Looking fit is nice, I won’t lie. it’s certainly one of the more fun perks of being fit. I have more fashion options, people are nicer to me (I hate this aspect of our culture and would love to see it change, but until it does the fact remains: people are nicer and more respectful to people that fit their programmed perception of beauty), I’m less self conscious about my body. But the real benefits of being fit, the benefits that are actually worth the continued effort, are physical rather than aesthetic. I move faster, I’m more agile, I have more endurance, I can run up a flight of stairs without feeling winded, I can pick up heavy things (like my father in law) without having to find a man to help me, my thighs don’t rub together and get chafed, moving feels good because my joints don’t ache and I’m not lugging around dozens of pounds of dead weight, my metabolism is healthy and strong and can run on any fuel I give it (ie, I don’t have to take medicine or eat a special (read: low carb) diet to keep my blood sugar from getting out of control and killing me), and I no longer suffer from panic attacks, migraines and depression. Those are the things that motivate me to get off my ass every day. Looking good in a bikini is just icing.
So focus on those things as much as you can. Aesthetic changes happen slowly and if you’re in this for aesthetics you may get discouraged and give up before those changes have a chance to take place. But you will feel better almost immediately, and your body will BE stronger long before it LOOKS stronger. Be aware of those invisible changes and celebrate them!