“Paralzyed by information.” This is a term a client used today. I thought it was a brilliant way of describing what so many people are feeling in these times of information overload. The definition of paralysis is “a loss or impairment of voluntary movement in a body part, caused by injury or disease of the nerves, brain, or spinal cord.”
What my client meant was similar. She felt a loss or impairment of voluntary movement, but in this case it was behavioral movement toward health improvements. As long as we are looking at definitions, lets consider the slangy abbreviation “TMI.” When a person has too much information, it tends to muddy up the head space, leading to an inability to move forward with any kind of certainty or hope for improvement.
Information is great. I love research. I love technology. Still, without a reliable system for weeding through it all to come up with what is truly valuable for an individual, it is just plain HARD to make sense of it. Vastly different philosophies about how to eat all present information that seems factual. Long lists of references make them all seem legit.
I try to be very honest about what I believe to be accurate and what seems less conclusive. The unfortunate truth is that there is simply no style of eating with completely conclusive evidence that it is THE WAY for everyone. Personally, I don’t think there ever will be one best way for everyone.
The positive side of that is . . .
You get to decide for yourself! For those of you who hate any uncertainty, this is disappointing. You would really like to have a black and white, 100% proven method to (at least try to) follow. Eating is just not like that.
That is good news for those of you who want complete freedom of choice. Ultimately this is the best way for all of us – choice. We are much more likely to do something we feel we have chosen.
So what do we do with all of that information? How do we choose what is best for us?
Sort through it, test it if it seems like a good idea. See what happens FOR YOU. It’s not a double-blind placebo study, but it is really the gold standard for your best health. Studies are valuable, very valuable, but nutrition studies are only pieces of information to consider along with what you notice about your own body’s reaction to different eating styles.
A carefully considered, mindful assessment of information is the best cure for information paralysis. Trusting personal observations and instincts will always lead to more certainty and forward movement toward better health – without all the worry!