The Writer’s Well Episode 186: How do you not overdo a good thing?

J. is up this week with a health-themed question about mental health and addiction. What happens when you get too much of the good stuff?

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26 thoughts on “The Writer’s Well Episode 186: How do you not overdo a good thing?”

  1. Morning guys. Good question this week. I like what J said. But there is nothing wrong with most things; even sugar has a place. For example if one was running a marathon or other long distance event one might reach the stage where one needs short term energy. Typically runners use high sugar gels for this; or Jelly Babies which are less messy.
    Also one could probably not run a marathon on a low carb diet because one needs to train one’s body to convert the stored energy carbs give us during long training runs and one will need this energy conversion ability while running the marathon.
    The phrase is everything in moderation.
    Great show.

    1. Thanks! Not sure I entirely agree with you. There was a time when there was nothing wrong with “a little bit of cocaine” to boost energy. Or “a little bit of meth” to help soldiers fight in World War 2. I believe there will come a time when processed sugar will be in this category. That being said, carbs from natural sources (like broccoli) are just as useful to the body as carbs derived from sugars. I do agree that a keto/low-carb diet can be problematic for runners but pasta and sugar gels aren’t the only (or best, IMHO) source. Currently, 55% carbs is the recommended diet distribution for runners and if you track them you’d be surprised how many you get from natural fruits and vegetables.

  2. Overdoing “good” things is resiliency dependent for me, because it is never about the ‘thing’ it is about whether my physical/mental/stress base-line can handle strong emotions in a moment (or week, or month, or 2020). When they can’t I want all the things. When they can, I don’t even think about or want the things. Will-power (for me) is no match for a life-time of deeply ingrained maladaptive coping mechanisms, especially when they served a real purpose as a kid for survival – even though you now can protect yourself in healthier ways. Sigh. Work in Progress.

  3. hmmm… there are a lot of addicts in my family, and science says things like that might be genetic so I am always hyper aware of my consumption. So for something like a glass of wine at the end of the day; one is nice, three not so good. I can just hide it from myself like Rachael with her chocolate. OR not buy more.
    Sugar? No problem with it. I have always been the person who would rather order a starter than a dessert.
    For those bad/good habits like social media – my kitchen timer gets a workout. Assuming I remember to press the start button 🙂

  4. Hello, good health question
    I think my definition of a good thing is something that lifts my spirit without any chemical side effects or stress on my body. Hum, maybe that sounds boring or angelic, I may be boring but no way am I angelic 🙂
    However, that doesn’t means to say I don’t do the bad things sometimes.
    I guess I’m lucky I do not become addicted to anything, I do binge sometimes and then realise the effect it is having and I stop.
    I don’t like feeling my body is not in my control so alcohol, drugs etc are not a favorite. Although I do love the flavour of many drinks, so I water them down- I know its cringeworthy.

    I guess my answer is ‘I listen to my body’
    Take care you two.

  5. For me overdoing a good thing happens when continuing is sure to hurt. A little tricky to determine when it comes to exercise but not as hard when it comes to other things. Food is a perfect example. A balanced portion of a good thing can leave you satisfied while too much can leave you feeling bloated or lethargic. There’s also that moment where partaking in a good thing can result on other good or important things being neglected. As we saw in your discussion of this topic our definition of good thing also plays into where these linrd must be drawn. Good question for all I’ve struggled to craft an answer.

  6. I’m like Rachael, I couldn’t even understand what J. was saying at first. LOL. The sugar addiction is real. It’s an all or nothing kind of thing for me too. I can’t wait to see your top 5 “strengths” J and Rachael. Knowing mine, sort of changed my life. Thanks again for another great podcast.


  7. I have the worst “Give me more” addiction. I have to watch myself with alcohol, drugs, candy, pop. All of it, I could eat so much that I would feel sick and vomit (or not but want to) and keep eating anyway. I also have ADHd, so my impulse control is so low that if I can wrangle myself in for 4 hours the rest of the day I binge and binge. I’m working my way through the book, “Just Eat It,” but I also found out that I’m insulins resistant, meaning I need to watch how much sugar I eat because if I don’t I’ll get type 2 diabetes. It’s hard for me because I’m such an emotional eater and in the sense that Food is Comfort and Mother. (I think there was a Ted Talk on that). Anyway, I’m all over the place here. But I am like you Rachael, I just have no impulse control and have to watch myself closely.

  8. Interesting question! I can say as the mother of someone with the “give me more” gene, it’s actually quite terrifying to watch. During my son’s teen and now young adult years, I have had and continue to have low-level anxiety that never goes away.

    Food-wise, I can overdo sweets, chips, and anything with that cheese-flavor, like mac-n-cheese or Cheetos. Even though the entire time, I’ll be telling myself that it will make me sick to eat an entire box of mac-n-cheese, I still do it. I can also do too much of a good thing when I have the house to myself and I’ll overdo watching streaming shows.

    I think exercise is a good thing, and yet, I’ve overdone it to the point of injuring myself. I’ve pushed myself dancing so much that I’ve experienced a stress fracture in my foot and I’ve snapped my calf muscle. Up until the injury it had been SO GOOD I couldn’t stop. Dancing is healthy, the rhythms and movements are healthy, and yet I pushed too hard. I’ve overdone it in aikido as well, working through pain and then getting an even worse injury.

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