Do you have tunnel vision with your weight loss goal? This is when you focus only on the end goal of weight loss, without considering the steps you’re taking to achieve it.
When you have tunnel vision, you often don’t consider if the path you’re walking with healthy eating is sustainable or effective. You gravitate towards diets and quick-fixes, hoping they create the result you want, only to find they were never sustainable.
In this episode, I’m walking you through your two options for weight loss and how to know if you’re engaging in weight loss tunnel vision in your journey.
The key is to shift the focus from the end goal to the sustainable path of healthy eating that you want to create.
Hello my friends. Welcome back to the podcast this week. I hope you’re having a great day so far. A great week so far. I am excited to talk about weight loss tunnel vision today because this is something that really believe is so relatable when it comes to a weight loss journey. If you have been involved in the diet industry before, so if you have partaken in diets or food regimens or meal plans, we will have this weight loss tunnel vision when it comes to achieving that goal.
And I’ll explain exactly what I mean by that here. But if you’ve ever felt a sense of urgency or have ever felt in a rush to get to your weight loss destination, I want you to listen to this full episode because it’s going to help you. It’s going to be really important if you are wanting to become a naturally healthy eater where this is just how you show up in your life.
You eat healthy naturally, listen to your body and maintain your ideal weight that you do not act from weight loss tunnel vision because you’re going to skip steps and you’re not going to do the foundational work necessary to solve your food struggles for life. And what inspired me to do this episode is I came across this quote, honestly, it was probably on Pinterest or Instagram, but I wrote it down for myself and I thought about how it could apply for so many of you in this journey.
And the quote is, focus on the step in front of you, not the whole staircase. Alright? So it’s very simple, it’s nothing super glamorous, but it just speaks to how so many of us go about health goals and weight loss goals. We will often set our eyes on the entire staircase that we have to climb, which can prevent us from taking those steps that we need to be taking.
And I want you to think about tunnel vision with weight loss this way. It’s when you focus on that end goal only rather than the individual sustainable steps you need to take. Almost certainly, if the concept of losing weight for the last time overwhelms you or you feel like you have to wait for the right time to make that change, it’s because you’re focusing on the whole staircase. And the reality is, permanent weight loss only requires one step at a time, which is incredibly sustainable.
And you can do that now. So that’s really what I want to bring you towards today. When we have weight loss tunnel vision, it really is that essence of diet culture. It’s how diet culture sells us. It creates this mentality where we believe we need to approach.
Healthy eating with that tunnel vision because we think the focus is to get to that end result as quickly as possible. And what we end up ignoring with this tunnel vision approach is the path that we’re choosing to get to that end result. So I suppose with the analogy, it’s the staircase we’re choosing to get to that end result in diet culture, the path looks like restricting certain foods, eliminating foods you love, maybe sticking to a diet.
You don’t really want to continue eating past that weight loss goal. Because here’s the thing about your weight loss goal. It’s great when you achieve it, but the path you choose that creates the weight loss will be the same path that you must continue to follow throughout the course of your life to maintain that result. And I think I’ll say that one again. The path you choose that creates the weight loss will be the same path that you must continue to maintain the weight loss.
So in other words, if you choose a path that you don’t want to keep walking for the rest of your life, after you lose the weight, then you won’t know what path you should be on because you’ll walk this path to lose that weight and then you realize that’s not a path you wanna keep on walking. Or in other words, you realize you don’t wanna keep eliminating foods you love. You don’t wanna keep counting your calories. That’s not how you wanna live with food because what you realize at that moment is that you have to keep walking a path of eating regardless in your life.
You will always be someone who must make eating decisions. And so when you think about weight loss and you have tunnel vision with that end goal, the misconception is you believe that there is a finite path that you need to walk to create weight loss.
When that is not true, the path you choose with healthy eating, you are deciding to indefinitely walk that path in your life as a lifestyle to keep the weight loss result you want. Make sense? This is why it is so important to choose a path of healthy eating that works for you and is designed based on your needs and preferences. And this is why in own your eating habits, we have you determine your goal for weight loss because it’s important to be clear about what you want, but then the focus is not on that end goal.
You remove that tunnel vision and instead you focus on the path that you want to take with healthy eating in your life to make that weight loss result inevitable. And the path does not just stop when you create the weight loss, it’s the path of eating you want to take into your life with food.
So I hope you see this difference. If I could draw an image for you on this podcast, I would. I think what happens in diet culture is we end up walking a path that requires a lot of work to get to the weight loss, and then we end up having this misinterpretation about what is required for weight loss. Like we’re willing to walk this strenuous path because we think we only have to do it for a short time until we lose that weight. So picture, let’s say a dieting path has a lot of obstacles, brush fallen trees, branches, potholes, and you have to navigate the strenuous path until you get out the other side where the weight loss exists.
But this is a trick because you see this light at the end of the tunnel that represents the weight loss and you’re working so hard to get there overcoming obstacles.
And what you find at the end of the path instead is that you just have to keep walking that path to maintain the results with your body that you want so that light gets further and further and further. And it just represents that you don’t stop being an eater when you lose the weight. And so this is why we will lose the weight walking this strenuous path with dieting and strict protocols, and then we gain it all back because we’re like, Hey man, I thought that I would be done.
Turns out I don’t wanna keep living this way and eating this way and sustaining my result in this way. So we quit walking the path altogether and then we refer to ourselves as a failure because we stopped walking that path. What I want you to understand is that other paths are available. You are just presented that one, the strenuous one, the path does not stop at the weight loss, and then you realize you’re no longer willing to walk that strenuous path where tons of willpower, effort, and discipline is required.
What ends up happening is we quit and we stop walking a path of healthy eating altogether. So are you visualizing what I’m visualizing here? I want you to picture your own journey and how this analogy can fit you. Now, here’s an image you can consider with sustainable healthy eating. Naturally healthy eating, which is where you want to get to. You choose a different path. So you choose a path that doesn’t require a lot of unnecessary effort to walk.
Sure, there are some obstacles, but none that require you to slash down the branches or remove whole trees in your path. It is sustainable. It’s a path you can choose to walk through every day, no matter the circumstances in your life. You know, you will choose to walk this path of healthy eating and you enjoy this path. I picture a path having good tree coverage, some flowers.
The temperature is pleasant, it feels comfortable, but, and this is the big, but the unfamiliar part to you may be that there are no tricks on this path, that there’s no end to it. There’s no perceived light at the end of this tunnel that you need to achieve and that can feel uncomfortable when you feel like you’re not working hard for a result you want. It’s more of a lifestyle based approach where you feel calm and easeful throughout that process.
But a lot of you as high achieving women will equate effort with success, especially when it comes to weight loss. And especially if you have created weight loss with the more strenuous path in the past, it’s going to feel unfamiliar and maybe even a bit uncomfortable to walk the calmer path knowing that this is what leads to long-term weight loss. You may feel this slight pool to make it more complicated and more difficult than it needs to be, but that is the work my friends.
This is what our clients learn at a deep level in own your eating habits is they become willing to let their healthy eating path be easier for them and simpler for them. The difference with the less strenuous path is you will stop feeling the need for the path to end and you will stop feeling this rush to get to the weight loss because walking the path is more enjoyable, lovely, and fulfilling. So when you think about tunnel vision with weight loss, it can be for two reasons.
It can be because you have this skewed perception of how your life will look different when you lose the weight. I promise you, you will still be a human and have good days and bad days when you lose the weight. So that’s the first thing. The second thing is that you may think the path is going to be incredibly strenuous, and so you’re in a rush just to get past the hard parts.
But what you need to know is that an easeful path is available where the actions don’t require a lot of your effort and they don’t cause you to burn out. But your intention with your actions is high. So I’m hoping this image makes sense. I’m a very visual person, but when it comes to tunnel vision, I want you to consider your version of the two paths, the strenuous unsustainable path versus the sustainable fulfilling path. Both paths create weight loss and you get to decide which one you take.
The point of growth for you might be to teach yourself that the more sustainable path even exists for you, because up until now, you likely have been heavily sold that the hard path is the only option that it’s even necessary at all. Because here’s why the hard path is sold to us. It’s representative of the quick fix diet industry.
It’s sold to us because it’s more enticing to you. It triggers your desperation to get to that perceived light at the end of that path. It sells you weight loss in this way. If you just push through and overcome all of these obstacles, then you will reach this fantasy and that is a lie. There is no fantasy land at the end of your weight loss path, and you don’t have to take the highly difficult unsustainable path to lose weight. That sustainable approach is available where you learn the foundational skills of healthy eating.
So the more easeful path means you learn sustainable skills. You learn to regulate your stress levels naturally. So cravings go down so you don’t experience urgency to overindulge in foods you love. You learn to properly listen to your natural body cues, so you make informed eating decisions with food so you no longer overeat or eat when you aren’t hungry and you learn to make healthy eating decisions that you actually want to be making.
So it doesn’t feel restrictive or forced. These are the type of skills you want to adopt. If you want to become a naturally healthy eater and take the less tumultuous path, this is the path you want to take. And I think the beautiful part about this is that all of us have slightly different versions of that path of least resistance with healthy eating and weight loss. So when I picture mine, again, I’m very visual. I picture like a moss covered cobblestone road with wild flowers along the path and beautiful willow trees.
It’s a road that feels very enjoyable and lovely to me. So in terms of healthy eating, what this would represent for me is it looks like me knowing how to regulate my emotions properly. So I never feel the need to overindulge in food. If one of those obstacles comes up in the road, I know how to navigate it without a ton of effort.
So it’s not a problem. My path also represents me having a relationship to my body where I actually honor its needs with food. I feed it when it’s hungry, I stop eating when it tells me it’s done. This represents me taking ownership of the way I eat and raising my standards. I don’t eat foods I don’t want to eat, and I prioritize the foods that I love without overindulging in them because that doesn’t feel good to do that. I also on this path, choose foods that provide for my body nutritionally and feel good and satisfying to me.
So this is the path that feels good to me and what I have created. You can create a healthy eating path that feels good to you, that makes your weight loss inevitable. When you do your tunnel vision is going to heal itself. So that rush is going to heal itself because you’ll teach yourself that there’s no fantasy life waiting for you on the other side of weight loss.
So there’s no light at the perceived end of a path, but you don’t care because you’re walking a path in your life with healthy eating that feels enjoyable to you. So I think this would be a really fun exercise that I invite you to do visually determine what each path would look like for you. So determine that difficult path and the more sustainable path. And then determine tactically how your approach towards healthy eating and weight loss would look different between the two. What would you do if you took the path of highest resistance?
How would you eat? How would you lose weight? What would that experience feel like? And then alternatively, what would you do differently if you chose the path of less resistance? How would healthy eating perhaps look different here? How would the weight loss progress look? How would you treat yourself differently?
What would that experience be like? I cannot wait to see what y’all do with this. It is key to remember that both paths lead to weight loss, but one is short-term and one is long-term. You can choose the path of highest resistance or the path of lesser resistance. It does not mean the lesser resistance path will always be easy, that there will never be bumps in that road, but it will be tolerable, sustainable, and maintainable in your life. What makes a process or path towards weight loss, sustainable or unsustainable, is how much emotional effort is required to walk that path.
There is nothing wrong with taking a path that requires a lot of discipline and willpower to see it through, but this podcast is for those of you who want a more natural approach to healthy eating where you don’t have to expend a ton of emotional effort to eat the way you want to in your life.
You wanna feel like being a naturally healthy eater is just who you are. If that’s the experience you want, you need to choose the proper path created deliberately for that result. Alright, so this was a fun one. Analogies are my favorite
So you can apply at KatRentas.com/coaching. I’d love to see you there. I hope you have a fantastic rest of your week, and I’ll talk to you next week.
Hey there! I'm Kat Rentas. I’m a certified life and health coach for women who believes that eating healthy should feel simple and sustainable. I teach hundreds of high-performing women to change their eating habits without the overwhelm. Want to change your eating habits in a way that is aligned with your needs, preferences, and goals? You’re in the right place. You can read my full story here.