On a gloriously sunny afternoon in April 2002, the kind of day that southern California is famous for, my friend Maria came to pick me up at the gym where I worked. Before heading to lunch, she told me she needed to run by her house. When we got there, she asked me to come in. It wasn't like her to be so mysterious. Something was up.
When I walked into the living room, I saw my 18-year-old daughter, Aubrey; her high school counselor; my best friend, Cathy; and my mom, all sitting in a circle and looking grim. Why the surprise get-together? It wasn't my birthday. They certainly didn't look like they were celebrating anything. And then I thought: Oh no. I'm in deep trouble. I had a feeling this was about my weight, which had gotten lower and lower over the years.