None Of This Worked For My Constipation
- Take more fiber
- Drink more water
- Exercise more
- Get screened
- Cope with Stress
No, none of that helped me get regular. It’s not to say that those suggestions wont eventually help the problem, but first and foremost you have to fix the underlying cause of WHY you have constipation to begin with. Let’s dive in a see what might be going on with you.
I find that most people learn through stories, so I’ve got a story for you and boy, it’s a doozy! I’m over the embarrassment and now ready to share my story because I know that by sharing my story many of the 42 million Americans who suffer from constipation will learn about mistakes they may be making and also learn how to go about fixing the problem. .
My problem started long before the constipation set in. I grew up eating the standard American diet (SAD) of processed foods, dairy, hormone fed beef, and tons of sugar and additives. I thought that going to the bathroom (having a bowel movement) every 3 days was normal. At least that is what I was told by my mom and family physician. It didn’t seem right to me but that’s how it was. One day, I found laxatives and thought, “YES, this is the magic answer.” Although laxatives seemed to be very harsh, they worked and I used them when I needed them.
In 1996, as a young adult going to college, we would go out to the bars and then often, at the end of the night, we would be hungry. Smart entrepreneurs, know this fact about college kids, so what do they own? Pizza parlors! I mean let’s face it, when you grow up eating the standard American diet, the last thing you want when you get home after a night of partying with your friends, unless you’re dieting, paleo, or doing a photo shoot of some sort, is chicken and broccoli. You order pizza. It’s what you do.
Body image is such a problem in our country and I was no exception. When I was in college I feared gaining the freshman 15. I always promised myself that I would never become overweight. That no matter what, I would ALWAYS workout and I’ve held true to that promise I made to my young sixteen year old self.
I was so worried about the late-night pizzas and breadsticks making me fat. And they absolutely will if you’re not working that food off in the gym and/or course correcting during the daytime. So in my naive mind, I thought that if I took a laxative, I would be ok, I would just poop it all out the next morning and all would be well in my world. This behavior was not something that I liked, because the laxatives hurt once they started kicking in and I hated diarrhea so much that I tried to always keep it healthy at night and use the laxative as a last resort IF, we did indeed, order pizza. Going out also lost it’s appeal to me, I wanted to avoid that late night eating at all costs, because I just had a premonition what I was doing, was not healthy.
When I was about to wrap up my junior year I decided that I would go overseas, and study International Marketing. Fifteen students from Indiana University left a week after my junior year got out and we headed abroad to the small town of Mikkeli, Finland.
The food in Finland was a whole new ballgame to get acclimated to and I chose not. Instead, I purchased food from the grocery and would make most of my food. Unless I was in a pickle, I would eat form the local McDonalds or get an ice cream from the yummy ice cream stand on the corner of the market. I knew better to eat McDonalds but I also wanted something familiar and something I knew what I was eating (Ha! the irony.) The Finish lifestyle is very active because they do not rely on automobiles for transportation in their small towns. Most people ride bikes or walk. In addition to the walking, I would also workout multiple times per week as well such as run, do push-ups and sit-ups, lunges, ride my bike, and swim quite regularly so I wasn’t worried about gaining weight.
Then one day I felt the need to go poo, when I sat down not much came out. This was the first and last attempt my body made throughout the entire 12 weeks. I on the other hand, tried many times. At one point in time, I called my mom and asked her to ship me something that would help me go. She shipped me prune juice, Mac & Cheese, and tuna fish. (Oh boy!) She told me to drink the prune juice on an empty stomach then go for a run and once I’m done with the run, I’ll come home and poo.
I was ready to give this plan a go and I did what she said, except nothing happened except I bloated and felt like I was going to float to the moon. I was in so much pain.
I thought that I could run it out, so I ran more. I thought that massaging my belly would work, so I did that. I thought that eating less would work, so I did that. Nothing worked. I got more and more uncomfortable as the trip went on. My side started to hurt as I assumed could only be an internal back up and pain because of it. I began pinching my side, like it was my full time job. For some reason, pinching my side helped me to feel a little better. Perhaps I was simply moving something from a space that was inflamed. I don’t know.
I started to ask around if I could go to the Dr. and in Finland they have government run healthcare, so I didn’t feel that I could because I was an American, so I didn’t go. I just suffered and decided I would wait. This decision probably was not a wise decision.
I had my mother schedule and appointment with my physician so that I could see him right away. The next day, I went in to see him and told him about my struggles. He told me that from all the laxative use, my bowel quit working on it’s own because the laxatives did the job for it. [Side note: many physicians were not educated on the gut microbiome back in 1999, so he didn’t mentioned (or know) anything about the out of balance gut microbiome that was a huge culprit in this scenario.] He did explain to me that my bowel would need to be retrained to work again on it’s own.
“How do I do that?” I asked.
He explained that first we needed to do an evacuation and then see if there is blockage from a tumor (colon cancer). Then once that came back negative, I would need to retrain my bowel to work again via the right foods, lots of fiber, water and exercise. This was his understanding at the time. It partly helped to get things moving again but did not fully heal me.
One that day, I went on a mission to find the highest fiber foods. I researched all lettuces that I knew of at the time: Iceberg, Romaine, and Spinach. Spinach was the winner with nearly 4 grams per serving. That’s pretty much what spinach is = fiber. Spinach became my new best friend and years later (2004), I learned about “clean eating.” Clean eating is eating only wholesome foods such as meats, veggies, fruit, whole grains, and nothing with more than five ingredients (if it was in a package.) I started to go regularly for a short while (while I was focused on eating clean). Then I started to go every other day again, but yet vowed to never again use a stimulant laxative again. I found other “natural remedies” such as Senecot-S (stool softener) and Smooth Move Tea. But the tea had laxative effects such as cramping and other pain, so I eliminated that immediately. I figured anything truly natural is not going to cause that type of pain inside of me. My body should and will work when everything is balanced. This I knew, intuitively.
Even more years down the road (2012), I found the paleo diet and eliminated all dairy, grains, and processed foods. I learned that grain contain anti-nutrients which block the good nutrients from entering our bodies. I also learned how dairy causes so many problems so I cut that out too. Bada-bing! As I moved away from the SAD diet towards a more natural food diet, I was going to the bathroom regular for the first time in my adult life so I stopped taking the Senecot-S. My stool was still fairly hard at times so I simply added more spinach and water when this would happen. Let me repeat a phrase I just wrote, I was finally going to the bathroom (number 2) for the first time in my life on a daily basis! This is huge. This is major. This is a major call to action. I can now see why so many people get cancer and other diseases from the SAD (standard American Diet) diet. Toxins and other harmful ingredients are not moving through our bodies!!!!
It’s amazing how the Universe works, and it brings to you the perfect healing at just the right time. (Just like you, reading this article. There are no mistakes.) My best friend came to stay with me and I was telling her I still have problems occasionally. She mentioned that magnesium helps her almost instantaneously and I should give it a try. Since I now do my research before taking anything I looked into it and magnesium seemed to be a magic elixir. In fact, many problems are due to magnesium deficiencies. I purchased the magnesium supplement that my friend took and started to add this to my nightly rituals. I started going to the bathroom every single morning and they were productive. Things were finally moving through this house. It’s funny, once you go through constipation problems like I did; you celebrate really good stool passing’s. Just for shits and giggles (pun definitely intended).
This wasn’t the end of my journey. I started to get other problems digestively and found out that I was intolerant to many FODMAPS. This was a culprit in the hard stools and once I rebalanced my gut microbiome with a special diet, I was victoriously healthy and going to the bathroom regularly.
Hallelujah. Praise education, scientists, and people who research poo and the gastrointestinal tract. Thank you!
Fast forward to 2015. I’ve taken my struggles, stupid mistakes, education and research and now help people all over the world fix their digestive problems. My physician (same one) now sends clients to me for holistic healing on many levels, not just poo. I’m certified health and fitness expert (nutritionist, personal trainer, yoga teacher, and life coach). I help people with everything from body, mind, to spirit with my online figureFIT! Lifestyle Program. I coach people back to health, creating a body they love and also, in my opinion, the most important part, to create a life they love. I specialize in mindset, fitness, and gut health because all of these together play a part in perfect health and happiness and that is my goal for YOU. My figureFITlife.com website is an online portal that contains all of this information and I’d love to have you come on over and join. You are worth it!
I recently realized that over 42 million Americans suffer from constipation. Because there is NO REASON for this, I decided that I would offer my coaching to anyone who enrolls in the the 90-Day transformation.
With this specific protocol you will learn:
- How to clean yourself out,
- How to get your bowel working again,
- How to kill off the bad bacteria in your gut that is causing problems,
- How to rebuild the good bacteria that will support regular bowel movements, and
- Supplements that will help you maintain regular bowel movements.
When you sign up for my 90-Day Transformation, you can look forward to way more than just going to the bathroom regularly again. You can look forward to guidance with workouts, nutrition & meal planning, and learning how to break your bad habits with my 3-step process. I hope to see you on my program soon!
- Posted by Christi Mcilwain
- On November 2, 2016
- 0 Comment