A very close friend of mine is always reminding me that, “if you have something of value, your first obligation is to protect it.” Well for me the most valuable thing in my life is and always will be my daughter Meghan. And in a way, one of the most dangerous things that I have to protect her from is partially my own fault. Without even knowing it, Meghan inherited some REALLY bad genes. Childhood obesity is on the rise in our country, and I am sure that my beautiful little girl didn't need any extra “help” from my wife and I in what is sure to be a lifelong struggle for her as it is. But sadly that is exactly what happened. Lori and I each have weight issues on both sides of our families. It worries me that because of those issues, Meg will have twice as hard a time as she should keeping her weight down and staying healthy as the years go by. “Double the trouble” you might say. I was lucky enough to grow up in a great neighborhood in Queens, with lots of great friends and family around me. However, kids can definitely be cruel at times. Sometimes adults can be too. Trust me, growing up with a serious weight problem is not always fun.

One of my biggest fears is that Meghan will have to grow up the way I did. Horribly overweight, constantly dealing with all of the ridicule and embarrassment, not to mention all of the physical and emotional pains that go along with it. So my wife and I try to encourage as much movement as possible and instill good eating habits in Meghan now at her young age. It was for that reason that for Valentine's Day this year I decided to think outside the box. While trying to come up with the perfect gifts, it occurred to me to toss aside the traditional roses and candy. Instead I came home with the Wii video game system. For anyone that doesn't know, the Wii forces you to get up off the couch to play. All of the movements on the screen are simulated by the person playing the game. My wife and daughter were totally excited. Now we will be able to spend quality time together while also keeping ourselves active. The very first night we took the Wii out of the box, the three of us played a few games of bowling, a few holes of golf and even boxed a few rounds. Afterwards, Meghan turned to me smiling, her face red and flushed, and she let out a long “wheeeeeew” as she wiped the sweat from her forehead. It's a start.