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100 Stories- The Theory of Localized Vitamin D 🌞 ①① of ①⓪⓪


Drew's Letter

January 11 · Issue #90 · View online

The latest things I've dug into including books, quotes, songs, gadgets and other things I've found interesting.

Sawubona! The sprint and marathon continue. Today is #11 in the 💯 Stories in 💯 Days Series. In case you missed it, yesterday’s was- Manage Energy Not Time ⏳  Today, we are diving into…
The Theory of Localized Vitamin D 🌞
This focus is different from the other stories. Sometimes creating requires creativity! Yes, it’s a “theory.” That only means it’s a conjecture of mine based on empirical data- the data of me. Now, my fellow scientists, you can experiment as well! If we do this and get the same result enough times, it’ll be a law. 🙌
I want to keep the same vibe but shift topics. I’ve been getting marketing advice to “niche down”. If you’re unfamiliar, the basic idea is that since the internet is so huge, everyone is world-class at something. Find what you’re world-class at, and you can make a living off of that.
I am terrified of this. I don’t want to spend my life writing about Keto For Dogs 🐕 I received some advice from Paul Smalera, a big dog editor (honestly, that pun wasn’t intended). A niche doesn’t have to be a topic. It can be an approach. You can replicate that approach across a variety of topics.
My kind of dude! This comforts me.
I used to think no one would give a shit about what I have to say. This turns out to be wrong. Yay :) Quite the contrary, when I share direct experience, it resonates more than when I pretend to be a professor. Often, the how is much more important than the what anyway.
Anywho…let’s get that good D
First, I’m not even sure that it’s a vitamin. My understanding is that it’s functionally more like a hormone, and there are enough people in the scientific community fussing over this that it’s not a joke. Names can be hard to change, especially if they are old. I don’t foresee any movement happening here for a while.
I was recently paddle sailing with my buddy Werner. We were on a lake with paddleboards with sails on them. I was wearing a speedo. I wanted to get some sun.
I’m pasty as hell.
My relationship with the sun has changed. It’s common knowledge in my hippie circles that most sunblock on the market today would be banned by the FDA if it were invented right now. Again, changing old stuff is hard. Instead, we sell this crap at scale.
A few more things helped turn me away from standard sunblock.
  • First, my friend Karl told me that it is often bad for the ocean, especially the coral reefs. He has battled skin cancer, so I listen to him– literal skin in the game. He is “the man in the arena” to give some credit to Roosevelt.
  • This caused companies to create sunblock that is “reef safe.” It’s a concept called greenwashing- pretending to be eco-friendly to boost the bottom line. They care only about the perception of eco-friendliness. It doesn’t come from the heart. Corporations don’t have hearts anyway, so that’s a misnomer. Just because sunblock is reef safe doesn’t mean it’s human safe.
  • Reading Health And Light by John Ott. The book is short and written in the 70s. Please read it. John cured many health conditions thanks to the sun, including his arthritis. This is not a joke. My NOTES
  • Realizing that clothing works excellent as a sunblock, and I can easily take it on and off. It’s hard to take sunblock on and off, and it feels oily and grimy.
Finally, two little rules that I use for whether or not to put something in my body.
  1. If you wouldn’t put it in your mouth, don’t put it on your skin! The skin is the biggest organ. It is a giant permeable membrane, great at absorbing stuff. Great when we put good stuff on it. Not so great when we put chemicals on it.
  2. If the bottle has words on it that would kick my ass in Hangman (the classic spelling game), don’t use it! Hair products are a great example. I have a decent vocabulary, yet when I read shampoo bottles, I feel like I don’t know English worth a damn.
It’s similar to a rule for buying food. Buy foods that don’t have labels. A tomato is only a tomato 🍅. The moment things get combined is the moment extras step in. They obfuscate things, adding complexity rather than reducing it.
Ok, so I ditched the sunblock. 🌞
What next?
The next step was to stop binging. I was binging on the sun. I’d spend most of my time indoors and then have these outdoor sun marathons. This fails to recognize one of my favorite ideas- hormesis, which in simple terms means “progressive overloading”- stressing a system a little bit, a lot of times, to get strong. Stressing a system a lotta bit a single time is a recipe for injury.
With Casper’s skin tone 👻 for me, this involved going outside frequently and building up my resilience. For example, almost everything here in Brazil is walkable, so I often go shirtless. I put my shirt back on right before entering a store. Depending on how much I go out in a day, this quickly adds up to an hour of sun time. 2 round trips that are 15 minutes one way gets the job done.
In America, I couldn’t quickly walk to stores and appointments. I would journal outside, take calls outside, and take work breaks outside. Each of these sun snacks adds up. I gained awareness and found the sweet spot. I became aware of that moment where I go from cooking to burning. Then, I could cover myself up or go in the shade just in time. This helps me maintain a sunny disposition.
Back to paddle sailing…
I’d already been bonding with the sun for months, the good old buddy that facilitates all life on our planet. I don’t usually wear speedos. Despite all the sun snacking I’d been doing, I wasn’t getting sun on my upper thighs.
After a day on the water, they were fried. Crispy. 🍗
I hadn’t noticed. There was a breeze and my body felt fine.
It was fine.
I didn’t get burned anywhere else. My legs weren’t getting more sun than the rest of my body. Often when I burn, my neck and shoulders get it the worst. They had no issues.
What the hell!
This isn’t fair. It doesn’t make sense.
So, I came up with The Theory Of Localized Vitamin D ☀️. It’s simple. The sun gives us Vitamin D. Our body does its best to distribute it. But it doesn’t do a perfect job. The parts of the skin that receive local exposure get more resilience than the parts that don’t. Over time, this adds up and creates an imbalance. The imbalance is only to the degree of imbalance in your exposure.
For example, on long drives, sometimes my left arm gets burned. It’s in the sunny part of the car, but my right arm is fine. Damage works the same as the resilience building. This is because it’s a spectrum. Damage only occurs when I get too much sun.
This intuitively makes sense to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. Am I missing something? Am I wrong? Why? The theory comes from my experience. But, I suspect it is true for other people.
Lessons Learned:
  • Get a little sun, a lot of times. Think of those jacked crossfitters that do MetCons and WODs throughout the day, rather than a single long workout.
  • Get sun everywhere.
  • Don’t put poison in your body. ☠️
  • I used to think of stuff on my skin as “on” my body but now I don’t. The real question is, to what extent does the skin absorb it? This depends on a lot– solid/liquid, how long it’s on the skin, etc.
As always, thank you for reading. Tomorrow we are diving into Butthole Sunning. ☀️ 🍑 It’s a foray into getting the sun everywhere.
PS- I also made my own natural sunblock. Natural to me means without chemicals, especially ones I can’t even pronounce. Holler at me if you want the recipe! I don’t use it unless I’m getting many hours of sun, and cant be sure that I’ll be able to cover up or get in the shade.

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