The trouble with working out, a friend grumbled, is the lack of immediate gratification.
I understand that. But that also depends on what you’re going for.
If you exercise to look good, then yeah. No immediate gratification there. In fact, depending on how hard you work, you may or may not ever be gratified. You have to put some real work into your workout to change your appearance.
Sometimes I put real work into my workout for a few weeks and see small physical changes. (Is that a bicep muscle or just a shadow?) Sometimes I don’t feel like working that hard and ratchet back to low-maintenance workouts.
But even sissy little workouts provide immediate gratification that has hooked me on exercise: I feel so damn good when I’m done. Guaranteed. And that’s enough to get me going on low-motivation days. (Usually. Not always. I’m only human.)
Thinking about long-range gratification is kind of useless. There’s so much we can’t control each and every day, how can we hope to control results in the distant future? That’s crazy talk.