I like this commentary and agree, strongly, with the parallels between fiscal fitness and physical fitness.
For one group, the recession and economic downturn were like being forced to go on a diet; while they are losing the weight, they are at risk of putting it back on again. The other group accepted the lifestyle change and are looking toward a lifetime of better financial health.
And there are good ways to manage your frugal fatigue, setting up an allowance system, which is what we use, allows one to spend day to day without categorizing or budgeting for each little expense.
Most people think being frugal is about restriction, but really it is about freedom. When you are free from your debt, you have more money to do what you want, travel, vacation, even fancy shoes. When you have money in the bank you have freedom, to a certain extent, from your job, from downsizing, from emergencies. Being frugal is about having a plan, and that plan can certainly include spending on the things that you truly enjoy.
So the question is whether you want to be fit and wealthy? I think most people would answer, yes and yes.