This doesn’t make any sense. This is something I’ve stressed over for years. This is an issue that I’ve only recently found a phrase for. It’s analysis paralysis.
We use the term when we’re playing board games, because there’s one among us (ahem, Matt) who tends to really take their time making decisions during their turn. When I was a reading a lovely book describing the biology of anorexia, the term popped up and gave itself a whole new meaning for me. As you can imagine, it’s weird hearing it described as something as harmless as a board game decision now.
I experience analysis paralysis consistently. It’s all food related. Imagine that.
From “yes you can eat” versus “no, you can’t eat” to the oftentimes more confusing “to eat this, or to eat that?” my mind is almost always in a state of near panic and exhaustion.
I plan what I eat in advance. It’s like a hobby. Usually, I plan for a “healthy” daily plan. I make sure I have a nice balance of food I like, but not overdoing it, and I make sure I get the food I need. I try to stay within reasonable parameters for sodium, carbs, and saturated fat. Cholesterol I never worry about, and I’ve practically given up on getting enough iron and protein. I had been a vegetarian for too long. Anyway moving on.
I plan out these meals to try and make my day to day life just that much less stressful. Wouldn’t it be great if I could live life not worrying about what/when/where I’ll eat next and how much this/that/the other thing is in the food and how many calories I’ll have to burn off at the gym later? It would be so great. So I plan.
Then, I decide I’m still hungry after my allotted lunch. Now, my relationship with my satiety signals are all kinds of messed up, and I can’t really tell the difference between hunger and gas. Also, I won’t know I’m full until I’m in physical pain from my pants’ button digging into my spare tire. So I decide I’m hungry, and then the wheels start turning.
So many options.
I could have a sandwich after work. But I’m hungry now. Get breakfast biscuits out of the vending machine? Then I can’t have a full sandwich. Then I’ll have breakfast biscuits now, and a frozen dinner when I get home. But that’ll be too many carbs, wouldn’t it? Ok. Breakfast biscuits. Broccoli. Then, for dessert, some chocolate. That’ll put me 100 over. I don’t want a sandwich anymore. If I’m going to be 100 over, fuck it, I’ll get a pizza. But then I can’t get my breakfast biscuits now. I want something now. I’ll have a diet soda and an apple now, then order a pizza. No I’ll get taco bell. No I’ll sit at the bar at Red Lobster and treat myself to dinner after work. No. You have to behave. Ok, so breakfast biscuits now, and I’ll just figure it out later.
Notice the changing between Is and Yous. It’s necessary I promise.
That’s a very abridged version of what happens in my mind most of my waking moments. I’ve driven around excessively because of this issue. I do laps in the grocery store unintentionally. I’ll leave the house intending to get a taco, decide I want 20 different things on the way there, change course 3, 6, 10 times, only to stop at a taco shop 4 taco shops away from my house because I can never make up my damn mind.
I’m just doomed.
Usually I just decide to binge. It makes the analysis shut up. Instead of overthinking, I just insult myself a lot and feel hopeless. It’s much more comfortable.