Brush Your Teeth

Currently rocking a green toothbrush

We all have ques in our daily life that trigger an action. These ques are not good or bad they are just what tells our brain it is time to start or stop doing something. That action may have positive or negative results, so learning what these ques are can have a significant impact on us improving the frequency of our good habits and reducing the frequency of the bad ones.

The other night a major que for me became obvious. Lindsey was covering bedtime which meant I was hunkering down to get some very important TV watching done. As I sat there, I started to have some food cravings. I wanted something sweet, but I try not to eat too late because it has a negative impact on my sleeping. Nighttime eating is also not when the best choices are usually made. I held strong for at least five minutes before I gave in to my craving. But even though I was giving in I decided I would make a healthy choice and have a little honey dew melon that I had cut up earlier that day. Next thing I knew I had polished off the melon and was back in the kitchen. This time I decided on a toasted English Muffin with peanut butter on it. Still not the worst choice but certainly straying from my responsible fruit decision.

I had expected the English Muffin to do the trick with the combination of sweet and salty but once I had given in, I decided to keep going. Next on the list was to polish off the Honey Nut Checks, happily crunching as the TV and I hung out. I am a little milk lots of cereal kind of guy. As I came to the bottom of the box, I was feeling satisfied and was confident that would be the end of my snacking for the evening. I brought my empty bowl to the kitchen when the vision of Lindsey eating kettle corn earlier in the evening popped into my mind. Wanting more salty sweet, I grabbed the bag out of the pantry and went to town. This snack ended with me pouring the remaining bits from the bag directly into my mouth.

My snacking was finally complete for the night and as you can imagine I was less than impressed with myself and my will power. Late night snacking is not normal for me so what brought this on? I started thinking about when I tackle bedtime, I go up and brush my teeth with my daughter. When I don’t, I end up brushing my teeth later. That brushing of the teeth is my que that it is time to stop eating for the day and my cravings go away. Without that que it is open season on grazing on whatever snacks may be lurking in the pantry.

Think about the cues in your world and where they lead you. Which ques lead to good habits and which lead to bad? They may be simple things like brushing your teeth, always a good decision, that leads to other good decisions. Some simple changes could lead to big impacts or it may simply mean there is food in the house for your family in the morning!

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