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Rebecca’s Research – Women, Weight & Embodiment

rebecca's research Jun 01, 2000

While my perspective and understanding of weight loss and psycho-spiritual transformation has matured and deepened dramatically in the 20 years since I conducted this research, several readers suggested I make it available on my website. They appreciated reading an interpretation of women’s experiences with weight through a lens of compassion and wisdom. I hope you enjoy this unusual take on weight loss expertise – understanding the mental, emotional, physical, spiritual, social, and creative challenges and opportunities from the women participants themselves.

I was extremely...

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Research Abstract

rebecca's research May 31, 2000

Women, Weight, and Embodiment:

An Intuitive Inquiry into Women’s Psycho-spiritual Process of Healing Obesity

by

Rebecca Ocean

This exploratory study employed intuitive inquiry to address obesity, not as the physical or emotional health “problem” it is culturally defined to be, but rather as an invitation and avenue for psycho-spiritual growth for an exemplar group of 6 middle-class Euro- American women. The study aimed to add (a) a deeper understanding of the process of psycho-spiritual growth as it relates to obesity and (b) women’s lived experience and knowledge o...

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Statement of Study and Purpose

rebecca's research May 30, 2000

”Any symptom can force you to go deeper into some area… Many people nowadays who discover that they have a major symptom, whether psychological or physical, begin to study it. They get drawn very deeply into the area of their trouble. They want to know more than their doctor. That’s a curious thing, and not at all the way it used to be. People used to trust their doctor. They went to an expert. Now people have new ideas and are thinking for themselves. That’s a very important change in our collective psychology.“(Hillman, 1998, p. 11)

Much has been written...

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Ontogeny of the Research Questions

rebecca's research May 29, 2000

One of the 6 stories in this study is my own. I chose an intuitive inquiry (Anderson 1998, 2000) methodological design because it requires that the researcher’s personal experience is the foundation out of which the study emerges and the template for what will be explored. In addition, rather than attempting to bracket one’s assumptions and biases with the illusion that it is possible to do so to avoid data contamination, intuitive inquiry (Anderson, 1998b, 2000) encourages researchers to explicitly claim and utilize the fullness of their perspective as the tool for critically...

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Literature Introduction

rebecca's research May 28, 2000

As stated in Chapter 1: Introduction, this review of the literature describes my initial perspective for this intuitive inquiry (Anderson 1998,2000). All material in this chapter has been preserved in its original form in order to facilitate a comparison between my understanding at the beginning and at the conclusion of this 2-year project. Bearing witness to the change in my understanding and in deference to my pride, it was extremely difficult to leave this section in this form as it is so much less coherent, complex, and full-bodied than my current view.

Including popular and anecdotal...

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Traditional View of Obesity Expert

rebecca's research May 27, 2000

Having been overweight for 22 of my 34 years of life, I deeply understand the cultural norms and values associated with being overweight and attempting weight loss. My experimentation has included formal and personal education nearly sufficient to earn a degree; numerous weight loss regimes; thousands of weight conversations with professionals and other overweight women; and volumes ofjournal pages filled with the insights, anguishes, and celebrations I have experienced in my effort to achieve right body size. This wealth of experience makes me an expert: I am an expert in my knowledge of...

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Women’s Ways of Knowing and Obesity

rebecca's research May 26, 2000

In Women’s Ways of Knowing, Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger and Tarule (1986) explore how women know and learn. The study is an extension and critique of the work of William Perry, who studied and reported on the learning experiences of men. Belenky et al. studied 135 women of diverse age, ethnicity, class, and educational backgrounds. Women were chosen from formal academic institutions and adult education programs in family agencies.

Their conclusions supported the novel view that women’s experiences of knowing and learning are different from the male experience. In the study...

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The Worm’s Waking by Rumi

poems rebecca's research May 25, 2000

This is how a human being can change:

There’s a worm addicted to eating grape leaves.

Suddenly, he wakes up,

call it Grace, whatever,

something wakes him, and he is no longer a worm.

He’s the entire vineyard, and the orchard too, the fruit, the trunks,

a growing wisdom and joy that doesn’t need to devour.

Next, Transpersonal Psychology and Transpersonal Perspectives on Health

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Transpersonal Psychology and Transpersonal Perspectives on Health

rebecca's research May 25, 2000

Commonly regarded as the fourth expression of 20th century psychology, transpersonal psychology seeks to delve deeply into the most profound and inexplicable aspects of human experiences, including mystical and unitive experiences, experiences of transformation, extraordinary insight, meditative awareness, altered states of consciousness, and self- actualization…. As we turn from the end of the 20th century, a century of enormous change, and toward the beginning of the 21st century with its vast potential, it seems fitting and timely to bring imagination and intuition back into...

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Healing Obesity Through Embodiment

rebecca's research May 24, 2000

What began for me as a troubled relationship with my body fraught with misunderstandings, disappointments, abuse of power, and vast ignorance and insensitivity has developed into a relationship which is best described as sacred. For me, the terms “embodiment” and “sacred relationship with body” imply regard for the dynamic healing process I have experienced in my own relationship with my body, from which this study evolves.

Woodman (1980, 1993), through her research and work with women with disordered eating, incorporates all the elements cited by Lawlis, above, in...

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