I am really beginning to believe that the key to not being overweight is pooping.
I'll admit that most of my evidence for this theory is anecdotal, but I can't help but notice that a good deal of the people I know who poop regularly are thin.
My husband Dave's pooping schedule, for instance, is as predictable as the sunrise and sunset—once in the morning and once at night. Without fail. And he has never had a problem with his weight. In fact, I think he has been the same weight all of his adult life.
My dad's the same way—his pooping is in fact so efficient that he can stand up from the dining table, announce that he has to "use the facilities," go take care of business, and be back at the table in five minutes.
On the other hand, my pooping schedule is about as easy to predict as a girl's first period. In other words, you have no idea when it's coming, and inevitably it always arrives at a bad time.
The problem with that is that when it comes at a bad time I have no choice but to hold it, which is not only unhealthy, it also means that my body goes into revolt, either pushing the poop out more vigorously or pulling it back inside like a turtle head (possibly Dave's favorite phrase).
No matter when it comes, it's almost never a good thing, and as a result, I spend most of my life bloated and in pain.
One of my friends once told me that she never understood how anyone could poop in a public place. (Spoken like someone who never has trouble pooping.) But if you're like me, you go where you have to . . . at rest stops, at work (thank God for faculty bathrooms!), at various McDonald's locations, at the Pak-a-sak on Highway 27 in Richmond, Indiana, at almost every Barnes & Noble I've ever been to, and many, many times at the Pizza Hut on Harrison Avenue on the west side of Cincinnati.
(I guess that last example should be explained . . . between our junior and senior years in college, I used to visit Dave at his parents' house in Cincinnati. The only problem was that his parents' house only had one bathroom. And it was centrally located—right between the living room, the kitchen, the master bedroom, and the den. Smack dab in the middle of the house. So no matter where you were sitting on the first floor, you could hear the person in the bathroom. This meant that, for probably fifteen years, I was unable to poop in their house. And the closest bathroom I could find was at the Pizza Hut on Harrison Avenue on the west side of Cincinnati, which is now—through no fault of my own—closed.)
People who don't "get" pooping in public places are people who don't HAVE to poop in public places. They have no understanding of what it means to be overcome by the sudden urge to take a dump. Their digestive system is regular, they are healthy, and usually they are also slim.
I guess I don't have to tell you that the friend who scoffed at pooping in pubic was, of course, thin.
I read an interview with Whoopi Goldberg about a year ago in which she claimed that losing weight was all about pooping. She had just dropped some serious pounds (which I believe she has now gained back), and she explained that she just had to learn to poop. Once she started pooping regularly, the extra weight disappeared.
I keep waiting for that to happen to me.
It seems like more and more people (including me) have some form of IBS these days, and it makes me wonder if there's a connection between that surge and the increase in obesity. Is it possible that Americans are getting more fat because we simply can't get enough poop out? And is it also possible that the toxins in our environment—our air, our homes, even our food—are messing with our digestive systems?
I have to believe there's some connection.
No matter what the reason, I feel confident that if you can poop regularly, you can also look good in a bathing suit.
And hopefully you can avoid an embarrassing trip to Pizza Hut.