Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational, and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life. Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

[No unsolicited guest blogs accepted, thank you]

Something Better Than Hope


One of my clients was aghast when I suggested she might want to stop relying on hope as much as she did. Her initial reaction was, “If I give up hope, how will I move forward? There’s nothing left without it. I could never give it up.” This is an unfortunate mindset, because, as she now realizes, “Hope can be deceiving.”

Hope is defined as “a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen” (Oxford Languages Dictionary), and therein lies the problem. We think of hope as making something happen, causing it, when all it does is act as a space holder until other things we do, think and feel deliver a specific outcome. Hope makes us feel good and is fine if we understand that, in itself, it does not deliver results.

Hope also has a substantial downside. Think of all the times you’ve hoped that someone would stop a behavior (drinking, drugging, yelling, being irresponsible) or how often you’ve hoped that you could become a “normal” eater. What does hope do but keep you focused on the end point? Instead, you want to be focused on what you can do to get you there.

To get where you want to go, hope can sustain motivation, but it won’t provide you with the steps to reach an end point. For that you need life skills, the right ones to generate learning and practice. What I’ve seen in my work is that too many people use hope instead of learning and practicing, as if hoping, wishing and praying will carry the day. 

In my book, hope is a lightweight compared to believing in yourself and maintaining a positive attitude no matter what happens. Believing you will succeed is far more effective than hoping you will. Believing implies that success is guaranteed, although, of course, it’s not. It’s a way of charging you up to do whatever you need to do to achieve your goals, a deeply rooted feeling that’s impossible to shake. 

Moreover, a positive attitude involves positive self-talk which hope doesn’t foster. The best self-talk includes always being kind, empowering, encouraging, loving, and compassionate to yourself. It means pushing yourself to be brave when you want to cower and guiding yourself every step of the way with innate wisdom. Practicing positive self-talk is active, whereas hope is passive. 

Consider whether you’ve been overly reliant on hope to change your eating. You don’t need to give it up, but to succeed at becoming a “normal” eater, you’ll need to add other ingredients to the mix. Start believing in yourself and talking to yourself as if you do.




Getting Ready to Be a “Normal” Eater
Biases Beyond Weight

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.karenrkoenig.com/

This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.