Anne -- I DO think you're a success. Overwhelmingly so. In fact, at the end, Kolata claims that it's the OVERWEIGHT who live longest! Not the "normal" weight. But... that claim is probably controversial too.
I could see myself in you, as well. I know that I engage in some of that "extra" eating... one of the many reasons the scale has not moved down for me. I don't engage in emotional eating to the extent I used to -- but it is still a struggle sometimes.
Valerie -- I like your interpretation: Kolata's claims are an explanation that provide us strategies. If I buy the argument that I may LOOK like a never obese person, but inside I'm different, then I know that I will need to behave differently to keep the weight off. I know Meg talks about this all the time.
I think another thing to like about the biological argument is that it can take some of the stigma away from being obese -- it's NOT just as simple as "eat less move more" for many people. I mean, it IS, but we're fighting against something that never obese people fight against. And maybe some of the "never obese" people need to hear that.
But again, I don't want to absolve myself of the responsibility I have to myself and of what I did to myself to get obese in the first place...
My 5 C's of healthy living: Commitment to conscious control, with the understanding that choices have consequences