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Living in a changed body: insights into the experiences of those reaching their weight loss goal

Ropner, V. (2020). Living in a changed body: insights into the experiences of those reaching their weight loss goal. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


This study investigates the experience of women who have reached goal weight after significant weight loss. The literature search focused on the experience of a changing body and also highlighted a plethora of research on the psychological correlates of obesity. There were highly disturbing findings on the pervasive nature and severe impact of weight bias and extensive research on weight loss in clinical settings. However, there was a dearth of literature on the experience of reaching goal weight, therefore this study aims to shed light on the subjective lived experience of this phenomenon.

Eight adult women who had lost at least a quarter of their bodyweight in the community through diet and exercise, were recruited within the six months of reaching their goal weight.

The study used semi-structured interviews, which were analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. The superordinate themes that emerged were focused on the changing body throughout the weight loss process: 1. Do fat lives matter 2. “People” on the journey 3. Reaching goal weight, 4 The future in a changed body. These themes follow each other chronologically.

Finally, the discussion looked at the study’s contribution to the areas of obesity, weight bias, the morality of the fat body, body image, weight loss and improvements to psychological well-being and the experience of reaching goal weight. These were discussed in relation to the current social context, counselling psychology practice and the literature review.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
[thumbnail of The Thesis - Vicky Ropner_EWDP.pdf]
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