In Slate, weight-loss “success story” Shannon Chamberlain (who once weighed 350+ and is now a size 12 “chubby side of normal”) says she doesn’t know anything about weight loss:
The fact of the matter is: I don’t know anything about weight loss. Neither does anyone else. What is emerging from the best research is that the old nutritional mantra—burn fewer calories than you consume—is correct in the thermodynamic sense but useless on the individual level. …
Absent these precise measurements or solutions, how can you look at someone who is obese and hold them personally responsible for each pound? Or personally virtuous for each pound lost?
Let’s say you had to starve yourself daily for bare maintenance of your health and physical appearance. Could you do it? Forever? And would you be happy? I doubt very much that you would. But still, it’s what I have to do.
Read the whole thing; it’s a nice counterpoint to those folks who think their success translates to the entire obese population.