I am sorry for Amy.

Amy Glass wrote this recent post and has gained some attention for it.  Feel free to read her post then come back here.

This post was upsetting to me (not enough to act like a dumbass and send her death threats like some parents did), and it wasn’t upsetting for the reasons you may think.

I have been a father for almost 11 years.  In that time, I have juggled school, up to 3 jobs at once, relationships (and being responsible with them when it came to my daughter), and I have done my best to be a great parent. In the past year, I have also married a wonderful woman and I do my best to be a good husband as well.

It IS easy to marry someone and have a baby.  I agree with Amy that any idiot can do that and, unfortunately, many idiots out there think that is ALL they need to do is find someone (and whether or not they want to be married) have a baby.  What Amy fails to understand is how hard it can be to be a good parent AND how hard it is to make a marriage successful.

Both parenting and espousing (it is a word-look it up) takes both time and effort. I can’t go for happy hour when my daughter Olivia is waiting at home because she deserves my attention (helping her with homework and chatting while my wife and I make supper).  I can’t do that, but I wouldn’t want to.  Call it networking or just happy hour…I wouldn’t want happy hour to be a focus of my week. On a similar note, coming home to my wife (or going to the gym with her and Olivia) is the highlight of my day. Even though I am a little too talkative for the both of them as they’re decompressing from their day, I still enjoy seeing them right away. Going to happy hour just throws that off. Maybe Amy just hasn’t found that kind of person to be with. With her negativity, I imagine it is difficult.

I can’t go backpacking in Asia…not because I am married with a child, but because I don’t want to.  I have better things to spend my money on.  Maybe the Asia trip would be a retirement thing. Either way, it isn’t anything to brag about…whatever we do, someone is always doing something they feel is more awesome.

As far as Amy’s job reference and saying a woman doesn’t have time to further her career, I would say that thinking outside of the box doesn’t always lead to a promotion either, though that seems to be Amy’s recipe for success.  Often times, thinking outside of the box in the hope you’ll be promoted just leaves you feeling…well, like an outsider.

I also feel that life is more about experiences with people than it is about promotions or extravagant trips.  Amy may never understand that and that is sad.  I loved seeing my Olivia and nieces, and nephews walk, lose teeth, and have super complicated conversations about Santa Claus.  I wouldn’t trade those moments for any promotion.

Speaking of promotions, I seem to have beaten Amy’s odds.  I have gotten promotions while being a father.  I have also lost two jobs and quit a third.  After leaving radio, it took quite some time to find my second skill set.  It just so happened that my current employer hired me and showed me that skill set. I never even knew I had it.

I did all of this while managing a household.  Amy seems to think men don’t care about “stupid things” like that, but she’s wrong.  I take great pride in cooking good meals, in doing laundry well and ironing every morning, I take pride in a clean home (though my wife is cleaner than I am) and I take pride in being a good father and helping raise Olivia to be a good person.  Its too bad Amy will look down on the lives of people like mine.  It means she’ll likely live an incredibly emotionally unfulfilling life…probably backpacking through Asia with her boss so she can get that next big promotion and work more.

My daughter will not grow up to be someone like Amy Glass and I like to think good parenting had something to do with it.  Whether it was the good meals, the life lessons she learns, or because she learned to accept people for who they are and to see how interactions can change the outcome of a situation, my daughter is a better person than any child Amy Glass could ever raise.

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Supplement Review Round 2: 360Cut

I’ll be the first to admit, when I saw 360Cut was a supplement company based right here in Minnesota, I was a little skeptical about how good their premium-priced products could be…but after trying 360Cut products, I can honestly say these are worth every penny.  I tried the preworkout drink (360Pre), the recovery shake (360Post), the fat burner (360Lean), and the sleep formula (360Dreams).

Since I got the product after an evening at the gym, I thought I’d start with 360Dreams, the formula that supports restorative sleep and relaxation.  I have restless leg syndrome and take GABA to help me sleep, so I thought 360Dreams could possibly do the same thing.  Needless to say, I was surprised when it gave me the best sleep I’ve had in years.  The 360Dreams formula is solid: 5-HTP, GABA, Valerian Root, Picamilon (a niacin/GABA combo), L-Theanine and phenibut (another derivative of GABA).  Within 15 minutes of taking it, I was drifting off to sleep and I slept the whole night through.  I’d been used to waking up several times a night with leg pain, so it was definitely a surprise when I could sleep through the night.  It also didn’t make me wake up in a stupor either.  I simply woke up refreshed, feeling like I’d slept like normal people should sleep.  360Dreams is an outstanding sleep aid with no addictive ingredients.

I got up the next day and was ready to hit the gym again, so I moved on to the preworkout (360Pre).  I expected one of two results (fizzled workout or bad taste) since I hadn’t heard of 360Cut before, but what I got far surpassed my expectations.  I had the watermelon flavor and was surprised at how great it tasted.  It was a dead on “watermelon gum” flavor with no tang, no bitterness, and no odd aftertaste.  I cannot say enough about how great this tasted.  It mixed well too.  A few shakes with my shaker cup and it was ready to go.  I blew through leg and back day at the gym and had enough energy left over to do extra cardio.  It’s loaded with amino acids, magnesium, beta vulgaris root (which helps improve endurance my increasing blood circulation), creatine, caffeine, glucoronolactone (a naturally occurring compound from muscle tissue that can help improve endurance and alertness), and an extract of the king of herbs, Oxytropis, which has anti-inflammatory effects and pain fighting properties. 360Pre is the preworkout I’ve been waiting for and it’s definitely worth a try for anyone looking for a great tasting and performing preworkout.

360Cut’s recovery shake, 360Post is also a good product.  I had the chocolate flavor and mixed it with both water (day 1) and milk (day 2) and it mixed up right away without chunking.  With water, it is a little more of a bitter cocoa taste than with milk, but it makes a great smoothie with the milk, some banana and some Old Home peanut butter.  It’s gluten free too…don’t let “buckwheat protein” scare you.  Buckwheat is gluten free and is actually not wheat, it’s the “cousin” of rhubarb.  It’s made of Waxy Maize, whey protein, egg white protein, and the buckwheat protein and also some medium chain triglycerides which help promote lean muscle mass.  It’s a great recovery shake that promotes long term protein absorption.

Their fat-burner 360Lean is also a powerhouse.  I am used to taking the normal full dose with these things, and I can honestly say, the “full” 2 pill dose, twice a day with this one was definitely pushing it for me.  When it comes to fat burning, this is NOT your typical no-doz or green tea pill.  It’s got glucuronolactone, sulbutiamine (for energy and focus), caffeine, theobromine which helps decrease appetite, white willow bark extract (anti-inflammatory and pain reducer), 7-Keto (metabolism and thyroid stumilation). cayenne pepper (natural thermogenic that also helps with digestion), bioperine (concentrated form of black pepper extract), yohimbine (for blood flow), and toothed clubmoss herb extract (improves memory and concentration).  Holy cow is this THE fat-burner to try.  I’ve taken it for four days now and I can honestly say it works well.  Not only is my appetite decreased (no snacking), I’m also able to concentrate better at work and I’ve cut out energy drinks as a result.  It’s good stuff.

360Cut is located in Eden Prairie, MN which is nice to see from my perspective, and you can find their products on Bodybuilding.com and here.  Their advisory board is made up of some pretty well-known (in the fitness industries) people too, which means the taste and formulas will always be solid.  Check them out today.

Sean

Supplement Review Round 2- MRI

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MRI has hit the market with a new Athlete Competitive Series and it’s some great stuff.  For the review, I checked out MRI-Surge Pre-Training Formula, Beta Charge (a stimulant free pre-training formula), and Immune Fit, an immune boosting drink mix.  This series prides itself on overall performance and the drive to constantly improve yourself, which is no surprise, considering the power this lineup is packing.

I started with the Beta Charge pre-training formula because I hadn’t had any luck with stimulant free preworkout drinks in the past.  Beta Charge has changed my perspective by providing a pre-training formula that allows the user to train hard at the gym and power through workouts without stimulants, so it’s even perfect for a late night workout.  It’s got over 3g of beta-alanine and a leucine/valine blend that buffers muscle fatigue, aids in a longer/harder workout, and has a great flavor.  It’s even gluten free and mixes well.

A few days later, I tried the Surge Pre-Training formula.  The formula is not only packed with vitamins, it’s also loaded with a great Nitrous Oxide boosting complex made up of 4 types of arginine, it has beta-alanine and citrulline malate, glutamine, taurine, and a bunch of other workout boosting ingredients and a little caffeine to boot.  I took my usual double dose (not recommended for beginners) and blasted through an intense full body, 1.5 hour workout.  The flavor was great (no bitterness and flavors taste natural and not too sweet) and easy to drink, and I’d recommend this for anyone looking to boost their performance and surpass their goals in the gym.

Immune Fit is made up of yeast beta-glucan..it’s almost flavorless, gluten-free, and is a superb immune boosting supplement.  It has been shown to alleviate rhinitus symptoms (stuffy nose), it’s been shown to help lower cholesterol, and it can even aid in recovery.  I like adding this to smoothies in the AM and after workouts because it doesn’t change the smoothie flavor and it blends well.  Yeast beta-glucan is a perfect addition to any healthy athlete’s regimen.

MRI has a few other products in this lineup that I haven’t tried, but I hope to add them to my product lineup in the future.  All in all, MRI has an impressive new lineup here and you should definitely check it out.

Sean

Supplement Reviews Round 2- TwinLab CleanSeries

I pride myself on being picky when it comes to my supplements.  Not only do I like a good taste and mixability with and powder product, I also like them to deliver on the promises they make.  While the TwinLab CleanSeries products didn’t really taste like the flavors they say they are, they were both good flavored, and they certainly delivered on performance.

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To start, I tried the CleanSeries Pre-Workout Activator.  It’s called CleanSeries because it’s GMO-free and also free of “banned substances”, which means it has been tested for banned substances by the world class sports anti-doping lab, HFL Sport Science. Athletes choosing to use supplements can use products like these that have been through this rigorous certification process.  The natural citrus flavor may be a bit tart for those that are just getting started on pre-workout drinks, so mix it with a splash of OJ and some water until you get used to it.  Since I’m a seasoned pre-workout drinker, I took my usual double dose (1/2 to start and then the other 1/2 midway through) and blasted through an intense workout.  With a combo of ginko, ginseng, rhodiola, lo han guo (a low glycemic fruit extract used as a sweetener), a carb “energy matrix” blend that includes waxy maize, beta alanine, and a good vitamin blend, I can honestly say this product works effectively.

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After my workout, I followed up (as everyone should) with whey protein.  The TwinLab CleanSeries Vanilla Whey Protein doesn’t really taste like vanilla (it tastes more like almond), but it’s still a good taste.  It mixes well with both milk and water and it’s a good blend over all.  Like the pre-workout, it’s also gluten free/GMO-free, and free of banned substances, and it packs 23g of protein per serving with no fat, a good amino acid blend, and only 2g sugar.  I mixed one with water on the first day and mixed one with a banana and milk on the second day.  The milk and banana add to the creamy texture and I was surprised at how easily it blended.

I admire TwinLab for what they’re doing with this line of products and I would recommend the CleanSeries products for any athlete looking for a clean boost in performance and results.  You can go here for more info or to order.

Sean

From the fire, back to the fire

Avelyn wrote again:

So I wanted to thank you for your advice! I also wanted to tell you about the new things that have happened and was curious about what you think about it.  So a week ago my ex that I told you about messaged the guy that I am seeing now (because they are acquaintances and kind of friends) and told him “Next time you talk to Avelyn, tell her I have her stuff she can come pick up” and I got mad because I didnt want my new guy to get in the middle of everything and so I txted my ex and told him if he had something to tell me, to tell me and not the new guy.  I went to my ex’s house to grab my stuff, and he walked it out to me and handed it to me and so I told him thanks and then he just sort of stood there and stared at me for a bit and I said “what?” and he said “nothing, have a good night” and so I drove away.
Then he txted me a few nights later and asked me if I wanted to get a drink after work and I messaged him back and said “No I dont, and I dont appreciate you txting me so please dont do it again, thanks”….he just broke up with his girlfriend a week before he told my new guy to tell me to get my stuff…and he is aware that I am seeing the new guy…what do you think is the reasoning for all the sudden messages and contact?
Any advice is appreciated!

Avelyn

 

Avelyn,

I really wish you would have told me that these guys are “kind of friends” in your first email.  Knowing that piece of info, I would have recommended staying away from BOTH of them.  This will only end badly.

To answer your email above, you shouldn’t have texted your ex.  He’s hooking you back in and you’re falling for it.  By responding, you’re showing him he can still communicate with you and what you SHOULD be doing is blocking his calls, deleting his number, and getting a restraining order if necessary.  He is trying to hook you back in (just like abusive people do) because he wants to make sure he can still control you.  He may play nice, he may try to tell you things like “the other girl and I didn’t work because she wasn’t you”, or “I can’t live without you”, or “It kills me that I can’t be with you” (notice these statements all revolve around him and his needs and don’t really take your feelings into consideration).

Showing up to get your stuff was perhaps the worst thing you could have done.  You fed his ego, so be prepared for his communication efforts to increase and just ignore them.  Tell your new guy that this is going on too, so he knows you’re being honest about things.  If the ex calls about any more “stuff” that is around, forget it.  If you didn’t take something when you left, it’s never worth going back for.  Whatever’s gone with the ex is simply gone for good.

Personally, I’d leave both of these guys.  Knowing they’re friends, I see the possibility of running into your ex in social situations and that’s never a good thing in abusive relationships.  You need to be out and clear of both of these people, no matter how “good” the new guy may be.  If the new guy know what your ex did, he shouldn’t even be friends with your ex anyway.

 

Sean

Round 2

Just a heads up, I had overwhelming reader feedback regarding my supplement reviews so I’ll be doing a second round of reviews soon.

I’m also working on a few more posts and should have them up in a few days.

Sean

From the fire to the pan.

Avelyn wrote:
Hi Sean,
So my situation is seemingly complicated…so I hope you’re ready to pick my brain!  About 6 months ago my ex and I finally ended things for good, resulting in no contact, which is for the better.  Things between us had gotten extremely bad to the point where he would constantly lie to me no matter how big or small the lie was, which was irritating…and he would constantly drink and get very mean to me when he was drunk, one time even telling me that I was worthless…wow.  Even though he would always apologize, he would get drunk again and tell me that he only ever apologizes because he knows its exactly what I want to hear.  He would also tell me that he knows I will always be around, even when I would tell him I was going to leave, he’d tell me that I would walk way for about 5 minutes and then come right back.  Overall, not a good relationship…and he was the first person I had fallen in love with so ending it officially was a pretty big deal.    But now I have found someone new! The new guy is the complete opposite of my ex, he is sweet and caring and appreciates me…which is weird for me because I am not used to it.  I find it hard to take his compliments, and im not sure if its because I am not used to hearing them.  The biggest issue I have found that is making complications is whenever my new guy tells me he’s at home or whenever he makes promises, I find it hard to believe him, even though I have absolutely no reason not to.  He has always been truthful with me….but yet im nervous he is lying or will lie.  With my ex the way our relationship went was we were on and off a lot and he would pull me in but then he would always end up telling me that “we just had to be friends and if i wasnt able to handle it then we couldnt talk” but then he would pull me in again and it ended up sucking me into this vicious cycle that lasted for more than a year.  I can tell this new guy is good and not like my ex but whenever the new guy makes a promise to me about anything, I go into panic mode and overthink everything.  I don’t want to push this guy away….I dont know why I am acting like this, any suggestions?  I want to be able to enjoy this new relationship and not be so worried about everything, especially when I dont know what is causing all my worries.  Any suggestions on why I am acting like this? or how to fix it?
Any ideas or suggestions just so I can get a feel on why i’m always freaking out would be helpful!
Thanks,
Avelyn
Avelyn,
This ex sounds like a textbook “abusive ex”.  The vicious cycle, the not letting go, the “mean when drunk” aspects, the lying, and the emotionally abusive attitude are all indicators of an abusive person.
I would first like to applaud your ability to leave and cut off communication.  Things like this are not ever easy to endure..let alone to end.
Secondly, you’re likely feeling the way you do about the new guy because you’re afraid of letting your guard down and being hurt and you’re scared of being vulnerable at a time when you have just started feeling good about a relationship.  I had it happen to me once.  I got out of an awful relationship early in my college years and completely destroyed the next relationship I was in with insecurity and a lack of trust.  As a result of the past drama, your brain is (as you said) in “panic mode” and  you over think things to prepare you for any sort of disappointment your brain perceives may exist…and nine times out of ten, there is NO ACTUAL looming disappointment or issue…but if there were, you need to examine yourself to determine if you’re okay dealing with heartache AND if you’d be okay being on your own for awhile (I mean like 6 months or more).  If you answer “no” to either (or both) of those, you should not be in a relationship because you aren’t ready for one.
I hate when people say “I’m independent” and mean the wrong thing, but stick with me as I explain my last sentence in the paragraph above this one.  When some people say “I’m independent”, they mean they like being alone.  That’s not independent, that’s antisocial.  “Independent” is the ability to be okay on your own (not a need to be on your own).  You need to be truly okay with being on your own in order to be successful in a relationship. Not only that, but you should be able to know that any doors with negative people in your life can close and remain closed.  THAT is being independent.
You may be feeling the lack of trust and the panic because you haven’t established that inner strength yet.  If this thing with the guy has been established as a committed relationship (you talked and both agree you’re boyfriend and girlfriend), then you need to communicate with him and let him know what you’re feeling and then get some psychological help (therapist) to work through the issues.  Many people don’t escape abusive relationships without a few issues to work through and that is okay.  Just make sure you work through them.
If it’s not a relationship, I’d recommend taking a break to work on yourself before taking things to a more serious level.
I hope this helps.
Sean