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Weighin' on their minds, a phenomenological perspective of women living with greater-than-average body weight

by Wilde, Isabel

Abstract (Summary)
The purpose of this phenomenological inquiry was to describe and find meanhg in the human experience of living with pater-than-average body weight. Data generation occurred piedominaatly ihrough conversational interviews with five women who experience living with greater-than-average body weight on a day-today bis. Essentiai themes derived fiom women's stories: experiencing more,experiencing les, and experiencing wellness were explored and described existentiaily within the context of their lives. The fïndings, in the fom of descriptive phenomenological writing, revded a multiplicity of meanings (congruent with phenomenological inquiry) for women living with greater-than-average body weight, both particular and universal, that transcendecithe obvious and taken-for-granted to the discovery of deeper significant realities ''weigb on their minds." Expanding knowledge and understanding some of these deeper issues and their potential and actual impact on holistic health for human beings in general is intended to heighten nurses' awarewss at al1 levels (resewh, education, and practice) and beckon action toward improved client advocacy, health promotion, and prevention of disability and illness in the area of body weight, size, and appearance. iii Acknowkdgememb 1would like to express my deepea appreciation to al1 those people who, in some way or other, helped me to envision, develop, mite, and complete this work. Although 1 cannot aclcnowledge each and every individual personally for theù contributions(great or small), 1do wish to pay special tribute to several wbo have been particularly supportive during this process. To the following, 1can't thank you enough! My husband, Roger, and our daughter, Lindsey, for their unconditionai love, endless encouragement, and random (though muent) acts of kindness and support; and to dl of my family for saying, "you can do it" at times when I thought 1 couldn't - without you, 1 couldn't have done it! My supervisor, Dr. Lorraine Watson for guidance and encouragement; Dr. Beverly Anderson for inciting in me a phenomenological curiosity; and the rest of my cornmittee members: Professor Carol Ewashen, ad my exteinal examiner Dr. Nancy Arthur, thank you for your expertise and guidance. Adrieme, Jeder, Jessie, Lark, and Moira for sharing intimate pieces of your lives to advance knowledge and help others. Jean Groft, my good fkiend, colleague, editor, supporter, and - did I say fiend? Chris ad Vinnie Jensen for offering a place of solitude without which 1would not have been able to immerse myself so deeply into the process. Elaine Wilde for hours of technical support and encouragement Funding whch made it all possible hm: Women Helping Women Scholarship, Calgary Chapter of Women in Psychology Faculty of N h g Award, University of Calgary iv Person's Case Scholarship, Alberta Community Development Graduate Research Scholarship, University of Calgary Diane Davidson Scholarship, Alberta Registered Nurses Educational Trust Finally, 1 wish to thank God, and Jesus Christ,to Whom 1give full credit and gratitude for ALL things in my We, for 1believe through Them, al1 things are possible! I am gratefid for the times my mind was cleared of clutter and confusion, which was quite oflen 1might add, and the subsequent orghtion of thought that came so clearly to me as I prayed for inspiration and guidance. Many times 1 felt enligbtenment, sometimes even intelligent, in my soui as 1progressed this work - for this 1am tnily gratefiil!
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Source Type:Master's Thesis

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Date of Publication:01/01/2001

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