I was talking to my 20-year-old son the other day about how I would like to lose weight and mentioned that if I was paid to lose weight I probably could do it. I confided in him that the people you see on the commercials for weight loss are paid. He wondered if he could be paid to gain weight – he has struggled with gaining weight – he is now proudly 117 pounds. During our conversation I told him that I was making a deal with myself. When I lose 10 pounds I will reward myself with a special purchase. I said that it took me awhile to figure out what that reward should be. I was considering a big screen TV. You could visibly see the excitement growing in his eyes as I spoke. And when I said, “But I decided no – the big screen TV did not speak to me in my heart.” He jumped up and screamed, “What??? Nooooooo!!!!!” and proceeded to tell me how great a big screen TV would be – how Survivor would look so cool, how we could watch family movies together etc. After he sat down, I explained that I was working hard on my painting and that I wanted to make snakes my main focus. I would get books from the library and use them as reference, but got frustrated because I could not keep them. So I decided that my special reward would be to buy my own snake books. You could have heard a pin drop. He looked blankly at me and said, “Snake books. You could get anything and you chose snake books.” “But the snake books speak to me!” I replied. He looked dejected, but then I saw a gleam in his eye – “I could buy myself a big screen TV. I’m working now – I could save up and buy one myself.” Sure you could, I responded. Of course in the back of my head I was saying to myself, “Just like you were going to save up to buy a car. And now you have $5 left in your pocket.” But I just kept silent and let him have his dream. Who knows – maybe he actually will save enough. In fact maybe I should encourage him. Afterall, he did say that he would allow me to watch it in his room – and he was right – I bet Survivor would look pretty cool.