"There is so much emotion involved in changing our bodies; almost always, our underlying motivator is something emotional (I want to feel better about myself, I want to be more confident, I want to finally reach this goal I've been working towards forever, etc.).
When it comes to actually progressing, though, do your best to keep emotion out of things. What do I mean by that?
Here's fitness via an emotional lens:
1) Steps on scale and doesn't like number
2) Promises, "I will work out every day for an hour, and I will eat NOTHING but clean foods"
3) Eats whatever "clean" means to him/her for a week, gets on the elliptical for an hour every day, feels deprived
4) Steps on scale, sees bodyweight is down 5 lbs, gets ECSTATIC - sweet, sweet validation!
5) Does the same thing the next week
6) Steps on scale again and sees bodyweight is up 1 lb, wonders why it isn't working when he/she worked SO hard
7) Feels sad and defeated, goes back to old habits, and says, "diets just don't work."
Here's fitness through a non-emotional lens:
1) Steps on scale, decides to make that number go down over time.
2) Recognizes that fat loss is the primary goal
3) Decides to create a calorie deficit and lose weight over time in a healthy, sustainable way
4) Calculates a reasonable set of starting macros that will lead to desired outcome
5) Decides to exercise 45-60 minutes, 2-5 times/week depending on availability, only committing to what he/she can actually make a habit, and prioritizing strength training because it has a far greater long-term impact on body composition, and he/she is playing the long game.
6) Tracks progress objectively, weighing self every day, measuring self every other week, and recognizing progress is never as good (the initial 5 lb drop) or as bad (the ensuing 1 lb gain) as we think it is, because weight fluctuates throughout the day and week, but trends give a complete picture of progress
7) Adjusts when necessary, using objective goals (calorie/macro targets) and measurements (average weights and regular body measurements), treating a stall in progress as an opportunity to use knowledge to his/her advantage."
Original post Daniel Lopez