Discover more from The Well Writer
The Octopus gets great mileage (sometimes...)
I'm continuing my exploration of weight, wellness, and what it all means by taking a look at individuality and the need to experiment
I'm continuing my exploration of weight, wellness, and what it all means by taking a look at individuality and the need to experiment.
First, a request: If you feel that this exploration would be unhealthy for you, please practice good boundaries and unsubscribe or stop reading. I know for many of us, and this certainly includes past-me, ANY conversation around weight can be triggering and upsetting. I don't want to cause problems for you, and would much prefer that you unsubscribe than find yourself in an unhealthy place because of something that I've written.
Here's what I've covered already in the series if you want to catch up:
The Octopus wonders about weight… (introducing the series)
Body.Work: Deficiency and Congestion (thoughts on the flow of nutrients)
The Octopus sees nothing but knows all (calories aren’t real for your body)
The Octopus eats more than 400 calories (you’re allowed to eat until you’re full)
The Octopus can’t get no satisfaction (how to feel full and satisfied)
The Octopus eats a meal (what makes up a meal?)
The Octopus is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
This is a quick newsletter today, since my massage class has shifted to studying the muscles of the jaw and chewing. I’m attempting to get myself up to speed on the sphenoid bone, a small bone shaped like a moth with outspread wings and located inside the face behind the nose. Right now, it’s completely new and unfamiliar, but I’m working hard to get accustomed to it. Preferably before our test this week…
Having spent the last month and a half looking at different aspects of weight and how we eat, let’s step back a little bit.
On car ads, whenever they give specific numbers for fuel efficiency, there’s also a disclaimer: your mileage may vary. Meaning, it’s possible to get this many miles to the gallon, but there are a lot of variables that go into it, and it might be that you’re not able to reach this particular number.
That’s also true when we talk about health and wellness, and weight, and healthy eating, and mindset, and biology. Your mileage may vary. In fact, your mileage WILL vary. Because your body is completely different from everyone else’s. It’s one of the reasons that no one can proclaim that any particular way of eating is right for everyone. There might be some common features—like eating plenty of fruits and vegetables—but no universals. Fruits and vegetables are great, unless you have a difficulty digesting fructose, or can’t tolerate much fiber, or any one of the other numerous reasons that “eat plenty of fruits and vegetables” might not be the right advice for everyone.
The way that we deal with this variability is by experimenting. A few weeks ago, I suggested eating more protein as a way to feel satisfied by your meals. I even suggested a specific amount. How do you know if eating more protein works for you? How do you know how much is the right amount? By experimenting. Try it out and see what happens. Keep track of your results. Pay attention to how you feel.
This is one of the reasons that journaling and keeping a food diary can be extremely helpful. Knowing what you actually ate, and how you actually felt, are incredibly powerful aids to wellness. It helps us remain grounded in reality, instead of endlessly circling around what “everybody says” and what we’re “supposed” to be doing.
So, as we get deeper and deeper into our explorations of “weight, wellness, and what it all means,” remember that what I say, what works for me, and what other people are doing… none of these things really matter. What matters is what’s true for you. And you can only discover that for yourself through experimenting and paying attention to what happens.
(Normally, this would be the place where I point out that the process of experimentation can be helped along by working with me on a one-on-one basis. Which is true, but because of my somewhat insane venture into massage school, I’m not taking on any new clients right now. My process of working with clients involves a very deep dive into all aspects of their lives to figure out how we can work together to help them feel better—something that I can’t devote the time to right now. However, I WILL be taking on new clients in the winter, somewhere around the end of January or beginning of February. If you’ve been considering working with me, just hold on—as impossible as it is for me to believe right now, winter will be here before we know it!)
Has a friend forwarded this newsletter to you? Here’s where you can subscribe.