A friend of mine wrote to me with a thought that is relevant to all of us.
most people look at fitness as a way to punish your body for what it's consumed. Maybe that's why we keep thinking "this sucks" and not "this is awesome"!
And show up gets difficult because no one wants to show up for a punishment.
I had a moment of luck and clarity when I found CrossFit - I knew I needed to find something that was a lot of fun. Something that would make me get out of bed at 5.30 in the morning in SF - trust me, that's not easy. I found something that I loved so much that I moved houses to be closer to my gym.
I was lucky in my approach that I never punished myself - I was unaware of what to do and so I did not do it. What's the point getting angry with that?
Similarly, this tit-for-tat arrangement does not work too well - I ran for 300 calories and so I am gonna go eat a doughnut. It just doesn't. Like the comment above shows, we are transacting with our body - doing a good for a bad.
When we think "this sucks" and I need to slog it out and just figure out how to eat these veggies or slop for 3 months and I can go back to "normal", you are setting yourself up for failure.
When you think that you will find a better thing to do once you hit your goal, you are setting yourself up for failure.
The only way to make showing up easy is to recalibrate things in your head. And the simplest method is to start by doing something fun.
Once you associate fun and getting healthy, things that you might not think of as fun today - like lifting weights or going running - will become fun.
If exercise or eating healthy = "this sucks", it will suck.
If going to the gym or going running or whatever = "I cannot wait!!!", you are well on your way to being transformed physically and mentally.