WIN Wyoming

Thought Bullets
October 2005

Let Their Voices Be Heard - Physical Activity

 Five years ago Fred Vanden Heede, Suzy Pelican, and I had a vision for a qualitative research project for Wellness IN the Rockies (WIN the Rockies).  The research team would collect narratives (or life stories) from adults in the areas of physical activity, food and eating, and body image.  Could the narratives offer glimpses of clarity into complex and often conflictual human behaviors?  Why do some people carve out time every day to be physically active while others find that impossible?  Why are some people prone to emotional eating?  Can excessive weight be a form of a protective shield? While working on the narrative research project, I had a dream to capture many of the quotations from the transcripts into a book that could be shared broadly.  Two and half years later and more hurdles than I care to discuss, the book is now published.  David Buchanan, University of Massachusetts, wrote the foreword for the book and stated, “We now seem to be in the midst of an ‘epidemic’ of obesity that is as troubling as it is difficult to comprehend. . . .  One of the great contributions of Let Their Voices Be Heard is that it allows us to see that we are not alone, and if many people are struggling with the same problem, then perhaps there is something more to the picture than the sum of individual failings.”  For this month’s thought bullets, I share with you some of my favorite passages from the book in the area of physical activity.

Holmes B, Pelican S, Vanden Heede F.  Let Their Voices Be Heard - Quotations from life stories related to physical activity, food and eating, and body image. Discovery Association Publishing House. Chicago, IL. 2005.

Compiled by Betty Holmes, MS, RD

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