Author: adam

The Next Iteration

The Next Iteration

Today I am beginning a 6-week temporary diet to lose 20-30 pounds. It’s called the HCG diet and it is not without controversy. But I’m doing it under the supervision of a medical doctor who is certified by the American Board of Obesity Medicine. She specializes in non-surgical weight loss and management.

I’m spending today and tomorrow loading up on fat so that for the next 6 weeks I will be on a diet restricted to 750 calories a day. This is an extreme deficit. The other part is that I am to inject myself with a hormone (HCG) which is supposed to assist with satiety and the use of fat stores over muscle.

I am more than anything looking forward to the strict regiment so I can turn off reasoning about food and just ‘stick to the plan.’ I also like the idea of a strict 6 weeks and then returning to a healthy but sustainable daily caloric intake. If it goes well I may lose up to 30 pounds in the 6 weeks. This would be the lowest weight I’ve been in I don’t know how long and I predict will come with a big quality of life improvement.

With success I could return to another cycle of the HCG diet in a few months. This is the plan for now. I am going to work harder than I ever have to make it work. But should I plateau after a cycle or two I will move on to something else that will keep the numbers moving in the right direction. Rather than as I would in the past simply give up. This is the difference.

Begin again.

Adam Gutierrez
454 lbs
Thunder Pounds

The Stack

The Stack

What I struggle with is bootstrapping a truly Minimum – MVP. I want to spend time learning back end frameworks and follow all mobile best practices. But that is going to take way too long to see results. And it’s far too distracting from all the really important work I need to do like interviewing customers and experimenting on the basic theory.

So instead of diving into node, I’m going to try to coerce firebase and urban airship to get the push notification function I need with just some basic analytics gathering from an ugly iOS app. That really only serves to receive push notifications.

So my MVP stack:
– iOS (client)
– Firebase (server and database)
– Urban Airship (push notification server)

For the first batch of tests I’m going to manually be taking survey results and loading them in to the urban airship system.

Adam Gutierrez
451 lbs.
Thunder Pounds

Initial Plan / Hypothesis

Initial Plan / Hypothesis

I need to talk to more potential customers. But in auditing my own experience what really helps me succeed is social reinforcement and encouragement.

Another memory from wrestling. Sorry. I was the only heavyweight on my team which meant I was by far the slowest runner on the team. When I was on my last track lap almost all of the team was already done. When I was struggling my teammates would run out to run with me through my last stretch. This is basically what it felt like:

via GIPHY

Needless to say I always finished strong with my team running behind me.

Additionally meeting and marrying my wife has provided motivation that I haven’t felt in a long time. And part of that is just having someone who keeps me accountable and expresses concerns about my lack of progress.

I think the most effective part of my wife’s help is just her being around and helping me be mindful about what I eat.

For me there’s just something about knowing someone is watching. I wish I had the discipline to do it on my own but I clearly don’t. And I need to accept that if I want to make progress.

I know I’m extremely lucky to share my life with my wife who cares about me so much. And I know there are more people who care about me but just don’t feel comfortable saying how concerned they are.

So here’s the initial hypothesis: I’m going to find a form system to send out surveys to close friends and family. I’ll let them respond anonymously. Then use the responses to inform and encourage me via a mobile app.

The over arching hypothesis is that we’re not addressing the emotional support component of weight loss and management.

Adam Gutierrez
Weight: 452.5 lbs
BMI: 63.1
Thunder Pounds

Today I fight.

Today I fight.

I’m sitting here with half a dozen donuts, 1 sausage roll and 2 Monster Punch Baller’s blend (my favorite energy drink) in front of me. I already ate 2 sausage rolls and 1 breakfast burrito from a local gas station. My stomach is rumbling.

Donut place sausage rolls have given me stomach troubles since I was a kid. I have a vivd memory of eating a sausage roll in a school bus on the way to a High School wrestling tournament. My Dad bought donuts and sausage rolls for the team sometimes before a tournament. Wrestling tournaments were always long days. He was always one of the few parents willing to be there with me and my team at 5 am on a Saturday and not leave until midnight. He would follow the bus both ways. Most parents dropped off their kids and sped off into the dusk. A few would show up at the tournament and watch their kids. Some parents we never saw. But my Dad was always there for me. Always in my corner. Always rooting for me.

And now he’s gone. He passed away last year from the ravages of diabetes. A pre-mature death that could have been avoided if he was better able to control his diet. My Dad was never fat. Only barely overweight at times. But diabetes from his genetic disposition and a stubborn palette kept him from addressing his health problems. The complications and long term treatments slowly killed him but were not the direct causes of his death.

Around the age of 8, I out grew him and we had to stop wrestling each other when he warned me that I was hurting him. My favorite pro wrestling move was called the splash. It involved me running and jumping directly on top of him. No more wrestling with Dad. A few years later I emerged as a dominant regional heavyweight wrestler after 2 introductory years of repeatedly getting my ass kicked. Two years of hard work and loss that I would have never endured without my Dad being there for me.

I didn’t understand this at the time but since I stopped wrestling I have always been looking for my next fight. I thought it was in MMA. I thought it was it was in law enforcement. I tried to find it again on a college wrestling mat. I thought it was in another city. I thought it was on an surfboard. I thought it was on an improv stage. And there were times when I didn’t look at all. Happy to indulge in the distractions of drugs, drinking and chasing after girls. I used early years of discipline and restraint as justification for a more exploratory style of leisure. For those 2 decades I ignored the fight that had come to me long ago when I was a child. Some combination of genetics and emotional function had turned me into a food addict. And it’s been kicking my ass.

Ever since I lost the discipline and the physicality of my high school wrestling practice I have been losing the fight I should have been focusing on all along.

So why knowing this now am I sitting here about to shove this hand grenade of sugar and fat into my body? My favorite childhood cartoon (G.I. Joe) always ended their PSAs with ‘knowing is half the battle.’ But what they didn’t say is knowing is ONLY half the battle. And I venture to think it’s not even half. Maybe 10-15% at best. Doing is the thing. And doing is the fighting I should have been doing all along. Instead of just knowing. Instead of just knowing the latest workout routine, the latest diet trend or diet supplement.

I have been eating emotionally for as long as I remember. I vividly recall being bored as a child during lazy summers and running to the cabinet to find a salty or sweet snack. I remember almost 10 years ago when I first experience severe Seasonal Affective Depression in Chicago and destructive eating really got on top of me. The past few years I have done better. There’s been times of focus and progress. And I’m happy to say that I’m not as heavy now as I was 4 or 5 years ago. But I’m not healthy. And I still have episodes of senseless, destructive eating.

When I originally decided to go procure this cachet of poison passing for food, I told myself it was because I should have one more experience to be able to document what it’s like with a session of destructive eating. But if I’m being at all self-aware it was just a junkie’s excuse to get one more hit.

So now. Right now I’m throwing this garbage food away. Because I’m done ignoring or taking lightly the problem that plagues me and so many others. And on some other day I may eat destructively again. I may miss a workout. I may eat an unhealthy meal. I may have more drinks than I should. But today I begin again.

Today I fight.

And today I’m starting Thunder Pounds to solve the messy, hard, emotional part of major weight loss. I don’t know what specifically Thunder Pounds is yet. But it’s starting as a journal of war. And from this journal I intend to build out the tools, weapons and strategies necessary for myself and others to win.

To those reading that are not personally affected by destructive eating, though I make no apologies, I do hope you will excuse my dramatic tone. This is literally a matter of life and death for me and many others. I also hope that you will take the seriousness of the cause to heart as it no doubt affects someone you care about. You will be needed as an ally.

Adam Gutierrez
Weight: 452 lbs.
BMI: unknown
Thunder Pounds