Health and fitness is a life-long pursuit. As a beginner to fitness you need a practical approach. So, here is the practical truth: Exercise is for developing fitness. When your body is fit, it burns more calories (and fat!) than when it is less fit. Simple. Practical.
I promise, when you commit to speaking lovingly to yourself, your body will respond lovingly. It will take shape far more rapidly and joyfully. So just do it. You have nothing to lose and EVERYTHING to gain.