Did that title perk you up? Were you thinking, wait, is Katie going to tell me how to lose weight in only four hours?
Sorry about that. If you want one of those, you might want to click on one of those internet ads that promises: “Experts Hate This Los Angeles Mom for her Fat Loss Secret.”
This “Four Hour Diet” is actually something that you’ve probably already been on.
Here’s one way it can happen:
You have an extravagant, lush, high-calorie lunch. The cheesiest lasagna, just to give a totally random, never-happened-to-me example.
You feel a little too full, and you’re reminded of how you’ve been a little to full a couple of times recently. That makes you think of how your pants are a little bit tight and how you used to be thinner three years ago.
You resolve to go on a diet.
You immediately begin to plan. What you’ll eat, what you won’t eat. You plan for the eggs or smoothies or whatever it is you’ll eat for breakfast. Yes, you might have to go out for brunch or dinner less or drink less alcohol, but will that really matter in the face of the benefits?
Ah, the benefits. How much weight should you plan to lose? Five pounds would be great. But while you’re already losing weight, why not just do 10? Or fifteen? Heck, you’d feel awesome if you lost a neat twenty pounds.
You imagine showing up to social events and having ex-boyfriends/friends you haven’t seen in a long time/your mom say, “wow, you look incredible in that halter top.” And then you’ll say, totally casually, “Oh, yeah, I guess I’ve lost a bit of weight recently.”
Then, it’s four hours later…
You haven’t eaten a meal since you “started” this diet (you’re trying to reduce snacking as part of your diet, obviously), and you walk by a frozen yogurt place.
You usually don’t even like frozen yogurt, but you’re so hungry and you feel so deprived by this diet you were planning to go on, so you walk inside and get a large bowl of it, because you were on a freaking four hour diet and it is TIME TO BE FREE.
I mean, just hypothetically. It’s not like that’s happened to me or anything.
You could also call this the “twenty minute diet” or the “48-hour diet.” The point is that it’s based on living in a fantasy world of who we’d like to be around food, rather than who we really ARE.
We’d like to be people who didn’t mind being hungry, or giving up foods we enjoy.
We’d like to be people who are five or ten or thirty pounds thinner.
We’d like to be people who have so much willpower that we can live in this fantasy world for as long as it takes to lose the weight.
Oh, yeah, and then I guess we’d have to stay in that fantasy world to maintain that weight loss, too.
The big problem is that living in that fantasy world is exhausting.
The even bigger problem is that living in a fantasy world is impossible.
I’d like to end this post by inviting you back to the Reality. Honestly, it’s not so bad here. You might be afraid of living in Reality because you’re afraid that your hunger or your cravings are these big, ravenous, frightening creatures, but honestly, it’s probably not as bad as you think.
Most of us can have a peaceful, calm, delicious, and happy relationship with food. Most of us can radically reduce our compulsive or emotional or bingeing eating episodes by understanding the deeper things that drive them.
Honestly, I think you’d like it here. In Reality.
There’s so many ways to make that journey back to Reality. I’ve written about a ton of them on my blog (Here’s the archive on Dessertclub.com, here’s my even older archive, and here’s a couple of specific things you can do to get started – one, two, and three).
But if you’d like some support on that journey (it can be incredibly helpful!), I run small group classes that do just that. They’re called Dessert Clubs, and I only run them twice a year. Here are the upcoming dates.
And no matter what your path back to reality takes, please know that I’m rooting for you. You’ve got this.