The Truth About Having "A Lot On Your Plate"

I now officially have less than a month until my book manuscript is due—easily the most important deadline of my professional life to date.

I’m genuinely psyched about everything I’ve written so far (and I wish I could share it all with you RIGHT NOW instead of having to wait until it hits bookstores in late 2019!), but I’m also racing to fill in the gaps and smooth out the rough edges before sending it to my editor at the end of the month, while also trying to keep up business as usual with the podcast and my online courses and social media.

It’s a lot. I’m exhausted.

Whenever I talk to friends and family about how I’m managing it all, I often hear the phrase “you’ve got a lot on your plate,” meant as a compassionate way to commiserate with my feelings of overwhelm, of having more on my to-do list than I can manage.

I always appreciate the sentiment, but I’ve been thinking about that phrase, and I’ve realized that when it comes to what’s on my literal plate—as in the food I eat—I wouldn’t even have the ability to work on these amazing projects if I didn’t have a lot.

I wouldn’t have gotten all of these opportunities if I didn’t have a lot of food on my actual plate.

I’m fortunate enough not only to be able to afford food, but also to have a peaceful relationship with food that allows me to live in abundance instead of the scarcity imposed by diet culture—and that allows me to do this work.

I’m lucky to have a lot on my plate now, because I didn’t always.

Ten or fifteen years ago, I was never fully present in my writing because of my gnawing, ever-present hunger, invasive thoughts of food, and constant trips to the kitchen.

Ten or fifteen years ago, I never could’ve led courses on making peace with food and breaking free from diet culture, because I had no idea how to do those things myself. I was drowning in disordered beliefs about food and my body.

Ten or fifteen years ago, I had a hard time even getting out the door in the morning because I felt so overwhelmed by body shame and worries about what I would eat that day. And for several of those years, my life was organized around my compulsive-exercise schedule, so that my creative energy was constantly getting cut off in favor of punishing forms of physical activity.

Back then I didn’t have enough on my actual plate, but I had way too much diet-culture nonsense on my mind and my calendar to be able to achieve my goals in other areas of life.

That’s what diet culture does to so many of us (regardless of body size, although people in larger bodies also have to deal with the added injustice of weight-based discrimination), which is why I call it The Life Thief.

Diet culture stole a decade of my life, and that’s what it did to my guest on this week’s episode of Food Psych, too.

Before she became a psychotherapist and school counselor, Christine Yoshida got caught up in the world of fitness culture and “clean eating,” and fell down a rabbit hole of trying to diagnose her digestive issues by taking more and more foods off her plate.

She shares how the pursuit of thinness and fitness detracted from her life, how she eventually broke free and made peace with food, why the diet mentality can make health problems worse, and so much more.

Check it out here, and be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode.

Here’s to having a lot on your actual plate,


P.S. If you’re ready to reclaim your life from diet culture, check out my intuitive eating online course. It’ll help you stop getting caught up in The Life Thief’s traps so that you can start pursuing the things you really want in life.

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