I’ve been getting some great questions about the Dessert Club via email, so I thought I would put together an FAQ about the Dessert Club, in case you had any similar questions!
Don’t see your specific question below? Shoot me an email at email@example.com ! I want to make sure that, if you’re contemplating whether to join the Dessert Club, you feel like you’re able to make the right decision for you.
Dessert Club Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I’ve read all the information you’ve shared about the Dessert Club, but I’m still not exactly sure what we’ll cover in each session. Can you tell me more about that?
A: I like to frame the overarching goal of the Dessert Club in two ways:
A course in “listening” or “data gathering.” You probably have a rough idea of the “problem,” but the Dessert Club offers an opportunity to gather much, much more detailed information about why you eat the way you do. We’ll be exploring the cognitive, emotional, somatic, environmental, relational, and societal factors that contribute to your specific eating behaviors — almost every past participant has told me that they’ve understood their particular eating patterns in a deeper, more nuanced way than before. Once we have a much better understanding of the “why,” figuring out what to do about it becomes much easier.
An opportunity for action. Many people come to the Dessert Club having thought about these issues before. Maybe they’ve taken action — but most of the action might have been things like giving up sugar for 4 weeks because you “ate too much” of it. The structure and accountability of the Dessert Club means that these 8 weeks are a chance for you to actually try things — really specific things that have nothing to do with deprivation or restriction, but are more about addressing the true heart of the issue: “Why do I eat in ways that don’t serve me? And how can I act, more often, in ways that do serve me?”
Each week, we cover a different topic around how we relate to food and our bodies (e.g., hunger, fullness, our bodies, other people, etc.). There’s typically discussion, writing or experiential exercises, and a small “eating” exercise at the end — it’s called the “Dessert Club”, after all! There’s also specific, actionable homework each week that helps you put our topics into practice.
Most of the topics of the Dessert Club are focused on eating- and body-related topics, but the goal is to understand not only our eating better (e.g., is it easy or hard for us to notice our hunger? Do we feel deprived all the time? Why?), but also our entire lives (e.g., why do I always seem to be overeating at work/with my kids/in the morning? What do I need to know about the rest of my life and what changes do I need to make to relate to food with more ease?)
Q: I’ve done a lot of work around my eating in the past — will I get anything new out of the Dessert Club?
A: I can’t 100% know what work you’ve done (feel free to shoot me an email if you’d like to discuss you particular situation in a more detailed way!). However, I can say that there have been many past Dessert Club participants who had done extensive work on these topics (working with therapists, nutritionists, or coaches, in-patient programs, reading, etc.) who told me that they still got something meaningful out of the group.
Of course, if you’ve done work on these topics in the past, some of the concepts I will share in the group may be familiar to you. That’s normal! But the Dessert Club is not just about sharing “ideas” — it is, above all, an experiential process of better understanding and taking action in our lives today.
If, despite having done work in the past, you still struggle, there’s probably some things that still need your attention. The goal of the group is to meet you where you are — whether you are just starting on this path, or have been exploring how you relate to food for some time — and give you the structure, space, and accountability to help you with your current challenges.
Q: I’m nervous or dubious about the group aspect of the Dessert Club. Am I going to be forced to share? Is it actually that useful to share with other people?
A: I totally understand how you feel. I’m a private person who would always prefer to figure out things on her own, without having to make myself vulnerable. Especially things that feel embarrassing or shameful — which our relationships with eating can be!
So the first thing I want to tell you is that lots of past Dessert Club participants have told me, “I was really nervous to participate in the group meetings…” or even “I didn’t think the group meetings would be very useful to me…” and then they finish by saying: “…but they ended up being my favorite part, by far!!” You can read more about their stories (and a lot of raves about the group aspect of the program) here.
Many of us have never talked about our complicated and painful relationships with food with other people before — or only in a very limited, guarded way — so being in a group with a bunch of other people who totally “get it” is a very unique and powerful experience. Also, many participants find that the realizations and observations from other group members are really helpful — they help them learn more about themselves.
But I’ll also say that I try to be very respectful of people’s different ways of connecting with the group. Some people will want to share more, and more intimately, while others may want to listen more. I ask everyone to share a check-in at the beginning of each group meeting, but after that, you won’t be randomly “called on” or forced to share, if you’d rather listen. Also, some people are more comfortable sharing via writing, instead of via live conversation, and there’s plenty of opportunity for that in the group as well.
Q: I have a food allergy/feel sick when I have gluten (or dairy or sugar or meat, etc.). Can I still join the Dessert Club?
A: That’s fine! There’s no set food plan — and everyone is encouraged to eat in a way that best serves them.
However, I will also say that the Dessert Club invites you into a broader definition of “health” and “wellbeing” which includes physical health, but also mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
For example, I’ve worked with many people who think that they “can’t” eat sugar because sugar “makes them feel terrible.” However, I have found that at least some — though not all — of those people have been eating quantities of sugar (or gluten or dairy, etc.) that are simply too large for them. They could, actually, have some smaller quantity of indulgences — and that quantity will vary from person to person — with a very small-to-zero negative impact on their physical health, and a significant improvement in their mental health or happiness.
However, many of us really struggle to eat a quantity of sugar that serves all parts of us — our physical health, but also our emotional, mental, and spiritual health. One of the goals of the Dessert Club is to help you begin to actually discover the right amount of indulgent foods for you, and explore how to eat that quantity on a regular basis.
Q: Who would be a good fit for the Dessert Club?
People who are frustrated with their eating. You’re someone who either keeps your eating “in check” most of the time (though it’s really tiring!), or who keeps “messing up” and eating in ways that don’t serve you (and that’s really frustrating!) — or both!
People who are ready for something genuinely different. The Dessert Club invites you into a profoundly different way of relating to your eating and your life. But it’s not necessarily a fit for everyone — many of us, for many reasons, are afraid to try something new (we’re terrified, for example, that we might gain a pound or two if we give up or strictly managed portion control).
People who are willing to do the work, and have the time and emotional reserves to do the work. Participants often tell me, Katie, I know you said this work might bring up feelings, but wow! I didn’t expect all that to come up! It can be a deep, important, and impactful experience, but make sure you have some time and energy for it
People who want to enjoy food and their life more. You’re not going to be willing to put in the time + emotional energy if you aren’t really, really frustrated with how your relationship to food and your body is affecting you now.
Q: I’d love to join the Dessert Club, but I’d have to miss one session, is that okay?
A: That’s fine! If you have to miss 1-2 sessions, I wouldn’t sweat it — you’ll still feel like you had a nearly “complete” experience. Even if you miss the live session, you’ll get an email from me that summarizes what we discussed and describes the weekly homework, and you’ll be in touch with your fellow Dessert Clubber’s over email between sessions.
If you have to miss more than 2 sessions, I’d recommend waiting until I offer the group again. The live group connection is an important part of the group, and I wouldn’t want you to miss too much of it.
Q; I can’t attend these upcoming Dessert Clubs! Do you have any other suggestions for things I could do?
A: Yes! For some totally free resources, I’d recommend checking out my complete blog archives (here and here) — I describe a bunch of practices you can try, and offer some new ways of thinking about your relationship with food (here’s a couple of actionable places to start: one, two, three)
I also offer individual coaching — if you’d like to have a free, no-pressure conversation with me about what coaching is and whether it might be a good fit for you, you request a call with me here.
If you can organize a group of 4 or more friends who want to be in a Dessert Club, I’ll offer a private group just for you (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more on that). Or you can just wait until I offer the Dessert Club again! I hope to do so sometime this Spring.
Or — if you just have something specific that you’re struggling with, shoot me an email and ask! I’d love to point you in the direction of a resource or a blog post that might be useful to you.
Q: I’d love to join a Dessert Club, but I can’t afford it!
A: I totally understand — I know that we all have periods of our lives where finances may be tight, and I want to make sure that all sorts of folks can join the group. I’ve made one significantly discounted seat available in each Dessert Club for folks who couldn’t otherwise afford to join, and I hope to be able to do so the next time I offer the groups. Unfortunately, the application deadline has passed and the spots have been filled for this round of the Dessert Club.
If you’d like to apply for a discounted Dessert Club tuition in the future, please sign up to receive my weekly email newsletters — that’s where I’ll be announcing the application when it’s next available.
Q: I still have a question that you haven’t answered here!
A: No worries! Feel free to email me at email@example.com . I can either answer it over email, or we can schedule a time to hop on a quick phone call to chat. I want to make sure that all of your questions are answered.
As always, I’m rooting for you in the week ahead. You’ve got this.
p.s. If you’re interested in joining a Dessert Club, you can find more details about the two upcoming groups here. They start next week! :)