Natural Living

By Laura Peterson

It’s a broadly accepted fact that the stereotypical man is an emotional time bomb because he won’t allow nature to take its course and cry when he needs to. “Let it out,” we implore these guys, “Just unload and let your self heal!” It seems like common sense, doesn’t it?

Thank goodness we aren’t that illogical; or are we? Could it be, perhaps, that we also shy away from releasing something toxic that needs to come out? Brace yourself, my delicate flowers, because we are going to talk about defecating – a subject that is as taboo for women as crying is for men.

Sadly it’s not uncommon to hear educated women between the ages of 20 to 45 complain about stomach pains they’ve endured and delicious food they’ve denied themselves while spending time with a new boyfriend, all because they were ashamed to have some output in his general presence. It’s also not uncommon to hear women exclaim they only “go” once or twice a week, like it’s a contest we’re all in to see who is the least disgusting amongst us. There’s even an episode of “Sex & The City” where Carrie announces to her friends that she did a “number two” for the first time at Big’s place, and Charlotte admonishes her for such a thing, as if Carrie had taken said number two in his kitchen sink! Have we allowed men’s unrealistic ideals of us to mess with our minds and our plumbing, or are we imposing these Victorian ideals upon ourselves? Could it be that the fairer sex would sooner die than poo? Ironically, if we continue with this crap, or rather lack thereof, we do risk health problems ranging from minor to serious, depending on how bad our anal retention has become. Problems that can be linked to poor elimination include:

– Pimples and acne
– Headaches and migraines
– Stomach cramps
– Menstrual cramps
– Chronic constipation
– Insomnia
– Irritable Bowel Syndrome
– Hemorrhoids, polyps and fissures
– Impacted colon
– Cancer (Colorectal or Bowel cancer is one of the most common malignant diseases in the western world)

Scary stuff, right? Meanwhile, have you happened to walk past a men’s room lately? The noises that come out of there could make a fourth grade boy laugh for a month. Men feel ashamed to cry, but boy do they feel comfortable taking a dump! I’ve seen executive businessmen grab a newspaper and march across the office to spend 10 minutes in the bathroom without an ounce of shame. Yet, disturbingly, there are some men that find it unforgivable for a woman to even hint that she has bowel movements. If you find yourself involved with one of these guys, then there’s more than one thing you need to dump, girl!

The same goes for those self-imposed rules you live by that prevent you from feeling comfortable with your body and all of its functions. Maybe your guy has no problem knowing you make doody and you’re the one making a mountain out of a molehill… or a molehill out of a mountain. You know what I mean. Buy yourself a copy of the children’s book, “Everybody Poops” and re-learn some simple biology. All God’s creatures poop, and hanging onto it won’t make it change into something less yucky – you are not an oyster.

Once you dump the negative boyfriend and body perception, it’s time to start moving things along internally. To help with this process, you have to change your diet. Having a healthy breakfast every morning will increase your energy, stamina, mood and likelihood of having a bowel movement before noon.

Increasing the amount of vegetables and whole grains in your diet, as well as drinking plenty of water, will also help you to eliminate toxic waste from your body. It is normal and healthy to have 2-3 bowel movements per day, so that means you should eat three full meals a day, or the equivalent (some people like to have 4-5 smaller meals per day). Daily exercise also keeps more things moving than just your joints. Another tip — you can eliminate the bad odor by cutting back on meat and increasing green leafy vegetables, like kale. Do not rely on caffeine or laxatives to control your bowel movements, as this will develop into a chemical dependence. Help your body do what it is supposed to do naturally! Also cut back on sugar, alcohol, fried and processed foods, and meat if you are suffering from constipation or hemorrhoids, as these things promote the problem. If you are suffering from any bowel problems that can be classified as beyond minor, please see your doctor for further help.

Aside from diet and repressive dating, sometimes the reason we’re backed up is because our body is mirroring an emotional issue. The UNC Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders reports that past sexual abuse contributes to bowel disorders, like IBS. Though it seems more obvious in the case of traumatic events, less traumatic things like an argument with your mother or stress at work can also cause an imbalance and blockage. If you are someone who likes to mentally “digest” something for prolonged periods of time, then you will probably also suffer from constipation and other bowel disorders. Try incorporating breathing exercises, yoga, meditation or any activity that encourages you to let go of the stress. If you suffer from a more serious bowel disorder that you think may be related to a past trauma, then try working with a psychologist as well as your doctor.

Basically, ladies, we have to stop being so full of sh*t. Have a couple of good bowel movements a day and clear up your health, your skin, and your life. Accept the fact that you are a living organism and if nature calls while you happen to be at your boyfriend’s apartment, go ahead and do “number two” in his toilet. You don’t have to cart a newspaper in and steam up the windows on your first go at it, but then again if you do you may actually get him to open up and cry. Then the two of you can celebrate the joys of sharing and unblocking. Just don’t tell Charlotte!

* Postscript – Yes, this article is hetero-centric, but I can only assume (and hope) that when two women join together in love and harmony, none of this stupidity goes on. Perhaps it’s just a naà¯ve heterosexual’s dream, but I’d like to believe that without the Y chromosome present, women are free to be smart.

You can buy “Everybody Poops,” by Taro Gomi through http://www.amazon.com. And while you’re on the book’s page on Amazon, please make note of the various points of view on the subject of pooping. You can think of it as a continuation of this article!

Originally published March 2006
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