Welcome to part two of the Constructs of Adherence series. A mind boggling, heart thumping, edge of your seat adventure of.......two blogs. Now that I've gotten you all riled up and ready to learn, let's dive in, shall we?
Before we continue, I do recommend that you go back a blog and read Constructs of Adherence to set the table for you (because we're mainly talking about nutrition and training....see what I did there? Set the table? Nevermind).
Your goals are written down, your game plan is set, and motivation and inspiration are still blowing a gale force wind into your sails. You are unstoppable.....until those winds die down. You see, motivation is effective but extremely exhaustive, and unless you have a motor attached to your ship fueled by "willpower", you will get stuck. Willpower is the source you draw from when the going gets tough. It keeps you from going under. It brings you back to the surface when you want to give up. If think about it, diet and training should be easy if all we have to focus our will power fuel sources on is diet and training. But other things take your willpower away, as well. Family. Work. Friends. Pets. Willpower is not an infinite source. Willpower is finite. It can bring you back to the surface after a bad day, but it needs to be buoyed by discipline. Discipline is remembering your game plan when you want to binge eat a box of Captain Crunch cereal (with berries). Discipline is getting your training session in even though it took all of your energy just to make it through the work day. Discipline fills in those gaps when willpower starts to wane. Discipline brings you to the ultimate goal of diet and training. Habit.
Habit is the ultimate goal when it comes to diet and training. Whenever we set goals in the gym, habit is where we want to end up. Lets be honest, staying disciplined 24/7 is hard, especially with dieting, and willpower as discussed above can be restored, but not if depleted. It has even been shown that dieting for too long can have a negative physiological effect on the body. Habit is where we need to be to help create sustainability. How can you help yourself get to the goal post that is habit?
When dieting and healthy eating become habit your chances of success sky rocket. The less energy needed to adhere to your program, the easier it is to make it your daily routine. The likelihood of sticking to your new habits after you take a break from your diet is also much more promising. So keep in mind that there is a pot of gold at the end of your adherence rainbow. It may take 4-6 weeks to get there, but the reward is worth it.
The short story is adherence takes work. Consistent work. And it never ends in a few weeks or months. Wherever you are in your journey apply these 6 steps and see where it takes you.