I make all my clients talk about their poop.
Why? Because it is SO informative. But it’s such a taboo topic.
I tend to crack lots of stupid jokes to keep things light, in attempt to give people permission to talk about it. Because not only is it okay to talk about this stuff; it’s important!
Hey, what’s brown and sticky?
….A stick, you guys. Geez.
Anyway, the standard medical opinion is that if you poop at least three times a week, everything’s fine. I heartily disagree.
Theoretically, if you eat three times a day, then you should poop three times a day: food in, food out. But for the basic maintenance of health, a minimum one good bowel movement a day is a must.
The difference between these two ideas of what’s considered “normal” is a good reminder that just because something is the average, that doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily healthy.
If you’re not pooping at least once a day, then that’s a problem, and it’s one you really must address. Click here to learn why.
So about this being taboo: Many times when this topic has come up in conversation (and when you’re a nutritionist, that’s daily), there has been a shocked person who had no idea that it was a problem that she only had a bowel movement once a week. If this was considered a more socially permissible topic, she could have learned years ago that her bowel habits were not normal, and then could have sought help and corrected the problem, before it lead to other issues. When we have open conversations, important things can come to light.
- How many times per week is normal? (7-21)
- Is it okay to see food bits in it? (Nope)
- Is it normal if it floats? (Definitely not)
- Most people poop in little balls, right? (Nada)
- How long does it take most people to poop? (A minute is all you should need)
- Can stress really affect my poop habits? (You bet your sweet patootie!)
Considering that pooping is something that EVERYONE does, from the day we are born to the day we die, we sure are awfully squeamish and embarrassed about it. This is one of the things that unites us, guys! EVERYBODY POOPS. IT’S OKAY.
By the way, did you hear the one about the constipated composer?
He had problems with his last movement.
Even if you’re not ready to start texting your friends about the poop you’re most proud of, or high fiving people in the streets because of what a great BM you just had, if there are people in your life who you feel close enough with that you can talk about your sex life with them, then surely you can talk about your bowel habits with them sometimes too (although maybe not in the same conversation).
You might be surprised by what you learn. You may be reassured. You may discover that you need more help than you realized (and how great to learn that NOW instead of down the road!). Or you may help a friend who didn’t realize they had a problem.
You can’t fix a problem that you don’t know you have, and that is why it’s so important to talk about this stuff. Yep, even poop.
In fact, especially poop: nearly HALF of all the adults in North America have some sort of digestive illness. It’s one of the top reasons people seek medical help, only second to the common cold. And digestive illness is the number one category for pharmaceutical sales annually.
If there was more conversation around it, we could help each other a lot more. Shame only helps to keep the problem going.
I challenge you to be brave and open up with someone you trust. And if you have regular, healthy, satisfying poops, be grateful! Most other creatures understand that it’s one of the finer things in life: just watch a dog in a park after it has had a good poop. See how full of joy they are! They kick their hind legs vigorously in a futile attempt to cover it up, which really looks more like triumphant posturing than anything, and then they start tearing around with their tongues hanging out. After my cat has had an especially successful time in the litter box, she runs laps around the house yodelling.
They know what’s good.
If you agree that conversations like this need to be normalized so that we can all be healthier as a collective, then please, share this article!
Lighten up, have a giggle, and let’s talk about poop. It’s okay, I promise.
Wishing you all perfect poops,