I've been hearing from various people that they are trying to live a healthier lifestyle but are trying to change what motivates them. These people do not want their motivator to be having a "bikini body". They are searching for a better reason but do not know how to get rid of this mindset around appearance.
As an anti-dieter and an advocate for body positivity, I love helping people with these types of challenges. My main motivator during my early 20's was to have the bikini body and that left me feeling unworthy and lonely.
I think when people are motivated to look a certain way, it does more harm than good. When you are obsessed with changing your body, you become obsessed with calories in, calories out. This will only keep you motivated for a short period of time and then you'll go crazy. When you become obsessed with food, you cannot actually enjoy life. When you say will be happier only if you look a certain way, you forget what actually brings you joy.
Instead of your motivation being to look a certain way, try changing it to something that is encouraging and not centered on looks.
It is important to remember that no matter your shape or size, you are worthy.
I don't want you to think that your worthiness will increase or decrease as you start to change your lifestyle. Start by knowing you are already worthy and make your motivation simply be because you want to take care of yourself and this body you've been given to live in. This motivation does not focus on your appearance, it focuses on making your body feel good and therefore, helps it to thrive.
How does food freedom play a role in this? When you have a food freedom mentality, you do not feel restricted. Because of this, you do not feel the urge to binge on those "treats" you would normally want to binge on if in a diet mentality. In a food freedom mentality, you can choose to eat whatever makes your body feel good. You can even eat food that doesn't leave your body feeling good. For example, you may realize that dairy gives you issues but you choose to eat it when your friends decide to go to the ice cream shop. No worries! Eat it and enjoy it! You are aware of how it will affect you but you allow yourself to eat it every once in a while so that you can actually enjoy life.
When I work with clients, I notice that when they adopt this food freedom mentality, their food issues start to slowly fade away. When they have food freedom, they most often choose foods that help their body to thrive. Sometimes they still choose other foods that aren't so great for their bodies (duh), but the difference is they do not binge or feel bad about it. Their mentality at this point is simply to take care of their bodies but sometimes, that does mean eating a tub of ice cream.
I hope that you can change your motivation to something that makes more sense - taking care of the body you've been given. Do not focus on appearance because you are already worthy and beautiful.