Scott Adams, of Dilbert fame, has an interesting article on the relationship between mood and energy levels. I think he has an interesting insight here – one that can be brought into the realm of fitness and overall physical appearance.
People get caught in 'feedback loops' where their negative actions encourage them to make more negative actions. If a person wakes up in the morning and feels fat and ugly, what do they do? Do they hop out of bed with a smile and head to the gym? Most of us roll over, sleep a few more hours, get up, order a pizza and watch a movie. These actions further decrease our self esteem and worsen our condition. My sister is a beauty consultant and we have discussed this several times. She notices the same thing. If you want to sell makeup you don't approach the women that REALLY NEED IT. Instead you approach women that are fashion concious and attractive. Why? Because you would have to change the attitudes of women that are concerned about their looks and the sale is much to hard. Approaching individuals that are already concerned about their appearance and helping them attain their goals is much more fruitful.
The good news is that the cycle will work in positive ways as well as negative. If you head to the gym, buy well fitting stylish clothes, regularly spend $25 on a haircut, eat right and are concerned about your appearance you can change your motivations. You will want to work out more, buy more clothes, eat better more often and continue to improve yourself. My advice to anyone who wants to change their lifestyle is to start with the little things. Dress better, eat better, meet more people, save a little money, join a gym. Don't start big, but worry about the details. Start working out once a week, then stop having a bowl of ice cream after every meal. It's a long, slow, hard road, but if you start out with small steps eventually you will get there.