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From Tunnel Vision to Total Vision

By Charlene Rayburn

tunnel visionThis week I gained an insight that I didn’t really comprehend before. It’s obvious that the Restrictive Eating Cycle is based on a very narrow focus and tight perfectionism. It’s no surprise that deprivation and hard rules constrict our choices which leads to living our lives like a horse wearing blinders. We’re not allowed to look around and enjoy the full spectrum of experiences.

But, until this week I never understood that the Overeating Cycle is a form of tunnel vision also. I’d always considered it full liberty. I eat what I want, and do what I want, when I want. But, it too is based on a narrow focus…this minute’s craving, soothing my current emotion, or indulging in whatever is tempting me right now. It’s like being led this way and that way by urges.

I continue to appreciate the freedom-with-wisdom approach that Am I Hungry?® encourages us to enjoy. I’m grateful for the gentle reminders to ask ourselves “Am I Hungry? What do I want? What do I need? What do I have?” and to follow the guideline for “Balance, Variety and Moderation.”

These are frameworks for us to retrain ourselves on how to make intelligent choices while embracing, rather than fearing, a world with unlimited options. Add in the liberating alternatives to “Eat Anyway, Redirect Our Attention, or Meet Our True Needs,” and we’ve got a wonderful balance of freedom and structure that helps us see the overall picture, and make our selections using good judgment. Rather than wearing blinders, we’re navigating the full, beautiful landscape with confidence and equilibrium while moving forward with our goals for health.


About the author

Charlene Rayburn, CVCC, lives her passion for mindfulness and intentional leadership by serving as a personal and professional leadership coach, by managing a department of dedicated employees for a Fortune 500 sized health insurance organization, and by facilitating Am I Hungry?® workshops and coaching sessions. She has coached extensively with individuals and groups outside the corporate world, as well as with executives, leaders, and teams in non-profit, private, public, governmental, and educational organizations spanning the globe. Charlene received her coaching certificate through the Center for Coaching Mastery at Coachville, LLC, and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Management from Davenport University. She is a member of the National Management Association. One of her most emotionally challenging and rewarding experiences was serving as a volunteer at the Center for Battered Women. Charlene currently lives in Michigan and enjoys spending time with her husband of over 20 years, reading, learning, cooking, practicing yoga, and watching her grandson grow, who lives with his dad, her stepson in Fort Worth, Texas.

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