When and Why – Food As Ally Approach to Exercise

Graphics by Gina Briganti

When your body is full of energy, you might be inspired to move it (a.k.a. exercise). Going for walks, swimming on summer nights, meeting friends for a yoga class, playing the drum with your neighborhood drum circle, or _______________________ (insert your favorite workout here) will sound and be rejuvenating if you’re energized.

Here’s a suggestion for when you want to move your body more, but time and energy aren’t lining up. I saw this video where Rosanna Pansino reviewed the Desk Cycle , giving it two thumbs up. This gadget, sitting under your desk, would be a convenient way to move your legs. The Desk Cycle part is found 3:07 into the video. Please note that this post is not sponsored.

Or you might not have any interest in exercising. And that’s okay, as long as you aren’t under medical direction to.

As beneficial as exercise is for improving circulation, keeping muscles active, increasing endurance, etc., forcing yourself to do it for any reason may not benefit your body or your emotions. Yes, exercise is a favorite to burn calories for what you ate or what you want to eat, or because you think you should, but there are healthier reasons. Especially if you’re forcing yourself. Who likes to be forced?

Another way of listening to our bodies is by resting when we need a break.

You’ll find alignment when you allow yourself to do what’s best for you, which can be as simple as trying what feels good and seeing how it goes. Maybe horseback riding is intriguing, but you haven’t tried it in a long time. If it interests you, do it. You may find that riding once a month energizes you in ways that a stationary bike never will.

I love to dance and go for walks. Usually every day, but there are days when I take a nap instead. That works for me, for now. The feeling that I am bursting with energy, music playing in my head, can lead to a ten-minute dance party. I get my cardio and sweat on. Or there’s a more mellow feeling when the outdoors is calling me to enjoy fresh air and say hi to neighbors. Either way, at the end, I am energized and happy. In the past I did more neck and shoulder yoga because I was in pain. Yoga videos, a couple of classes, and advice from my medical massage therapist combined into a custom yoga practice. I’m now pain free.

Tell me below how your body lets you know it wants to move. I’d love to hear about it.

Gina

P.S. Food As Ally group support meetings happen every Friday evening on Zoom. Click here for details.

Saying Goodbye to my Food Obsession – Food As Ally Update

In the past, if I saw tasty new food at Trader Joe’s, I had to buy it on that shopping trip. Now, I can pass on them until timing lines up. Like the gluten-free double chocolate muffins. After watching a taste test showing how tender and decadent they are, I’ve been to the store and seen them on the shelf three times. Fact is, finishing a four-pack of giant muffins takes too long, so I’ll wait until I have company or an event to bring them to. It wasn’t a struggle. I didn’t feel deprived. Did I buy my favorite crispy gluten-free chocolate chip cookies? Totally.

Recently I started working part-time outside my business, which means I needed to adjust when, how much, and what, I eat. This means revisiting step five to learn my new hunger cues. My body doesn’t like to eat early in the morning, but if I don’t, I can’t eat until mid-afternoon. I’ve been asking my body what it wants and what it will handle. Step six, learning fullness cues, has also been revisited because I have a few minutes to snack mid-morning. If I don’t eat then, my stomach lets everyone nearby know. Finding the right snack and eating enough to fuel me until I have a relaxed lunch was another adjustment that was smoother because I’ve been practicing listening to my body since November.

The new job means a different activity level. As I’ve settled in there, my body showed how much to eat to match that, which is less than before. Now my weight is adjusting. What I’m still figuring out is which foods will sustain my energy in the amounts I can eat early in the day. Mainly foods with a satisfying amount of protein, fat, and carbs in small amounts, like an egg and a piece of toast. Maybe a protein bar on my break. Lighter foods like fruit are eaten when I’m home and can go back for another serving in an hour or so.

It’s coming together, as delicious and fulfilling as I could hope for. Not having emotional cravings is so freeing. I still love food, but it’s no longer an obsession.

How are you doing with your Food As Ally journey?

Gina

What I Did and What I Did About It

Graphic credit: Gina Briganti

What I did that led me to create Food As Ally was…

I turned clean eating into a cross between dieting and food snobbery.

What I learned is…

My body tells me when it wants salad and that I can trust my taste hunger or emotional hunger when it is asking for cookies because I know that my body will tell me when enough is enough.

You can, too.

Wishing you a smooth day,

Gina

My Food As Ally Breakfast – November 4, 2021

This is the first foodasally.com post, representing a rounded approach to eating and teaching about eating. Food As Ally is about reclaiming our food choices, listening to our hunger and satiety signals, and being supported as we do.

I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, and how much of it I wanted. In doing this today, I discovered that my breakfast smoothie is too filling for me today and that I can wait until I want fruit to eat it. Even if that’s not today. Or tomorrow. If I look at this breakfast from the certified nutrition consultant perspective, there’s nothing wrong with it. I gave myself permission to eat what I wanted and what I wanted tasted good and I’m almost ready to eat again. It kept me full longer than I thought it would.

More discoveries await!

Gina

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