take medication every day, can I still take supplements?
    • I am not a medical professional, so if you take any medications or have any health concerns, please contact your doctor before trying any supplements!

The Boarded Up Building that Changed My Life

I’m driving through downtown St. Louis City, alone, in my car. I’m thanking God that I have GPS because I really have no idea where this place is and everything is looking a little run down and sketchy out there. I pull up to a dilapidated area and my GPS tells me, “You have arrived”. There’s only a few cars and I don’t even see a sign for the Sunshine Ministries, which is where I am headed. So I park and look around and see a couple people walking into this church-looking, brick and stone building. The windows are boarded up and you have to ring a buzzer to get inside. Then I see a few people my age walking in and figured it must be the right place. I step outside of my car to the St. Louis winter cold. It’s freezing outside, but I am thankful that at least there is no snow. The day is December 20, 2004 and I am volunteering at the Sunshine Ministries Christmas Party.

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As I walked into the Sunshine Ministries building, the first thing I heard was the sound of kids laughing and yelling. They were so excited for a Christmas party. Surprisingly, most of the kids were from the surrounding neighborhood area and walked there by themselves!! They didn’t even have a parent bring them to check them in. As I signed in to the volunteer log, I was immediately partnered with a child. Her name was Angela, she was about six years old, and she had braids in her hair. She was a sweet girl. I remember her telling me that this was the first time she was going to get a present for Christmas!! It broke my heart, but at the same time she was such a kind-hearted and happy little girl, so I couldn’t show her how sad I felt for her on the inside.

The Christmas party was set up in different stations. Each volunteer was assigned a child to spend time with and rotate through all the stations. The place was amazing on the inside. They had a huge indoor play area and I remember they even had a loft of some sort for the kids to climb up into and play. There had to have been 40 – 50 kids at the Christmas party. Angela and I rotated through each station, all the while she was telling me some amazing and heartbreaking stories about her life. We started off at the indoor play area, then made a few crafts together, and then she got to pick out a Christmas gift. It truly was a Hallmark movie moment when she was told that she could pick out ANYTHING that she saw. The sparkle in her eye was enough to bring me to tears.

Angela ended up picking out an Easy Bake Oven. She was so excited to be able to make her own snacks for her and her brothers. I was so touched that she was able to pick out anything, but still she picked out an item that she could share with her brothers. Now, I don’t think the easy bake oven is really a BIG toy, as far as size goes, but I do remember that it was difficult for me to carry around Angela’s big, new Easy Bake Oven, her puffy winter coat, and the crafts she made earlier in the evening. I think I was even carrying Angela, too, at some point.

Anyway, we were on our way to the games station and came to a door. With my hands completely full, there was no way I could open the door. In swoops Matt, Mr. Prince Charming himself, to open the door for us and help me carry everything to the games area. I thanked Matt and as he went on his way, Angela and I started playing games. That was the only time Matt and I spoke at this event. We were both at the Sunshine Ministries Christmas party to spend time with these kids, not to meet other people. So, that was it.

But, was it really??

As the Christmas party was ending, I helped clean up and then……I left. I didn’t know any of the other volunteers there and I still was an unconfident, shy person at the time. Little did I know that God had different plans. A few days went by and Matt kept popping into my thoughts. It was so odd because I did not want to date anyone at the time. I mean, no one. I was working three jobs, raising two kids, not getting any child support, and trying to pay off my marital debt. There was no time to go out on dates.

Still, two days later I kept getting the feeling that I was missing an opportunity. So, I emailed the people at Sunshine Ministries and told them that I was looking for another volunteer named Matt. I asked them if they could give him my email address and have him contact me. A few minutes later, I open an email from Matt….

“You don’t make it easy for a guy when you leave right away.”

That was the first sentence in his email. So, I guess he was interested in me?!?! Then, I started thinking…maybe he thinks I’m someone else??! I also wanted full disclosure, so I sent him this response….

“Just wanted to let you know that I’m divorced and have two kids.”

Ha. How’s that for a pick up line? Thankfully, it didn’t run him off. Matt and I ended up going last minute Christmas shopping on December 23, 2004 for our first date. He even brought me a gift. It wasn’t until weeks later that I learned our first date was on HIS birthday.

When I first started dating Matt, the thing that drew me close to him (besides his handsome good looks and sarcastic sense of humor), was the way he cares about others. He is the most selfless person I know and it inspired me to want to be a better person, too. Matt makes so many sacrifices for our family, he is always the first one to step up and help someone else, and he does all of this without accepting any praise or recognition. I look at who I was then, and who I have become as a person now, and I know that Matt has been the biggest influence, motivation, and inspiration in my life. He makes me want to push myself beyond my limits. He shows me through his hard work and dedication, that we can do anything.

Looking back is always 20/20. Who would’ve thought that as I was walking into Sunshine Ministries to make a difference in someone else’s life, I would meet the person who would change my life the most.

Matt Evans, YOU INSPIRE ME.

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Today, I want to encourage all of you to make the time to tell someone you know, what a difference they have made in your life. How have they inspired YOU? How have they motivated YOU? Post it on social media with the hashtag #youinspireme so we can all read them.

THE REAL (4)

Links:

Matt’s Instagram

Sunshine Ministries Website

12 Week Transformation Photos

So I’m closing my eyes as I hit “publish” on this post.

Never, in a million years, would I think I’d be posting photos of me in a bikini on the internet!!!!!! But, I’ve worked hard and I am proud of my progress. I just have to stop worrying about what other people think, but it’s ingrained in our minds to be so worried about our body image. Throughout this entire process I have found that the toughest battle has been mentally.

I grew up eating all sorts of horrible and unhealthy foods. In high school, I would drink 8-10 sodas a day, have a soft pretzel at lunch, and usually fast food for dinner! I don’t think I drank a single glass of plain water for years. Thankfully, I had a crazy high metabolism at that time and it didn’t really affect my weight, but I certainly was not healthy. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that my metabolism started slowing down more and I gradually started putting on some weight. I wasn’t necessarily unhappy with my body because I worked out regularly and started to make better food choices. Then, when I was about 35 and I knew I was finished having babies, I decided that I was ready to really get rid of some of the body fluff. It was time to step it up a notch. I wanted to work hard, set a goal, and do whatever it took to reach that goal.

I began talking to friends and family and next thing I knew, I was hearing similar responses from everyone.

“You look good for your age.”

“You look great for having four kids.”

“You should be happy with your body.”

“We’re just getting older, that’s what happens.”

“I wish my body looked like yours.”

I appreciated these responses, and I know that all my friends and family meant well, so I just kind of accepted them. Fast forward to me at age 40. I decided that I didn’t like that I was just supposed to accept it and give up. The more I thought about it, the more I knew that I could work harder and get to where I really wanted to be. It wasn’t that I was unhappy with my body, but that I knew I could do something to make it better!

I had been working with a trainer, Jamie Speiser at Precision Fitness & Spa, off and on for a couple years. After lots of thought, I decided that I was going to do the bikini competition at the PINK Musclefest on Oct 14, 2017. There, it was decided. This was going to be my set goal, and I was ready to do whatever it takes to get there.

Fast forward through twelve weeks, and let me tell you, it was NOT an easy twelve weeks! There was meal planning, meal prepping, weighing out all my food, specific workouts to do on my own, plus working out WITH my trainer twice a week (and I basically felt like I couldn’t walk after leg day with my trainer). SO much to talk about, but I’ll get into some of those details on a different post. Anyway, twelve weeks later and I have my “official” transformation photos (or Transphormation photos, as we at 1st Phorm like to call it.)

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The progress photos that I’m posting have a time difference of almost 12 weeks between them. While you may not be able to see too much of a difference, I can see (and feel) a huge difference! Not only does my body look different on the outside, but it feels a thousand times better on the inside!! You can really tell in my photos that I was extremely bloated in my “before” photo. Just like all the motivational quotes say, abs are made in the kitchen. Getting in shape does not mean just working out. It means eating healthier, drinking LOTS of water every day, using vitamin supplements to max out the nutrition your body needs and can’t always get from just eating food, and also working out and being active on a regular basis. I’m still amazed every day how God created our bodies as such a perfectly built machine. When it gets what it needs, it become stronger, more efficient, more productive, and you even get more energy!!

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I’m only three weeks out from my competition now. This is really the crunch time, or so I’ve been told! It’s been interesting to see how my body has changed these last twelve weeks and I’m excited to see what the next three weeks will hold.

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THE REAL (4)

 

WHAT am I doing entering a bikini competition at the age of 41?!?

I think to myself, “I’m a forty-one year old mother of four kids, WHAT am I doing entering a bikini bodybuilding competition?”. That thought only lasts for a few minutes, then I remind myself that I’m doing it for me. I’m doing it to challenge myself, push my body to it’s farthest potential, and honoring the strong, healthy body that God gave me. I’m doing it for my husband and kids. I want them to see my hard work, dedication, commitment, sacrifice, and success. But most importantly, I am doing it for every mom out there who thinks they don’t have time to take care of themselves.

As a mom, we constantly put our needs, passions and desires to the back burner. I’m no different. I recently entered my first-ever bodybuilding competition, the NPC Pink Musclefest, and that doesn’t make those guilty feelings just stop. I still have those recurring thoughts of, “I don’t have time for this.”, “Am I taking too much time away from my family?”, “I don’t even want to walk on a stage in a bikini and heels.”, and “Will everyone think I am shallow and completely vain?”. Then a friend of mine reminded me, “You’ve never backed away from a challenge.”. So, yes, I AM doing this and I’m not going to allow those negative thoughts to keep me from being the best me. I’m not going to let my fears stop me, because I am stronger than my fears and doubts.

Why?

Because working out and making sure I have some “me” time makes me a better wife, mom, and friend. Because I want to prove to myself (and everyone else) that I can do it. I know that if I can do it, then you can do it, too!

THE REAL (4)

I hope you will join me on my journey to NPC Pink Musclefest. I have been training for twelve weeks already and will be hitting the stage on October 14, 2017. That’s less than FOUR WEEKS away! I can’t wait to share my fears, struggles, and successes with you. I will tell you all the tips and shortcuts I have learned about healthy eating, the amazing supplement company that helps me get through my super-crazy, busy life, and some of the most inspiring people I have met along the way.

My First Vlog !

Hi there! I am hoping to inspire and motivate women of all ages, in all stages of life! Please watch my first video below to get just a glimpse of some of the topics I may be covering in my future posts. Thank you!

#1stphormathletesearch #bethe1 #therealchristee #iam1stphorm

THE REAL (4)