1. You like yourself more - When you are making the conscious decision to exercise and eat well, you are sending a subliminal message that you love yourself and your body, as you are taking active steps to treat it well. This translates into feeling better about yourself and what you see in the mirror, even without big physical changes.
2. It's a cycle - When you exercise, you leave a workout ready to grab a healthy snack. And when you eat well, you feel energized and ready for a workout. They feed off of one another - in a positive way, which makes it easier to form healthy habits.
3. It makes stuff easier - I read an interview with Chris Pratt about his transition from funny fat guy to super fit supahstah and I totally related to it (I guess me and Chris Pratt are long lost brothers). In an interview with Esquire, Chris said "When I was way out of shape, the idea of using whitening strips on my teeth seemed terrible. I have to do that every day? I'll never do it. What you want is instant results when you're out of shape. You want your teeth whitened in 45 minutes with the use of lasers." It sounds weird but I was like "YES TOTALLY I NEVER WANT TO WHITEN MY TEETH!!" When you're out of shape and taking care of yourself is not a priority, other self-care tasks fall by the wayside as well. You lack the energy to do stuff, like teeth whitening, laundry, working out, cooking healthy meals, etc. And those things really start to add up!
4. A sense of accomplishment -Whatever your goal may be (getting to the gym at all, losing 30 lbs., putting on muscle) health and fitness goals can be extremely rewarding because they are easy to track and even to see. Take progress pictures, record the days you went to the gym for a month, increase your total push ups, pack healthy meals for work, etc. I know I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I step in front of a mirror and see defined muscles in places they weren't before - I built those myself!
5. You get more out of life - Whenever I have fallen off the workout wagon for a few weeks at a time in the past, I would get depressed and self-loathing and possibly worst of all - lazy. I don't feel up for anything beyond sitting on the couch, eating snacks, and watching TV. Going for a walk around the block sounds daunting. When I workout 5 days a week and eat clean (ish), I want to have dance parties and play basketball with my nieces and nephews. I want to take a new Zumba class and cook a Pinterest recipe (okay, maybe). It translates into positive feelings, experiences, and an overall improved outlook on life!