Guest Post: Sue’s Holiday Buffet Thought Process

Sue Boyles is an alumna of the Big Change Program, and a plant-powered dynamo in her own right.

Her before-and-after-and-after photos (below) capture not just the weight loss part of her journey, but the real, meaningful changes have all occurred in Sue's Inner Game.

Here's a post she shared with her Big Change cohort this morning. It was so smart and empowering and inspiring, I got permission from Sue to share it with you. 

I was thinking today about pressures (external and internal) we put on ourselves at functions, gatherings, etc. It was triggered by an article in AARP about what to choose at a holiday party buffet.

The last party we went to the ONLY thing on the table, with the exception of the dish I brought, that was vegan (not even Whole Food, Plant-Based was Doritos. Yes, they didn't even have a veggie tray.

I imagined a conversation over the buffet table at the family Christmas Party (this is all in my head, by the way…) Here's how it goes:

Them: “Aren't you eating anything?”

Me: “No thanks – not for me.”

Them: “Come on, a little of ____ wouldn't hurt – you can't tell me that eating one plate full of ____ would be that awful.”

Me: “Yes it would, and here's why:

“Yes, it tastes really good – YUM – the mouthfeel is amazing and the flavors are exploding in my mouth. Wow – that dopamine hit is AMAZING! Damn – bring it on! Ten minutes of pleasure.

“Fifteen minutes later, my stomach starts to feel weird. A little churn here or there. Another 15 minutes and I'm looking for a bathroom on the other side of the house, praying they have air freshener in there.

“Twenty minutes after that, I start yawning. Uncontrollably.

“In an hour, my stomach feels like a huge lump.

“That night, the regret sets in. I reason with myself that it was a special occasion and I rarely do something like that.

“I wake up with a mild food hangover. Remembering what I did the day before, I curse myself and those who eat that way all the time. I vow to exercise and eat clean, even threatening my body with a fast. That afternoon, the cravings start, but because I've eaten so well up to the point, I give myself permission to eat a snack – vegan, but not whole food, plant-based – which leads to snacking for the rest of the night since I've already blown it.

“This goes on for between 3-7 days, until I realize that these cravings are caused by the dopamine hit I got at the party. Then I know I have to power through the cravings and get the final vegan shit out.

“I have 2-3 days of grumpiness and white knuckling through to have a clean diet again, not to mention the 3-5 pounds I gained over the last week of eating this way.

“So, in answer to the original question about “you can't tell me that eating one plate full of ____ would be that awful…” YES is would be!”

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