You do not have to exercise to eat.
This phrase came up in an Instagram post recently (from the amazing @hi.ur.beautiful - go follow them!). I was amazed at the multiple negative comments beneath saying things like "but if you don't work out, you get fat and you die early". They key words here are "have to".
So many of my clients plan their week based on the ingrained idea that some food choices are only available to them of they have been earned by exercise.
"I had to go to the gym this morning so I can go out to dinner tonight."
"I ate cake today so I have to work out tomorrow."
Exercise is a healthy and joyful part of life and I encourage each of my clients to find the movement that is right for them. But it does not earn you the right to eat, nor is it punishment for certain food choices. Simply being alive is the only prerequisite for eating.
So, eat the cake if you enjoy it.
Move your body in a way that makes you happy and healthy.
But don't pay for one with the other.