BALANCE. A key word we strive for in all aspects of our lives. From work, to relationships, to our health, there exists a perfect blend to maximize our happiness with all of these things. That blend is different for everyone.
Like a lot of people who are hyper-focused on the way that their body looks, I found fitness and I abused it. Looking back, there were 2 main problems:
I was uneducated.
I worked out because I hated my body.
I spent years exercising excessively, focusing on cardiovascular exercise, killing myself in the gym to burn calories, and making myself move my body in ways I hated. All of this was a recipe for disaster and ensured that I made little physical or mental progress. Might I even add that it caused a whole new set of problems. The only good thing that came out of it was that once I began educating myself, I learned what NOT to do.
It's really easy to go from 0 to 100 real quick when you start working out if your focus is on changing the way you look. Unfortunately, I kept this up for years until I mentally and physically could not go on like that anymore. It was a learning process for me, trial and error.
What I can tell you is that it is possible to find a routine that is perfect for you. This 'perfect routine' will change as you evolve and your priorities change. I spent 10+ years trying to figure this out for myself and it wasn't until the last year where I really found my ideal routine.
It's important that you adjust your goals according to the amount of effort you're realistically willing to put it. This is your life. Fitness is a never-ending journey. There is no time limit or expiration date on your health while you're here on Earth. Short-term goals of losing 15 pounds before vacation have value, but what happens when vacation is over? You come home and you're back to your normal habits. That weight will pile right back on.
For lifelong, sustainable health, finding a routine you can be consistent with is a non-negotiable.
Start by educating yourself. We cannot believe everything we read on the internet. Hire a coach. Get a trainer. Take a course. Consult high-quality sources. Your journey to health starts here.