Hi all.

The holidays are here, the turmoil, the festivities, the preparation, buying presents, not buying presents. How to deal with it? Social events. Everybody is supposed to be in a celebratory mood and here we are together wanting to be celebratory like everybody else and finding ourselves conflicted and why are we conflicted? Well everybody seems to be doing things and much of what is being done surrounds some kind of food. People bringing things into the office, people asking you to go out for lunch, for dinner, going shopping and stopping off and here we are wanting to lose weight.

So the question really is: who am I talking to? Am I talking to the fun-loving person who couldn't care less? Am I talking to the person who wants to be fun-loving but is conflicted because how can I control and at the same time let loose and enjoy. The question seems from the outset to be a conflictual one but it really isn't unless we lose sight of who we are. Here's what I mean by that: if I want to be like everyone else then am I the me that I want to be and if I am the me that I want to be does that mean I can't be like everyone else?

I'm only going to speak for myself what I find in my life is that the nature of for example what I do for a living is doing things with and for other people. I'm here to help you lose weight. I'm focused on it and I savour in the opportunity of listening to you coming in and telling me the wonderful circumstances that you were involved with and we're able to lose weight at the same time. Same is true for me except for one thing: I have realised over the years that unless I am doing something that is antagonistic or conflictual or at odds or putting pressure on someone else, no one really cares as to what it is that I'm doing but I care how I feel in doing things that make other people feel supposedly happy but don't make me feel happy. There's a second part to that and that's a thought that pops in: if I do something that you want me to do for you and it doesn't make me happy. I better have a really good reason to do it because in the end I'm going to be left with my feelings and my feelings are not going to make me happy.

In questioning patients over the last several months in preparing for this time of year the thing that stood out more than anything else was the concern that if I don't act and behave the way other people are behaving that people will not like me and I thought about that and I questioned and a serious number of people had the same thoughts and feelings. I'm one of those people who goes into their head then and thinks about what it is that I've learned and what I decided was that it wasn't possible on a serious level for people to truly like or dislike me if it was being done because I was doing something for them. Now where does that leave me? That leaves me in situations and circumstances a party at work, going out to dinner on a Monday night, watching the Monday Night Football with friends of mine, a social event and people saying to me come on join in. I understand they're wanting me to join in because when I join in they feel complimented in that they and I and other people together are doing something together and so it's in that togetherness that the positiveness comes out.

Now, why is it that I can't talk with you, relax with you, interact with you, share things with you but all of that is cast away when I say no I'm not going to have that piece of pizza or chicken tender or hamburger because that is personal. So why is it that I have to do what you want me to do in order for you to like me? The answer is simple: I don't need to do what you want me to do in order for you to like me because what it says is I'm invisible because the only thing that stands out is in some way shape or form I am doing something to make you feel good and you like to have me around because I make you feel good.

What is it that I'm suggesting? I'm suggesting that you share what it is you're thinking at the moment it occurs. You know I'd really like to have that piece of pizza but I know how guilty I'm going to feel afterwards and annoyed because I'm going to be doing something that I won't be happy about. I appreciate your wanting me to join I with you. You know I've been having a terrific time, we've been talking, we've been doing things and everything was fine and I wanted to continue to be fine so I'm not going to have that piece of pizza but I'm going to watch you chew on yours and savour every swallow that you'd make. So I'm going to get my pleasure through you. How does that sound? That I'm going to get my pleasure through you and I want you to get the pleasure that I feel because I'm going to enjoy and be happy with you doing what it is that you want to do. Is that an interesting proposition? Sharing, verbalising, what other people are doing and telling them that although you are not going to do what they are doing you're going to enjoy their pleasure and that's what's going to make you feel good.

Tell me what you think, write me, email me, call me in the office, talk to you soon.

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