THE DESSERT CLUB
Update: the Fall 2016 Dessert Club is SOLD OUT.
The Dessert Club is a small mentorship group for people who want to re-think how they approach eating. We'll discuss how to to make peace with food, maintain a healthy weight with ease, and live a happier, more authentic life. We’re going to go deep and make big changes, but also laugh a lot and eat chocolate.
You know those conversations that you have with your close friends late at night, over wine and an amazing dessert? When you be vulnerable about what's going on with you and what you really want out of life?
The Dessert Club is like that.
“Before joining the dessert club, I was feeling so exhausted and hopeless and like I would never be "normal" regarding food. I was tired of the cycle of restriction and binging and I felt out of control. I felt so sad and alone.
I am just so thankful from the bottom of my heart that you created this group. It felt so scary to do it on my own and admit that I really had a problem, but I have seen that I am not alone and that is a wonderful feeling! There were times during the group that I was really having a hard time and to know that I had a whole group of people cheering me on felt truly amazing. THANK YOU THANK YOU!”
-- Kathy, from Philadelphia
Is the Dessert Club right for you?
Here's what you need to know about the Dessert Club:
- The Dessert Club is NOT a diet. There will be no portion sizes, counting of calories, fat, carbs, or anything else. You will be learning how to trust your body to eat without dieting, for life.
There are skills that are required to eat without obsessing or following a "plan", but most of us have never learned them.
- The Dessert Club is deep and challenging. It's not challenging in the way that a diet is challenging. There will be absolutely no restriction of foods or portions. But when you stop being unaware, numb, or compulsive about your eating, other things inevitably come up. You'll get all kinds of information about what you do and don't like about your relationships, work, home, and more. Participants often tell me: "I had no idea I had so many feelings!"
If you haven't spent a lot of time doing introspection before, that can be intense -- so the Dessert Club is ONLY a good fit if you have the emotional energy to look at your whole life.
- The Dessert Club is about action. Talking about things is nice, but most of us intellectually "know" that we need to stop doing what we're doing. It's taking action that actually makes change happen. Every week in the Dessert Club, you'll get mini-assignments, which include reading, journaling, and trying new practices. These assignments layer on top of each other, so each week you're building skills you didn't have before.
But if you don't have 15-30 minutes a day to try out some new things, the Dessert Club probably isn't a good fit.
- The Dessert Club is supportive. The #1 thing I hear from past participants is what a relief it is to realize that you aren't the only one struggling with this "food stuff." Our struggles with eating and our bodies can feel so private and isolating -- we feel crazy in our own heads and mostly don't talk about it. The Dessert Club has many different types of support -- readings from people who have struggled with these same issues, weekly full-group meetings over video conference, pen pals who you email between sessions. Many pen pal groups continue to stay in touch after the group is over.
The Dessert Club isn't for everyone. If you don't have the energy to examine deep emotional issues, or the time to spend 15-30 minutes a day trying some small practices, the group might be too intense and overwhelming. It's definitely not a "quick fix."
But if it sounds like a good fit, the Dessert Club could change your life. I don't say that flippantly. I say that because I've seen it happen -- over and over past participants tell me that they never realized that they could feel so free or at ease with food, and that they are thrilled by what it taught them about the rest of their lives.
“I always joked I wanted to be one of those girls who says they "forgot" to eat lunch. I used to constantly think about food and my next chance to eat - sometimes I'd go to bed *just* so that I could get up and have breakfast!
I've actually started missing some mealtimes since being in the Dessert Club. When I ask myself if I'm really hungry, I noticed I don't need to eat as often as I thought. I am allowing myself to take breaks from work for the sake of needing a break - not only when it's "lunch time" or "for a snack". That's been a huge breakthrough for me!
— Annie, New Jersey
- You + Me + up to 8 other people, meeting virtually on Mondays for seven weeks. The meetings will take place on:
- September 26, October 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, and November 7
- Meetings last for 75 minutes, and begin at 6 pm PST/ 9 pm EST.
- Everyone will be assigned to a 3-4 person Pen Pal group -- where you will share your weekly reflections via email and encourage each other!
- If you can't make a session, no worries. I'll send you notes and homework for the next week.
- We'll be meeting in a Google Hangout, which is a free video conference service. You'll need a video camera attached to your computer, as well as a Google email address or ID. If you don't have a Google account yet, it's free and I will send you instructions about how to get set up.
The investment: $195 for the seven-week course.
“What did I learn as a result of the Dessert Club? Holy cow, I have a lot of feelings and wants and needs! Once I realized how I ate instead of feeling scared or lonely or bored, I stopped eating and tried to figure out 1) how I actually felt and 2) what to do with how I felt without resorting to food. I started to see that I was a lot more complicated than how many servings of carbs I had in a day, or how many pounds I weighed -- and nothing about me can be simplified to a number, a fact, or an action. It was pretty scary.”
If you are the least bit curious about yourself and why you eat the way you do, if you want to know how you can enjoy eating your favorite food without feeling the least bit guilty, if you want to be part of a community kindred spirits, if you would like to refocus your energy from eating and dieting to living and growing -- this is what the Dessert Club was for me.”
-- Mickey, from Seattle
""Prior to joining the Dessert Club, I was scared by food, by my eating habits, and by the potential I could spiral out of control. I knew I wasn't eating right, but I also wasn't sure what "right" was.
[Since the Dessert Club] I've been much less stressed, much happier eating, and SO MUCH more in tune with my body. There have been days when certain foods sound so great and others not appetizing at all. And I listen to that. It's revolutionary.
Thank you, so much. I don't think I can explain how much of an impact the Dessert Club has had on my life and my future. Life without shame and guilt about food is monumental.""
-- Sarah, from Washington, D.C.
p.s. I'll be totally honest with you. I spent years annoyed with my eating and frustrated with my weight. I wanted to be thin, but I also wanted to eat chocolate and pizza and pasta, and I feel like the only "helpful" advice I could find out there was about counting calories, restricting portion sizes, or cutting out whole food groups (I like carbs! And sugar! And Nutella! I didn't want to take them out of my life).
I wish someone had sat me down, shook me hard, and shared with me what I want to share with you. And, much more importantly, that I could have been with an awesome, welcoming group of people while I did it -- I'm sure you know lonely it can be to feel crazy around food. So if you're interested, I'd love for you to join us!
Okay, I couldn't resist! Here are some more testimonials from recent sessions of the Dessert Club...
“Before joining the Dessert Club, I was scared of a pot of Nutella, frustrated, and generally angry this thing had control of me. I was unable to stop eating when the ‘binge’ got hold of me and generally depressed that all the weight I had lost in the past year was almost regained.
Since being in the Dessert Club, I’ve realized that this issue isn't about food. It's about me: my emotions, how I feel, my reactions to others. I take things that are totally unrelated to food and punish my body with food, dumbing down emotions, reacting with my mouth and not my inner self. I see how little attention I pay to food, the distractions of life are around my hips instead of dealing with them.
For people considering joining, I’d say that it’s the first brave step towards dealing with the root of your eating problems. The support from Katie and the rest of the crew is a wonderful, safe way to explore yourself and your food issues. You may laugh or cry or do both at the same time. And when things are bad, you only have 6 days until there is someone there to support you.”
-- Fiona, Kent, UK
“[Before this work], I dreaded my binges, and felt absolutely demolished every time I succumbed to one. Food equaled guilt to me 100% of the time. I felt awful, out of control, and like food was the enemy.
“I had no idea what to expect with the Dessert Club, but I was afraid the group sessions would be boring, or not pertinent, or depressing. Ironically enough, the group sessions became my favorite part! I learned SO much from hearing the other stories. It made me feel less alone, less crazy, and supported by the other members of the group.
I now know how terrible my relationship with food was, and for how long it's been happening. I realize how much damage I did to myself, and how far I have to go...but for the first time ever, I feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
The group really exceeded my expectations, and opened a whole new chapter for me. For once I feel like being in control of my food intake is possible. I feel like eating is pleasurable again. I feel like I have a shot at being "normal" again...whatever that is. :-)
[For people considering the Dessert Club], I would tell them that if they are doing it for themselves, to jump right in and go.”
-- Lisa, Texas
“Before joining the Dessert Club, I felt like they would never be a time when I didn't have an issue with food. I was in a hopeless cycle of restriction and bingeing. And I felt anxious about any attempts to solve the issue as I was nervous I would put on weight.
“The love and kindness I received from the other women involved in the group [was the best part]. Although we were all at different stages and our problems unique, we could all offer each other support and the feeling that we were not alone
“[To other women who are struggling], I'd say relax. It's okay to get help. Stop carrying the burden alone. You can work through things at your own pace, you don't have to do anything you're uncomfortable with and you may just change your life for the better. For me the Dessert Club will be the best decision I've made to help me grow as a person and enjoy life to the fullest. I would recommend it to anyone who feels they struggle with their eating, however great or small they feel their issues are.”
-- Anita, North Yorkshire, UK
"Before the DC, I feared food, I avoided food, I used food to abuse. Life was a chaotic hectic mess.
[Since being in the Dessert Club] I’ve learned so much. I've learned how to shake myself awake during a binge or even when I'm just starting to head downhill with overeating. I don't restrict myself to anything anymore, I allow myself to eat it, feel it, to really, really enjoy it. And that's it. I don't overdo it. And even if I do, I have the tools and training necessary to recognize the signs - and to stop myself in time.
I am so thankful for everything you taught me, Katie - really! You changed my whole relationship with food. Life STILL is chaotic, but the DC has taught me how to react better to it."
— Sherry, New York
"I used to wake up and plan each meal that I would eat, how many calories I could eat, the times I was allowed to eat, etc. Of course, I used to break these rules all the time because I would feel hungry and then feel angry with myself.
But ever since I learned about intuitive eating from you I've stopped overeating and the stomachaches have stopped! I feel so happy every day waking up knowing that I can eat whenever and whatever I want as long as I'm hungry and I stop when I'm full. No gimmicks, dieting, restrictions, guilt -- it's wonderful to feel free.
Thank you, thank you SO much, Katie, for leading such wonderful sessions! You truly changed my life and helped me out of a cycle I thought I'd be stuck in forever. I'll certainly recommend the Dessert Club to anyone I know who is struggling with food. Thank you! "
— Anonymous (not everyone wants their name out there on the internet :)
"I used to be so obsessed, thinking if I lost ten pounds or if I cut out fries, my life would somehow fall in place.
[From the Dessert Club], I learned that the only problem that food solves is hunger. Everything else, you have to confront other ways. I am more aware of how my body feels, what is stressing me out, when I am bored. It's even gone deeper for me, in that I've seen that I use food to connect to people. So I have been trying to connect in other ways!
I think food has tasted better than ever-- I've really slowed down to pay attention to how it tastes, feels and how hungry I am. Slowing down and enjoying your food has really helped me crave less, and think about it less.
I would tell people [thinking about joining the Dessert Club] that is it is a great, great idea! It's really helped me mend my relationship with food (its been obsessive and unhealthy since FOREVER). Seeing that food and weight loss are not the answer to all your problems is eye opening. There are other ways to confront what's going on inside and food is not the enemy! "
— Sarah, Chicago