Panic, procrastination and food

Do you know that feeling, way down in the pit of your stomach? That feeling you get when you put off doing a piece of work, then you put it off some more, and some more again, until finally it’s due tomorrow (or yesterday)? And because you put it off you now have to rush it through, right at the last moment? It’s that feeling of panic, that seems to attack your brain and your stomach at the same time. You kind of feel sick, and you feel anxious, and panic sets in.

I’m a procrastinator, and this feeling’s not unusual to me. I felt it throughout high school, I felt it throughout uni, and I feel it at work. For me, it’s about finding that sweet spot between last minute and overdue. It’s about balancing the adrenaline of the last minute, without hitting full-blown panic mode. When I hit that sweet spot I’m really productive, and I produce my best work. When I go too far into the panic zone, I procrastinate more because I get myself worked up to the point that I don’t even know where to start.

As I said, this is not a new phenomenon to me. What is new, though, is the situation in which I’ve recently felt the panic set in. I knew my eating wasn’t going to be great over Christmas. I accepted that, and honestly, I embraced it a bit too much. Christmas came and went, and the start of the year was busy. It was hard for me to put in the time for food preparation, so I stuck with convenient eating. And because I was eating ‘conveniently’, my brain justified that it was ok to eat the crap. The chocolate, the cheese, the soft drinks, the junk food- they were all ok, because I was eating for convenience. As soon as I ‘started eating right’ again, all that stuff would go.

The problem is, it’s nearly March and I’m still eating ‘conveniently’. Not because I need to in terms of a busy life, in most cases, but because I’ve hit the panic zone. I’ve passed the sweet spot- I kept saying “next week I’ll start again. Next week…” but there was always a reason not to start next week. I was busy on Sunday and couldn’t make lunches for the week, and Monday morning would role around and I didn’t have breakfasts ready for the week either. Oh well, back to the convenient eating (read: buy all meals from the café downstairs at work)- I’d start next Monday.

This morning I realised that I’ve had that sinking, sick feeling in my stomach recently. Part of it’s to do with work (where I’m struggling to find motivation), but some of it’s also to do with my continual putting-off of getting my food back on track. And as if to justify the fact that I’m not eating the right foods, I’m eating more of the wrong foods. I’m pushing my body into a worse and worse state, because it’s easier to keep saying “this is my last binge” than “say no this time, and say no next time, and things will get easier”. As well as eating bad foods when I have no choice, I’m making poor choices when I do have a choice.

There’s no answer or solution to this post. If you’re reading this and you know the feeling, I’d love to hear about it. I guess I’ll self-resolve, although I’m concerned that this is the start of a bad ongoing cycle. I’ve got to give myself a wake-up call. Problem is, just thinking about trying to find that wake-up call sets off that panicked feeling inside me- I’m in so deep, and I don’t know how to find it.

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