In my family, I was the chubby child between a skinny brother and sister who nicknamed me "the Blimp." "Sturdy" was my dad's name for my physique, which was round and squat and showed no signs of shedding baby fat once I grew, as the pediatrician had promised. At school, I was the shortest and second-plumpest person in the fourth grade, a fact made painfully clear by our group class picture.
The day it came in its semi-sheer wax envelope, tucked among my grinning mug shots, I took it home and showed my dad as he sipped his martini.
"Hmm," he said, peering hard through his glasses in the lamplight. "What do you think?"
I sagged under the weight of his attention. In a low voice I admitted, "I look fat."
He frowned. He was the parent I most resembled, moody and mercurial, sarcastic and judgmental. My sweet-natured mom was my comforter. But at times like this, when I wanted more than reassurance, my dad, the ex-Marine, could be brilliant.
"What we need," heRead More »from A Father-Daughter Diet Success Story