01/27/2012 12:26 pm ET

The Surprising Secret To Loving Your Body

Although it's family that forms your body image, your friends -- the family you choose -- have a powerful impact on how you feel about your shape as an adult, for better or worse. Find out if your crew is confidence-boosting and how to connect with pals who buoy you, even on "I feel fat" days.

Before I reveal his worst flaw, let me say a few words in defense of my father. He's a kind man. Loving. But he was raised by a critical Protestant mother, and he himself has a tendency to criticize. When I was 9, he found it amusing to occasionally point out that I hadn't lost my baby fat. When I was in my 20s and lean, he still said it, until I finally told him how much it irked me. He apologized, seemingly contrite, then said it again the next day.

Read more on SELF