Poop and Your Gut Microbiome

Yeah, that’s right, poop ? !

It can be a sensitive topic and a little embarrassing, but essential none the less! While this is kind of an uncomfortable life story, I’m telling it in the hopes that it will help someone else.

I dealt with constipation big-time as a child all the way until adulthood into my 30s. When I was a kid my mom would have to give me an enema every four days because I couldn’t poop! It was just part of our life; someone would say where Suzy and then someone else would say oh has it been four days? They would know that I was getting the treatment.

As I got older it turned into taking laxatives which really messed up my system! For as long as I can remember I was always trying to find remedies to help with my chronic constipation. It turns out when you have a chronic constipation like that your bowels just are not working right and you don’t get the urges, the system gets very stuck. I pretty much had figured that it was just the way my body was and lived with the discomfort of constipation.

Fast forward to the time after my second daughter was born and I was training for a marathon with friends. I mentioned this issue that had just become the way of life for me. Also, my three-year-old was having a similar issue and would cry every time she had to poop. We started a nutritional plan of adding lots of produce to our diets that had surprisingly fast results. In a matter of days, we were ALL amazingly regular! It was life-changing, and it started a cascade of many health benefits that I am so thankful for today.

Now since the study of the Gut Microbiome has exploded in recent years, research is showing that a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other plants are key to creating an ecoculture inside our gut that leads to biodiversity that is important for our health. Not only does it restore the good bacteria for healthy bowel movements, but also decreases systemic inflammation. It’s interesting to note that much of our neurotransmitters that are produced in our body come from our microbiome in our gut. When you eat fiber from plants you are feeding the good gut bacteria in your microbiome.

It’s so common that people either have overactive bowels or lazy ones like mine, and I just wanted to get this out, so you know you’re not alone in the struggle.

It’s always a good time to support a healthy microbiome and train your bowels to be regular.

Don’t feel embarrassed if your bowels are cranky, reach out and I’d be happy to share more about what worked for me!

What’s Your Relationship to Support?

Recently, I found myself feeling incredibly overwhelmed, you know that feeling when you don’t want to get up? It was weird, because I truly am so excited of all the great things in my life, I feel grateful, encouraged, and surrounded by lots of support. I was also processing grief over losing my dad and trying to manage all the plates spinning that I had put on hold for a season to take care of him. It wasn’t even pressure that I was feeling, it was more a feeling of being a bit lost and surrounded by the life that I’ve built, yet not knowing what the next step should be.

Have you ever felt this way? Confused that you are feeling lost in all the things?

It really made me feel like I was going through the motions and not actually experiencing my life.

It wasn’t long before I started to pile on self judgements…
I should be able to handle this…
What do I tell my clients when they are overwhelmed…?
I can find the answer, I can look up new tools…
Read the book…

But wait, is it just my interpretation that I have the facts and the tools that I need to feel better, be better, and do better?

Well, after getting into some reflection and prayer, and just sitting in the sun on my back porch and allowing myself to settle, I realized that while I have supportive people and tools all around me, I was only relying on myself to come up with the plan. Exactly what I hope to be for others, I needed too.

After beginning to have an open heart and mind to share my need for support the doors all began opening.

In a window of a couple of days I met an accountability partner that helped me to get back on track with my eating habits. Those are always the first to go for me when stress shows up.

Then, I joined a running group that supported my exercise and joy of being in nature learning new techniques. I also know that running keeps me more mindful of my eating since I know how I’ll feel the next day on the trail!

I reached out to my family to share the new roles that we need to take on for mom now and let them share in that privilege. We were never meant to take on the world alone, and the vulnerability of accepting help can be a forever bond with another who is able to support.

Through this challenge, I have uncovered that my relationship to support is often to try and muscle my own way through a hard time, instead of reaching out and up for support. Sometimes it’s easy to mistake information and opinions on social media and the internet for actual support that comes from another human being!

So, here’s my invitation to you… what is an area of overwhelm for you that you might get curious about support?