A peer-led class specifically designed with and for people living in bigger bodies who have experienced shame, stigma, judgement or trauma in the movement setting. MMW aims to help attendees explore an autonomous, brave and life-enhancing relationship with movement in a mirror-free, shame-free, size-inclusive and trauma-informed space.
An extension of the original Movement My Way class for people living in bigger bodies with a specific focus on strength. Note: For the sole purpose of access to equipment, this class is located in a private gym so mirrors, external members and weight-related messaging may be present. It is recommended participants begin in the original MM
An extension of the original Movement My Way class for people living in bigger bodies with a specific focus on strength. Note: For the sole purpose of access to equipment, this class is located in a private gym so mirrors, external members and weight-related messaging may be present. It is recommended participants begin in the original MMW class then move to this class only if it feels safe to navigate fitness culture in an informed and empowering way. We therefore recommend checking in with Alanah prior to attending.
A peer-led class specifically designed with and for people living in a variety of bodies and navigating a range of clinical conditions, who wish to explore an autonomous, brave and life-enhancing relationship with movement in a mirror-free, shame-free, size-inclusive and trauma-informed space.
Includes 5% discount ($23.75/class)
Exercise Physiology is the study of the mind+body’s responses to physical activity.
Every single cell, tissue, organ and organ system in the body affect, and are are affected by movement.
The interaction between a human and movement is incredibly complex, not only physically but also emotionally, socially, and more.
An AEP is a university qualified allied health professional whose role is to help design, deliver and evaluate clinically safe and effective exercise and education interventions for people living with acute, sub-acute and chronic medical conditions, injuries and/or varying abilities.
AEPs assist individuals living with neurological, psychological, musculoskeletal, metabolic, respiratory/pulmonary, cancers and other conditions engage in autonomous, enjoyable, safe and life-enhancing movement for which there is evidence it may help improve clinical status and quality of life.
AEPs are dual accredited, holding the foundational accreditation of an Accredited Exercise Scientist in addition to their AEP status.
AEP services are recognised and rebated by government and private organisations including Medicare, DVA, NDIS, Work Cover, private health funds and more.
An AEP trained and experienced in ED recovery (preferably with an advanced scope title such as Alanah - see next FAQ) can help you understand and engage in safe, autonomous and life-enhancing movement and education both during and beyond recovery.
An AEP can help you reclaim a positive or at least neutral relationship with movement, instead of it remaining “hijacked” by ED. It is important to remember that the quality of our movement (i.e. our thoughts, emotions, urges and circumstances) may be more predictive of outcomes than the quantity we engage in (i.e. frequency, intensity, duration, type, etc).
Continued engagement in dysfunctional exercise (DE) (i.e. compulsive, rigid, weight-driven, etc), as well as complete exercise abstinence, has been associated with an increased risk of relapse, longer hospital time, poorer treatment outcomes, more severe psychopathologies, and worsened illness chronicity for people with eating disorders. Further, comorbid conditions can also be negatively affected.
Conversely, providing evidenced-based, nutritionally-supported, and prescribed movement and education has been associated with improved quality of life, body composition (e.g bones, muscles), central health markers of the eating disorder, improved comorbid physical and psychological symptomatology, treatment compliance, long-term prognosis, and has no negative outcomes on weight gain. Comorbid conditions may also benefit from this approach.
The ethics of NOT providing individuals in ED recovery with the opportunity to explore safe movement and education have been questioned, as many people finish ED treatment without the tools to cope with existing and underlying exercise concerns. This approach has been likened to telling a person in recovery to “just eat”, without providing any nutritional support or education and it can lead to negative outcomes consistent with those in paragraph three, above.
In short, an AEP can ONLY assist with exercise-related aspects of your ED recovery (see scope of practice, below). Conversely, your psychologist and dietitian have their own scopes of practice related to psychology and food/nutrition.
All therapies will overlap at times, e.g. AEPs are able to provide you with basic counselling to help you make necessary changes to your movement. However, your psychologist/ psychiatrist/ GP/ paediatrician will provide you with and oversee the necessary ”bigger picture” psychological guidance that an AEP is not at all trained in or capable of delivering. Your team should work together to understand each other’s roles and how they can best support you within their respective scopes.
Scope of Practice Guidelines from Exercise and Sports Science Australia (ESSA):
“2.0 Scope of AEP Practice
Professional practice is influenced by many factors including the context in which practice occurs, individual needs, the practice environment, as well as local, government and industry policies. The scope of practice that ESSA accepts as reasonable for AEPs to be involved in is listed below.
• 2.1 Screening, assessing and applying clinical reasoning to ensure the safety and appropriateness of exercise and physical activity interventions, which includes conducting tests of physiological measures;
• 2.2 Assessing movement capacity in people of all ages and levels of health, well-being or fitness *;
• 2.3 Development of safe, effective individualised exercise interventions;
• 2.4 Provision of health education, advice and support to enhance health and well-being;
• 2.5 Provision of exercise intervention and education for those at risk of developing a chronic condition or injury;
• 2.6 Provision of clinical exercise prescription, for those with existing chronic and complex medical conditions and injuries;
• 2.7 Provision of exercise-based rehabilitation and advice for patients following the acute stage of injury, surgical intervention, or during recovery to restore functional capacity and well-being; and
• 2.8 The above tasks may occur at any level of primary, secondary or tertiary health care, and may include employment or volunteer work at an individual, community or population health level through
various employers or industries.
3.0 Core Rules, Regulations & Boundaries
AEPs are university qualified allied health professionals who specialise in the delivery of exercise, lifestyle and/or behaviour modification programs for the prevention and management of illness and injury or for apparently healthy populations. They are trained to screen, assess and apply clinical reasoning to ensure safety and appropriateness of exercise-based interventions.”
More information is available at: https://www.essa.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Scope-of-Practice-for-AEP.pdf
Accredited Exercise Physiologists operate via three levels of scope:
1. Foundational scope: “The minimum combination of knowledge, skills and reasoning to gain accreditation.”
2. Special interest scope: An interest in a particular field of EP;
3. Advanced scope (this includes Alanah, in the area of exercise and eating and weight concerns):
Alanah has, as per the ESSA Advanced Scope criteria:
If you’re wondering whether we’ll adjust the intensity, frequency, type, duration, rest, recovery, nutrition, hydration, education, beliefs, etc, alongside you and your treating team, then most likely, yes. But this will rarely, if ever, mean NO movement or education in recovery, as (a) this is not possible and (b) the ethics of not providing an opportunity to help you navigate a safe return to/relationship with movement have been criticised and can contribute to relapse, longer hospital time, worse outcomes and more. If the recommendations we provide feel too great a change, and are likely to trigger other dangerous coping mechanisms as a replacement, we can work together to create a ”harm-minimisation” approach to movement instead.
It’s completely fine if you don’t like or engage in exercise! Our typical movement culture is shocking, harmful, and disordered. Our question may instead be, do you dislike movement/avoid it as a result of fear, pain, etc? Or did you decide this completely neutrally? Also, we may explore your unique definition of what exercise is, and your past experiences with it. Unfortunately, if we avoid something due to a negative reason, where it’s not a neutral decision, it can still be causing us psychological harm. Some people prefer to explore their relationship with movement in an emotionally, socially, and physically brave space before they make a decision about whether to move or not. You are worthy and moral either way.
In almost every case, no. Your treating team will usually weigh you (e.g. psychologist, GP, dietitian, etc) if you require weight gain/stabilisation in ED recovery. We may need to check your weight for fluid change (oedema) if you have heart failure and we need to assess exercise suitability that day. Other than this, we rely on other measures like heart rate, blood pressure, psychological state, etc, to inform safe movement decision making.
AIM helps people explore and practice an autonomous, brave and life-enhancing relationship with movement. We practice via our values listed on the ”About Us” page. The active pursuit of weight loss is not part of our offerings, however we respect this may be part of some people’s goals, particularly considering our pervasive ”health and fitness” culture. It may also occur organically for some individuals. The reasons we do not offer weight loss as a service are numerous, with one of the main reasons being that there is not a sustainable, risk-free way to lose weight. See more here: https://asdah.org/health-at-every-size-haes-approach/. Another reason is that it can cause an extremely negative relationship with our body and can create detremental consequences, both physically and emotionally, such as relapse or the worsening of an eating disorder, the development of an eating disorder, poor/worse mental health, body image concerns, eating concerns, sleep issues, poor organ health, performance issues and more. In addition, our mind and body have hundreds of homeostatic receptors that detect imbalances (e.g. changes in energy availability, blood sugar levels, tiny muscle tears after exercising, etc) and do their best to correct them (e.g. the receptors drive us to eat more, rest more, perform to a lower intensity, etc), until homeostasis has been achieved again. It is important to note that most of this is outside of our conscious control, and sometimes the body disallows weight loss in favour of maintaining a stable internal environment and focussing on other benefits like immunity and fitness. We also know that ~100 factors influence our weight, shape and size, and we cannot possibly separate exercise’s role. To conclude, movement can still be a part of our life, and help make us feel great and improve our wellbeing, regardless of our weight, shape or size or any changes to these.
Never. This is a horrible myth that has been perpetuated by our toxic fitness and wellness culture. It is our job as an AEP to help find movement together that is physically, emotionally and socially safe for you, no matter your size, fitness level, goals, medical conditions, medications, time, energy, preferences and more. If we can’t provide that for you, that’s our problem and we will seek additional training and upskilling as soon as possible. Every person needs and deserves a tailored approach to movement.
We cannot assure we ever will. But we will do our absolute best to try, and will seek out regular, intensive and remunerated supervision from experts by experience to advise us on how to do better. We have, so far, consulted experts by experience who identify as fat activists, provided seating and equipment that provides appropriate support and doesn’t have sides, we have inclusive messaging created by people in bigger bodies on our walls, website, social media, letters to clinical teams and more, we use language such as “bigger bodies” that avoids the pathologising or demoralising of weight (e.g. ”Ob*****”, ”Ov********”, etc), we support and are a member of international inclusion advocacy organisations such as the Association of Size Diversity and Health (ASDAH - https://asdah.org), we provide supervision and upskilling to our peers in the fitness space, we use our platform so others in oppressed groups can take the speaker, we listen, and we will ALWAYS welcome feedback about what we need to do to change. We have also created a class, Movement My Way, with and for people in bigger bodies (please see the ”Do you run any classes?” FAQ, the “Can you tell me more about ‘Movement My Way’?” FAQ, as well as the “Movement My Way (MMW) Group Class” section at the end of this page, for more).
As above, we absolutely cannot state our space will be safe for all who attend. We will try our absolute best to get it as close as possible though. We can provide you with collaborative, respectful and tailored movement and education for prehab (preparation before) and rehab (recovery after) gender-affirming surgery, as well as movement to help improve your relationship with your body, your mental health, physical capacity and more. We have a poster by Minus 18 (https://www.minus18.org.au) on our wall stating all identities are welcome here, we have educational pamphlets by Minus 18 displayed in the clinic, Alanah shares her pronouns on AIM’s website, social media and in person, and Alanah also wears an LGBTQIA+ lanyard, her pronouns and an LGBTQIA+ badge every day. AIM has planned professional development with an expert in the space to ensure we are the best allies we can be. Please provide us with any and all feedback, if you feel it is safe. Otherwise, we are working on bringing together a committee whom people can speak with instead of the manager/s of AIM.
We hope we do (in our clinic on posters, on our website and Instagram, in our resources, in our trainings) but please let us know if we’ve missed the mark in any areas. We have deliberately included people in bigger bodies, in bodies with different abilities, people of various cultural backgrounds, people with various learning abilities, and more.
Yes! We have a wonderful Indigenous 1x1m art print by Julianne Wade (https://juliannewadewhadjukartist.com.au/about/) in the place of an old mirror in our AIM private room, and where there are mirrors in the lower level of any.BODY’s Reformer room, we have purchased stunning, natural-fibre and full-coverage curtains to open or close as we please.
- 1m bench in the waiting room: 200+kgs
- 3m bench outside: 300+kgs
- 3m bench in the AIM room: 300+kgs
- Revolution FRID100 Adjustable Bench: 300kg
- HART Anti-Burst Swiss Ball: 227kg
- Reformer Pilates machine: 159kg - can use for many things without complete weight bearing.
- HART Bosu Ball: 150kg
- Other equipment: No limit.
Yes. We run two different groups (see the top of the page).
We also highly recommend trying one of the 80+ Reformer Pilates classes per week offered by any.BODY Pilates and Exercise Physiology, the business and building in which AIM operates. Their inclusive staff have been up-skilled by AIM to become more aware of the unique language, circumstances and more of AIMs clients.
Book here to try new classes and offers at any.BODY! https://www.anybody-studio.com.au/pages/services-low-impact-exercise-physiology-group-reformer
In addition to the information above, MMW follows the Health At Every Size (HAES) (TM) principles, which acknowledge that regardless of shape, weight, or size, every individual has the right but not the obligation to pursue life-enhancing behaviours such as movement:
“1. Size Inclusivity: (We) Accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights.
2. Health Enhancement: (We) Support policies that improve and equalize access to information and services, and personal practices that improve human well-being, including attention to individual physical, economic, social, spiritual, emotional, and other needs.
3. Respectful Care: (We) Acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination, weight stigma, and weight bias. Provide information and services from an understanding that socioeconomic status, race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and other identities impact weight stigma, and support environments that address these inequities.
4. Eating for Well-being: (We) Promote flexible, individualized eating based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs, and pleasure, rather than any externally regulated eating plan focused on weight control.
5. Life-Enhancing Movement: (We) Support physical activities that allow people of all sizes, abilities, and interests to engage in enjoyable movement, to the degree that they choose.”
6. Community-oriented: We foster and maintain a welcoming, safe/brave and non-judgemental community for all individuals.
TIME/DATE: MMW sessions currently occur on a Tuesday evening from 6.30-7.30pm in the group movement room at AIM (no mirrors!).
PARTICIPANT NUMBERS: Sessions facilitate a maximum of eight people per class, to help ensure a tailored, inclusive and supportive movement environment.
PREREQUISITES: Attendees must have had an initial 1:1 consult with Alanah prior to attending to help screen for and navigate any medical concerns, understand your unique relationship with movement, and more. You do not have to have a doctor’s referral, however many people do. You may also be eligible to use a Type 2 Diabetes Group Class Medicare referral, an NDIS referral, or, some people utilise private health.
PREPARATION: Prior to attending each class, it is encouraged that attendees aim to feel hydrated (clear yellow pee) and nourished (breakfast and lunch, plus snacks, at a maximum 2h prior to the class). This is for safety reasons and also helps the mind and body positively adapt to the movement you will be engaging in. Even if you aren’t feeling completely nourished and hydrated, or you are tired, you can still attend - however we will adapt your movement accordingly (e.g. low intensity, many rests, etc) to avoid stressing the mind and body in an unhelpful way. Please see a note on “Cancellations”, below. You may also like to wear comfortable, breathable clothing and supportive shoes. You can also bring a towel, however this is not compulsory as we are a private space and wipe down equipment with antibacterial wipes after every use.
CANCELLATIONS: Please note: If you are exhausted or are not feeling well, you will not be charged a cancellation fee for not attending the class as we encourage you to practice full autonomy and choice when it comes to moving your body. We do ask, however, that you kindly send an email or SMS advising you will not be able to attend, and if you feel up to it, possibly sharing some ways you plan on looking after yourself during that time :)
PARKING AND TRANSPORT: You may park directly outside the clinic doors on the pebble driveway (free of charge, two hour maximum, although we have not seen anyone police this). Parking on the street is also available free of charge, for two hours maximum (Council may be more strict). There are also trains, busses and CityCat’s running very regularly in the area.
BATHROOMS: We encourage you to use the bathroom opposite the clinic doors (across the pebble driveway, inside the green door) before you begin, and you are free to use this at any time during the class also! Please note, the bathrooms are not wheelchair-accessible, and require two steps to get to. There are one to two stalls for ”women” and one stall for “unisex”. This is not optimal and we are trying to change this arrangement with the building owners.
WAITING ROOM: You may like to wait in the waiting room or just outside on the bench, with the other attendees, prior to the class. The outside bench allows >300kg (solid wooden logs), and the inside bench allows 180kg. We are currently seeking the maximum weight for the individual chairs in the waiting room. Once 6.30pm arrives, Alanah will call everyone into the group room, which is on the ground floor, to the right of the Reception desk as you are walking in.
STARTING THE CLASS: Once we have gathered together in the group room, the first 10 minutes of each class is spent warming up together (low impact, social, guided arm and leg swings) and checking in on our physical and emotional cues (the prompts are visible on a board). Taking stock prior to the class helps provide us with information as to which movement may be most helpful for us at that time. We also set our intention for the class, and encourage it to align with our values on the value board. We may also introduce a scientific, social justice or myth busting fact about movement.
CLASS LAYOUT: Once we are warm and aware of our intentions and how we are feeling, we then split into three or four pairs, depending on attendee numbers. Each pair selects a “station” to begin at. There are three to four stations, and each pair will spend 10-15min at each movement station. All attendees will rotate through all stations.
A station provides two movements, ”a and b”. For example, station 1 may provide a leg strength activity (this will be called “1a”) and also an arm strength activity (“1b”). You and your partner will rotate between the “a and b”, usually three times each (this is technically termed, “3 supersets”). While you are doing 1a, they will be completing 1b.
This “superset” approach saves us time, as for example, your arms will rest while you are doing the leg movement, and vice versa. It is important to note that everyone must rest whenever they would like to - it is completely up to you when and how long for, and is highly encouraged.
Each movement (e.g. “1a”) will provide you with three levels of difficulty/experience to choose from: a foundational option, an intermediate option, and an advanced option (this is colour coded on an A4 sign at each station and changes monthly). A fourth option is that you choose your own movement to complete, which lots of people do! It is imperative that you feel comfortable with the foundational option before moving to the intermediate option, and so on.
Each station is strength/resistance focussed, with varying degrees of cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility, coordination and balance also integrated. You are encouraged to tailor the movement to your preference and capacity either yourself, or with your peer’s or Alanah’s assistance. Making regular “alterations” to your movement encourages more enjoyment and helps ensure it feels right for you, as everyone is different - and that is amazing!
Once all the stations have been completed by everyone (a timer will go off between each rotation and also at the end), we will wipe everything over, pack up the equipment and start stretching together. You can either follow Alanah’s lead or perhaps another peer will lead; or, you can absolutely choose your own stretches to do yourself. We also use this time to debrief together about what we are proud of ourselves for in the class, ways we altered our movement to suit us, red and green movement flags that arose, myth busting experiences, etc. Some people share this discussion openly, and others quietly think about it themselves - and both are absolutely great!
AFTER THE CLASS: We then head home and ensure we have a snack or meal within 30min to replenish our blood glucose stores and help prevent a “crash” in energy and mood after the session. You may not feel physically hungry or thirsty (as blood has been redirected away from your stomach and to your muscles) but it is vital that you eat in that window in preparation for the post-exercise adaptations.
THE NEXT FEW DAYS: You may feel a little sore in your muscles in the coming days after the class (usually 24-72h post). This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, or DOMS. DOMS is a very normal occurrence after doing a movement that is new to us or more challenging than we are used to, and it will reduce in frequency and intensity as you get more used to the movement over time. Note, DOMS is not a reliable indicator or required for a session to have been worthwhile - the body puts protective mechanisms in place so it’s less noticeable over time. Similarly thought, we don’t want to work at such a new level that we cannot walk or raise our arms - Alanah will help guide you on this, and the general guideline is, ”go low, start slow”. A light, gentle walk and dynamic stretching can help ease DOMS.
ONLINE BOOKINGS: You can book into the classes either on the day or ahead of time at the “BOOK NOW” button below, using your unique booking link (Alanah should have sent this to you). If she has not, please SMS or email to ask for it :)
If you have any questions, queries or suggestions, please do not hesitate to let us know! :D
Please book at least 1-5 sessions in advance. It is recommend you book weekly, fortnightly or monthly depending on your existing appointments with your treating team and your capacity to commit to movement sessions (emotionally, financially, etc). If you are in FBT or CBTe, please receive permission from your treating team before you attend your first EP appointment. Please book as many appointments as possible in advance to ensure (a) you receive a regular appointment space and (b) you have sufficient time to plan your schedule. Head to the “Contact Us“ page to book or enquire.
Yes. If you are experiencing financial hardship we are more than willing to discuss session/class rates that will be more accessible for you. We are also open to donations to help increase the scale and even provide complimentary sessions. If you are interested in donating please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0421 866 717.
AEPs are recognised providers by a number or public and private organisations including Medicare, National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Department of Veteran’s Affairs (DVA), Work Cover, Medibank, AHM, and more.
- Medicare: Ask your GP, Psychiatrist or Paediatrician if you are eligible for the Chronic Disease Management Plan (CDMP). This provides a maximum of 5x $56 rebates for allied health services per calendar year. Many people use all 5 for exercise physiology in eating disorder treatment as EP is not yet covered under the Eating Disorders Treatment Plan (EDTP) - which allows max 40 Psychology and max 20 Dietetics sessions per calendar year.
- NDIS: Ask your provider if you are eligible to add EP to your approved services. The full session amount is covered by NDIS if approved and is usually $166.99.
- DVA: Ask your GP if you are eligible to see an EP to help manage your approved card conditions. The full session amount is covered by DVA.
- Work Cover: Ask your GP if you are eligible to see an EP for WC rehabilitation. The full session amount (for a predetermined number of sessions) is covered by WC.
- Private Health: Ask your provider whether your cover includes EP, or consider asking them to add it. Some providers cover the full session fee, others offer partial cover.
Yes. We use Zoom Healthcare, an encrypted and secure platform. Telephone is also fine! We work with people all over Australia and also internationally, and rebates may apply (see Rebates FAQ).
At present, we only have access to single-stall, ”Male” and “Female” bathrooms. We are doing our absolute best to see if this is able to be changed.
The floor level of our space is wheelchair accessible via temporary ramps. See above for bathroom facilities.
Absolutely! We are located down a very *stealth* laneway at 46 Douglas St, Milton. Look for the foliage covered building and the cast iron gates - very Italy! Once you find your way down the picturesque gravel/stone laneway, you’ll see us on your left! You can park along the FIRST HALF of the laneway - if you park in the second half, further from the clinic, you may find a note on your windscreen from the other businesses! Parking is allowed for 1hr. If there’s no parking available, on-street parking is free and allows a 2hr stay. A video of what to expect can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CjFG75zjbsq/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
Yes - the Auchenflower and Milton train stations, as well as the Milton CityCat, are a 5-10min walk from the clinic, and bus stops are close as well!
Yes. Our incredible Executive Assistant, Georgia Christie, is an expert by experience afher recovering from Anorexia Nervosa many years ago. Georgia also lives with Type 1 Diabetes Melitis and was previously a competitive tennis player. Further, AIM has sought 1:1 remunerated advice in the setting up of the clinic, and we are organising an ongoing remunerated group committee as we speak. These committee members will represent the diverse individuals AIM has been created for and we value and need their expert advice for as long as AIM exists. More to come.
MMW has been specifically designed with and for people who have experienced shame, stigma, judgement or trauma in the movement setting with regards to their size, weight or shape.
MMW aims to help people explore an autonomous, brave and life-enhancing relationship with movement in a mirror-free, shame-free, size-inclusive and trauma-informed space. MMW acknowledges that access to an emotionally, socially and physically safe/brave space to move is everyone’s right - regardless of our shape, weight, size or any other aspect.
The MMW approach offers long overdue equity in movement for people in diverse bodies, particularly in the context of today’s “toxic fitness culture”, which intertwines “grind culture”, moral superiority, fear of fat, exclusivity, control, all-or-nothing approaches, miseducation, social media influencers, physical image over wellbeing, performance at any cost, etc. Emerging literature states that the opposite of this toxic culture, including a whole-person, life-enhancing, non-size/image-based approach to movement, can help improve fitness and wellbeing the most, as we are more likely to enjoy movement, return again, and reap the many benefits it can bring to us! Importantly, the benefits of movement occur regardless of size, weight or shape.
More information can be found in the FAQ section, above, “Can you tell me more about “Movement My Way”?”