In this podcast interview, we talk to Alanah Dobinson, Consulting Accredited Exercise Physiologist and Researcher at GO2 Health. Alanah's expertise spans eating disorders and helping people engage in healthy movement, relevant to their situation, without shame, judgement or stigma.
We hope you enjoy this conversation about exercise, but not as you know it. Here are some of the key points:
- We know that exercise (or movement) is good for us but for many people, it is not always as simple as engaging in joyful, painfree movement
- People in larger bodes are more likely to disengage in movement. Many people are scared to move for a variety of reasons
- The current unhelpful views around exercise are that "you can only exercise if you are fit" or "only thin people can exercise". We know these views aren't true
- There’s lots of shame, judgement and stigma surrounding exercise and how it is promoted. The current messages are actually very demotivating and aren’t working
Exercising isn’t about being perfect. Perfection is not achievable.
Alanah and the team at GO2 Health have developed a new approach to exercise for people who may not have engaged with exercise for some time. The program is called "Movement My Way" and it allows people to move without stigma or shame.
Note: Whilst weight (particularly the statistical extremes) can influence some health outcomes in some people, a number of positive outcomes can be experienced as a result of engaging in safe, supportive movement - irrespective of current weight or future changes in weight.
About GO2 Health's "Movement My Way" program
GO2 Health's aim is to create a weight-inclusive movement space so that people in larger bodies can explore joyful and health-enhancing movement without the shame and stigma that is often perpetuated in a public setting. Classes follow a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) format, whereby the first half, or 'discussion time', is spent exploring topics like exercise fears, harmful societal weight-biases and myths, weight science, the physiology of exercise and chronic conditions, the tailored benefits of movement, and more. The second half, or 'movement time', is then spent crushing the biases and myths discussed in the first half by engaging in enjoyable, tailored, pain-free and socially supportive movement.
In addition, quarterly group movement outings are undertaken to help desensitise fears of moving in public and to improve exercise independence, and goal setting and the participation in exercise outside of the class setting is also strongly encouraged.
Key Principles of MMW (adapted from HAESTM):
1. Weight Inclusivity: We accept body diversity as normal, and we understand that focussing on health and happiness in interventions is more likely to provide positive outcomes than focussing on weight changes
2. Health Enhancement: We support individuals and policies seeking to equalise health care access for all
3. Respectful Care: We acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination, weight stigma, and weight bias
4. Eating for Well-being: We promote flexible, individualised eating based on physiological and other cues
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 and non-judgemental community for all individuals
7. Goal-driven outcomes: We encourage individuals to strive to achieve timely and meaningful movement and/or health goals
For more information on the Movement My Way program, please contact Alanah Dobinson at GO2 Health on 3355 5540.