No matter where you are--Atkins, Weight Watchers, Paleo, Primal, OA, vegitarian, vegan--there is a crowd busily pointing out how misguided or just plain stupid the other program is. For emphasis, the other people are unhealthy for some scientific reason and you can tell they are unhealthy just by looking at them. There is so much not going for this attitude, but one thing in particular is that many of the people doing the disparaging came from one of those programs.
An unending need to kick where you came from in the teeth represents an attack not just on that situation, but on yourself. If anyone came out of any of those programs and didn't learn anything useful, that's their fault and not the fault of the program. Even if that is what happened, isn't it time to forgive yourself and move on? This isn't to say that the programs shouldn't be judged on their merits. The recent U.S. News and World Report diet ranking, which was based on opinion rather than outcome, was the kind of travesty that is typical of how food plans have been evaluated over the last century. Bash that all you want.
But if you tried to eat according to the Food Pyramid and got fat, this tells us something: you learned what fats, proteins and carbs are and you learned how eating a high carb diet makes a person fat and possibly even diseased (hopefully you got out before then, if not at least you got out). A person who tried to follow the pyramid and failed is several steps ahead of a person who has no idea what they are eating, what nutrition is, and therefore no idea what needs to change. A person who has realized that none of this is working and wants to change is ahead of them all.
I followed Weight Watchers and ended up with serious difficulties, but I learned a lot about portion size and food management and how to take control over my own food. Since the Weight Watchers program depends entirely upon those skills, no one else does it better. If you need to learn those skills, you couldn't do better than to apprentice yourself to successful Weight Watchers members. Amazingly, you can do this for free on the Weight Watchers chat boards. Read and learn.
I'm currently hanging with the Primal people, and if I hadn't had my Weight Watchers experience I would be in very big trouble. I certainly would not be moving in a good direction with my health. I'm doubly fortunate, both because I did learn a lot from Weight Watchers and because I know it. On this day after Father's Day, I would encourage everyone to give themselves the gift of this same good fortune, not just in food but in life.