Hi, I’m Katie! I started the Dessert Club because changing my relationship with food changed my entire life for the better. I stopped having to obsess about what I was going to eat and I got to actually enjoy food. As someone who loves food so much that she knows the best bakery in every New York City neighborhood, that was a pretty friggin’ big deal.
But dealing with food improved almost every other part of my life – from my romantic relationships, friendships, career, ambitions, working style, relationship to exercise, and more. I know that sounds a little dramatic, but I really mean it.
After making all these changes, I noticed that almost every woman I knew had an unhappy relationship with food, and most of us kept it a secret. I kept thinking that other people needed to know what’d I’d learned – why were we all spending our lives suffering needlessly?
So the Dessert Club was born. My dream was to create a safe space where funny, caring people could gather and support each other as they healed their own relationships with food. I’m beyond proud of these groups + the changes I’ve witnessed. I hope you’ll join us :)
I have early memories of careful warning about food:
“Some women get to eat what they like, Katie, but we are not those people. The women in our family gain weight easily, so we have to be careful.”
And so I was careful. I was an organized, disciplined teenager, and I applied that same discipline to eating. I made my sandwiches with only one piece of bread and avoided peanut butter (too much fat and not filling enough). I made sure that I never ate too much when I went out to restaurants. I was teased for only eating half of a cupcake or three bites of a cookie, but secretly I was proud: if I don’t overindulge, I won’t gain weight.
But when I got to college, my strict rules about eating started to break down.
For reasons I couldn’t quite explain, I kept eating too much. I could stick to my rules for most of my meals, but then sometimes, in secret or even in public, I would eat three brownies, or four slices of pizza.
I remember one day showing up to see my boyfriend, and my belly was so full that it felt like a beach ball. And another time when I sat on the floor of my dorm room and crying because I’d eaten half a jar of Nutella, after spending all day promising myself that I would be “responsible.”
The voice in my head was so loud: Why do you keep doing this? You are smart and hardworking, and following a diet or eating guidelines isn’t even hard.
I was always googling diets and I weighed myself multiple times a day, hoping that somehow the number would go down. But despite all of the effort and worry and frustration, I was lucky if it even stayed the same.
It felt like there were two parts of me: The happy, together Katie, who had friends and boyfriends and was successful at an Ivy League school and prestigious management consulting firm. And then there was eating Katie, who was a wild, crazy animal who was never satisfied.
Eventually, I hit a breaking point. I was exhausted and annoyed with myself and I just felt like I can’t live this way. I embarked upon a journey that let me radically change how I approached food.
I eventually realized that I could be one of those people who got to eat what she liked without gaining weight.
That realization totally rocked my world.
When I go out for meals, I pick the most delicious thing on the menu and order that. Sometimes I even order a big slice of chocolate cake before the meal, and have a few bites before I put it away and save it for later. It’s not willpower -- I just genuinely don’t want any more.
And I stopped trying to change my body, because I realized that it is the fixation on a certain body shape or size that can make food issues so much worse. And you know what? It was fine. Turns out all that obsession didn't really do much good anyway.
If you’d told me before that I could be one of those women who says, “after four bites, the cake is really just too much for me,” I would have laughed in your face.
Sometimes I still pinch myself that I can really enjoy food without feeling any worry.
Even more amazingly, my entire life changed for the better. I started realizing that when I was over-eating, there was always something else going on. I ate a huge dinner because I wanted to stop working, and meals were the only “allowable” break. I ate handfuls of chips or cookies at a party or out with specific friends because I felt awkward being there. If I didn’t want to face the next day, I’d find myself eating right before bed.
It became clear to me that I only had two options: change my life, or keep eating.
So I changed my life. I re-evaluated my career, my friendships, my romantic relationships, where I lived, and even how I spent my day. It was scary and hard, but it was also the best thing I’ve ever done. (I know this sounds cheesy, but I mean it!) In a way I never would have expected, it was my relationship with food that showed me the way.
The key to my journey was so simple, but something that I’d never heard people talk about before. I had to remember how to listen to my body: to re-learn how to eat when I was hungry, and listen to my body about what it wanted to eat.
And most importantly, I had to realize that most of my food problems weren’t about food at all -- and figure out why the heck I was eating so much when I wasn’t hungry (spoiler: it was about everything else in my life -- my relationships, career, and more).
Where to start?
After reading my story, are you thinking "I'd love to feel like that, but I have no clue where to start" ?
I know exactly how you feel. If you want to get some useful advice and some actions to take right now, check out our free ebook, which has a helpful quiz + advice for what you can start doing today (I highly recommend it :)
But no matter what, please know that I'm rooting for you.
You might be feeling scared or overwhelmed or excited. But I know for sure that you've got this.