Photo by Modestas Urbonas on Unsplash

Day 47–100 Days To A Healthy Relationship With Food

When focus becomes tunnel vision

Andy Taylor
Mar 12 · 4 min read

It’s rare to make one thing and one thing alone our focus. We usually try to muddle through normality with a “nice to have” goal in the background. We kid ourselves that we’re ticking along with it, but really we’re distracted.

I can tell you from my current experience that you know when you’re truly focusing on one goal and one alone. You get tunnel vision. The wayside starts to get full with things that have fallen by it.

There will be downsides. You’ll annoy people. You’ll miss out. You’ll get frustrated with yourself.

But… you’ll progress.

So, how much do you want it?

Knowledge

In this refreshingly down-to-earth article, Trudy Horsting cheerfully, but surgically, dismantles the trendy theory that you really don’t need a to-do list.

If you can use a list properly, use it. It doesn’t really matter whether you list or time block, your life boils down to stuff you need to do.

So get on and do it.

“As long as the steps are realistic, and your expectations for yourself in the process of achieving those steps are realistic, you are well on your way to completing the end goal.” — Trudy Horsting, ‘Things Don’t Get Done Unless You Do Them’

Realistic steps is right. And it applies to all level of goal. Sometimes we need reminding of such stone-cold basics.

My goal — changing my relationship with food (which has been broken for decades) — is a biggie. The realistic steps for me as set out in this project (which I myself designed, I can’t blame anyone else!) are, in theory, 100 consecutive articles where I really examine myself, the world of weight loss and food, plus 100 days of sticking to an eating plan.

These steps are realistic, but they are all-encompassing. This is probably the most important and challenging self-improvement project I will ever undertake.

I’ve struggled with food and weight for so long. I feel if I can crack this, then I will be free to… incoming annoying phrase… “live my best life”.

It’s a challenge, and I am noticing what is blurring around the edges of my tunnel vision. I’m suffering fools even less gladly than before. My BS sensor is off the scale. I’m giving direct feedback.

Now, not all of this is good. I’ve had to say a few sorry’s along the way.

But here’s the thing. I’m prepared to pay those prices because I am making progress. And I sense that I can do this. But I need to maintain focus. It’s not forever.

This article by Ingrid Clayton Ph.D makes the argument that tunnel vision is ultimately unhelpful. She flags short-temperedness and irritability as red flags to indicate your vision (good) has become tunnel vision (bad).

Uh-oh.

She paints a vivid picture that makes the point that if you can just escape your tunnel — and see the bigger picture — all will be well again:

“I grew up in Colorado where there are some amazing tunnels going straight through the mountains. Perhaps you have driven through one yourself, or you can imagine it right now. As you are driving, you move from a cold and dark, fear-filled tin can, out into a picture postcard. Let that experience be your teacher and your inspiration. When we move through small and contained ideas of what we think we want, what we think will make us happy, and what we think will keep us safe, we are brought to extraordinary and expansive beauty. It’s truly breathtaking. Removing the blinders is like seeing in color for the first time. Tunnel vision is rigid and constraining, while remaining open is fluid and liberating.” — Ingrid Clayton, Ph.D ‘When Vision Becomes Tunnel Vision’, Psychology Today UK

I read that analogy the other way round. To me it says that if I can stay the course, keep driving the car through the tunnel all the way to the end, then (and only then) the “extraordinary and expansive beauty” will emerge. I don’t stop until the tunnel ends. And I know how long this tunnel is.

This is Day 47 of 100. Nearly half-way. If I can get this far, I can do the rest. I’m loving the writing part of the project, it’s hard work doing the eating plan but do-able, and the progress (which is just starting to show itself to me) is hard-earned but satisfying.

So have a think about whether there is a goal you need to put front and centre. Define reasonable and realistic steps and then get to work.

If it’s tough, if it might make a big difference to your life, maybe you will have to use and embrace tunnel vision. At least when that kicks in you know you’re really focusing and giving yourself your best chance of actually getting it done.

Which brings me back to Trudy Horsting (who really does have a knack for saying home-truths in a very eloquent way):

Ultimately, sometimes I just have to tell myself that if I don’t do it, it won’t get done, and that if I just do it, I’ll feel so much better.

Progress

On track. Just a couple of days ago I was worried I wasn’t progressing on the weight loss front, now I feel as if I really am. Work that one out. I won’t be weighing myself until the end, so it’s not worth worrying about.

46/47/100 (Number of days goals met/ number of days into project/ 100)

Start Reading From Day 1 Here

Why I’ve chosen16:8 Intermittent Fasting

What is 100 Days 100 Ways?

Be responsible about food and weight management. Research a healthy weight, and healthy methods of weight management for you physically and mentally. Remember, you are not defined by what you weigh. I am not a nutritionist.

100 Days 100 Ways

Knowledge + Perseverance = Progress

Andy Taylor

Written by

I want to learn. I try to grow. I’d love to help.

100 Days 100 Ways

Stories of people making positive change in their lives, a day at a time. No rose-tinted retrospectives forgetting the tricky bits. Inspiration and effort as it really happened.

Andy Taylor

Written by

I want to learn. I try to grow. I’d love to help.

100 Days 100 Ways

Stories of people making positive change in their lives, a day at a time. No rose-tinted retrospectives forgetting the tricky bits. Inspiration and effort as it really happened.

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