The Fitness Rituals (& Rewards) That Keeps Me Running

October 23, 2012

I’m a simple lady and a total normal human being with a finite amount of willpower and a proclivity for unhealthy habits.  People have been tweeting me questions about my healthy habitssince it seems I have successfully turned around 25 years of inactivity, overeating, and laziness.  Hell, I’m finally using my yoga pants for YOGA instead of essentially being a pair of stretchy pants that I wear around the house on lazy afternoons so naturally, people are curious.

If you’re attempting to make fitness a real, reliable habit instead of a fad, you have to know your incentives.  Willpower (telling yourself you have to do or not do something) is finite and runs out- so knowing your what triggers your motivation is vital.


Here are my core motivations for staying fit:

 1.  Stocking up on the right fitness gear essential but expensive.  I keep my motivation high by treating myself to buy good-lookin’ gear and get even more  satisfaction when I know my money has been put to good use (and people go “DAYYYUM!”)

When I look good, I feel good- then I keep going.

I'm motivated by frugal fitness fashion...seriously.

I LOVE fashion and shopping for new clothes but have wasted so much money on “fitness” before.  I would buy weights, yoga equipment or running shoes that got used one or twice before getting lost in the garage or closet.  Wasting money & failing at a goal was humiliating and I feel that health & wealth are totally connected.

Now that I know the value of a dollar, I never want to waste money on gear again, and make sure I get the ultimate use out of every piece I have.  I allow myself to buy gorgeous new gear only if I’ve used what I have.  This taps into my desire to look fabulous but utilize my frugal values-  I seriously get a kick out of buying new fitness gear but even more, using them to shreds!

Seriously, it feels good to shop, but I find even more satisfaction when I have used something to it’s last day, making it worth every penny.  Additionally, having the wrong gear can make you uncomfortable or prone to injury.   You need to look good & feel good in gear that’s suits your needs and your vanity to set yourself up for physical and financial success!


2. Getting Sweaty, Sore & Dirty Is The Perfect Excuse For My Weekly Ritual…A Spa Day!  When I feel gross or tired, knowing that bath time is on it’s way keeps me going.

It’s just as important to put in time to heal, polish and recover as it is to work hard. Train like a beast and look like a beauty!

Weekly Fitness Ritual - Girly "Me" Time

There is something satisfying (and essential) about a quick shower if you’re in a rush to get your day started after a hot workout, but there is something amazing about taking a spa day.  Every week, even if it wasn’t my best in terms of performance, I always take a good hour or more on Sundays to run a hot bath, put in a bath bomb and soak.

This is when I use my weekly facial mask (from Blissoma) and do a hot oil treatment for my hair as well.  For me, I know that since I’m paying more attention to what I eat and when I work out, I need to pay equal attention to my skin, hair and nails so they don’t get gangly and neglected when things get busy during the workweek.

When I first started running and working out, I noticed my skin and haircare needs changed as I had more time in the sun, more sweat, oil & dirt.   This weekly check-in is just what I need to reward myself for keeping up with a dramatically different weekly routine (Ya, working out is a new thing for me!)  and chill out in the bath to some of my favorite tunes.  It makes all the crazy in the gym worth it!

3.  I can’t eat “whatever” I want, but knowing what favorite treats I’m willing to work for makes cutting out (most) of the junk so much easier when I get busy or tempted.

Maximizing pleasure with my ultimate favorite treats- coffee & beer, makes healthy choices the rest of the week much easier.

Coffee &'s what I run for!

One of the biggest mistakes I used to make was to overestimate the work I was doing and underestimate how many calories, sugar and the foods I loved contained.  The few times I failed at trying to “get healthy” I would assume walking the dogs a mile would equal a guilt-free cupcake  or would forget to count the liquid-calorie soda I’d had earlier in the day that didn’t fill me up with anything but sugar (and was still hungry!)

I make it a regular point to keep an eye out for hidden calories but also, to be real about the calories I really do want!  I have no problem giving up soda as it turns out, which frees up 170 calories or more for something I’d rather have, like a Pumpkin Spice Latte or a beer.  I pair this with increased activity and my efforts seem so much more fruitful.  By no means am I perfect, but I find that being real about what’s in your rewards makes them so much more appreciated!

Now that I know I’m motivated by beer and coffee instead of playing “catch up” with calories I already consumed without realizing it (from foods I didn’t love as much like soda, chocolate bars & chips)  I feel like my work-and-reward system is in better check-  the treats taste so much better!  Knowing I can indulge in Rogue’s Doughnut Maple Bacon Beer with friends is savored (instead of chugged) and is more in emotional balance than before.    Treat yourself if you work for it, but be real about what’s inside your treats, it will keep you motivated instead of self-loathing!

4.  I indulge my inner Cinderella since shoes are more important than ever.  Shoes are my weakness and being able to wear them out and buy new pairs is quite the motivator!

I am now allowed to obsess over shoes

I seriously have more shoes than I care to admit- but now that I hit the gym I need to make sure that my footwear is up to speed in order to increase comfort, reduce the risk of energy, and keep my toes fresh!  I have about three pairs of running shoes that are in my favorite colors (Pink or Tiffany Blue) and each run makes them worth the steep purchase price, but also justifies my obsession with footwear since I wear them out so quickly!

I also indulge my inner Cinderella by having a special pair of “post race” Havaianas that I only wear after a race- I call them my Princess Shoes.   It is so important to have your feet air out after a long, sweaty workout or race.  As soon as you’re done, remove your shoes and sweaty socks and change into some breathable flip flops to prevent skin problems & blisters.

For me, shoes are power.  I feel so jazzed when I lace up my running kicks and get ready to hit the road!  When I’m done, having a ritualistic “race day” pair of Princess Flip Flops to relax with after makes me feel like I’ve trained like a beast to look like a beauty!   For anyone that feels working out isn’t very girly, having the right shoes will make you feel like a princess!

13 comments so far.

13 responses to “The Fitness Rituals (& Rewards) That Keeps Me Running”

  1. Shannyn, you are such an inspiration! It’s amazing to see someone totally turn around their life and become healthy and fit! I started running about two months ago and I am beginning to realize just how bad my feet/shin splits hurt after running. From your experience, what are the best type/brand shoe to get? I think I am finally ready to invest in something good!

    Thanks dear!

    • Shannyn says:

      If you’re having pain I would highly recommend going to a running store to get your stride checked and your foot properly fitted. I think the only way I’ve avoided pain was that my boyfriend made me go in and get fitted early on. As we age and get more experienced with running, our needs change… plus getting fitted is just fun!

      I know people love Asics gels, I used them and had a shooting pain up my leg. I’ve used Nikes that my bf isn’t fond of and vice versa… we all have different “fits” it’s like Cinderella trying to find the right fit!

  2. Jayne says:

    Seriously, shoes are the best part of running…oh and drinking wine. As much as I hate running sometimes, the benefits are worth working for. They even have wine country races I want to do.

  3. Kathryn says:

    I’ve been having problems with buying nice running pants. I seem to be between sizes, but I agree, having stuff that makes me feel confident helps keep me going!

    • Shannyn says:

      I feel you on pants…those seem to be the most problematic for me as well! I find if you’re in between sizes, getting something with a drawstring helps until you settle on a size. I have run in running tights, yoga capris, etc. and it can be problematic if you’re losing weight, haha! It’s a good problem to have, but something with an elastic waist+ drawstring will help things feel secure if you’re weight fluctuates.

  4. Sara K. says:

    OMG I love Rogue! I am so happy to meet another fan and looove VooDoo Doughnuts!!! YUM YUM YUM!

  5. Jessica says:

    You truly are an inspiration. I’ll start running! Tomorrow…

    • Shannyn says:

      You crack me up! If it weren’t for runDisney I wonder where I’d be. The Princess Half marathon medal was just revealed…it is my inspiration to keep going!

  6. I’ve indulged on expensive items, such as proper fitting sports bra and training/running shoes. And I can’t say they weren’t worth it.

    You are an inspiration!

  7. Oh lord, you bought the bacon maple beer — how was it?

  8. desi says:



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