Playful, elegant, and not above the judicious use of the word “shit."

Every comment should include the word “poop”

So it’s time to talk about some of the good things going on around here in regards to feedback I get from this site because my chi or my energy or whatever is all so negative lately that my four day pooping streak SUDDENLY ENDED. And just let me start by saying that I don’t remember the last time I pooped four days in a row. Maybe never? Jon may be mad at me for publishing this, but he is a day-to-day pooper. I married a man who considers it a problem when he goes more than 24 hours without a shit. Obviously our marriage works only because my poop and his poop cancel each other out.

I call him when I poop, he calls me when he doesn’t poop.

The other day I went to my New Faux P.O. Box and found a little pink slippy thing that told me I had an oversized package I needed to pick up. I nearly pooped my pants, and this was before the four day streak had even started! A package! For me! This was in addition to some awesome things I have already received, including lots of cool postcards and letters from around the world, places like New Zealand, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, Texas, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Australia. I got a “More Cowbell” lapel button from Ali in Virginia, and a lovely woman named Tess even sent me the Justin Timberlake CD (I actually did pee my pants when I opened that package). Alas, no where in the liner notes is he naked. That’s when the pee traveled back up my pants leg and into my bladder.

I opened the oversized package before I even got back to the car — I set Leta on the curb and hoped she wouldn’t fall over into the street, because I was drunk and had knives in my hand, and I was listening to Satan on my MP3 player, don’t say I can’t multitask! — and inside was the “Jeopardy!” Quiz Book 2, and my new bedside companion, Put Hemorrhoids & Constipation Behind You, from a another lovely woman named DeAnn. This is the best book ever written because there are illustrations inside that show how to insert suppositories correctly and which is the best position to sit on the toilet for prime poopage.

At least once a week I get an email from someone who tells me that the reason I am so constipated is because of my horrible diet, that my horrible diet is going to kill me and my daughter. Did you know that all I eat are pop tarts and Doritos? IT SAYS SO RIGHT THERE ON THE INTERNET. Here is lesson number one in today’s entry: 1) Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet. In addition to pop tarts and Doritos, I eat small kittens for lunch. You wouldn’t know that unless you knew me, unless I had come out and said so right here on my website. I EAT SMALL KITTENS.

The truth is (can you handle the truth?) I have a pretty healthy diet. I indulge in Doritos about once a month for lunch on a Saturday afternoon with my husband outside on the porch. Jon and I share pop tarts in the morning, and I rarely finish mine. The pop tart complements our glass of orange juice and a small portion of a whole wheat bagel. I eat a high fiber, whole grain lunch, and for dinner we usually have lean meats and a green vegetable. Yes, occasionally we’ll eat pizza, and yes, I will give half of my piece to the dog, but when someone says, “My favorite food is ice cream,” THAT DOESN’T MEAN THEY EAT ICE CREAM FOR EVERY MEAL.

My constipation goes deeper than my diet. I don’t know how deep it goes, perhaps all the way to my toes, but I have to follow a pretty strict regimen to stay regular, a regimen including weekly exercise and a specific amount of water intake a day. I also get a lot of email asking me for advice on constipation wondering what I did during pregnancy to curb it and what I do know to make sure the poop flows. So in addition to thanking DeAnn for the book and everyone else for the wonderful things they have sent me in the mail, I wanted to take this post and help out those people whose bottom systems are giving them problems.

Lesson number two in today’s entry comes from the constipation book: 2) Did you know that you’re supposed to be able to poop in less than two minutes? IT SAYS SO IN THE BOOK, MEN. The optimum time from urge of evacuation to actual elimination should take no longer than SIX MINUTES! Which means you shouldn’t have to take in any reading material. I have never in my life known a male who can poop in under 30 minutes, who doesn’t have to take in an entire year’s worth of MacWorld to see him from start to finish.

I’m leaving comments open on this post and I’m asking for your advice! GOD! I’m so confusing! First I say, no advice, and now I’m asking for it. Think of it as a discussion. How do you stay regular?

(p.s. I went to my mailbox today and got another over-sized package, a beautiful picture book of pictures taken from this site and professionally bound, and I don’t know who sent it to me. Did you send it to me?)

(p.p.s. I should point out that the four day streak of consistent pooping has everything to do with the soybeans we’ve been eating every night for the past week. I love edamame!)

  • Eat a can of baked beans for dinner, and nothing else. Wait 8 hours. Poop.

  • I have no advice on staying regular, but I MUST know what the prime pooping position is.

  • Keep eating those soybeans.
    Good luck, Heather!

  • SH

    “How do you stay regular?”

    FROZEN pop tarts, woman!

  • Renee

    *laughs*

    How do i stay regular…. i dont.
    I poo when my body lets me. I’ve also found reading junk mail in the loo keeps the focus on the actualy pooing rather than getting caught up in a book and forgetting i have my pants around my ankles!

  • angela marie

    Well, I think it must be fate that I am the most constipated person next to dooce and I may (if I am quick enough) be the first to comment.

    I never knew I was constipated until I was about 22; I just thought I was in a bad mood. Once the doctor said, yes dear, this is constipation, I was thrilled. Thrilled because I thought that I could just ‘correct’ it. Not so.

    Anyway…I drink ALOT of water, I eat ALOT of raw veggies and I pray that the poop will pass.

    Now, at 37 and 4 pregnancies later (during pregnancy…ON iron pills…I was perfectly regular, go figure) I finally started taking Zelnorm. Wow! What a difference. I thought that Zelnorm was for people with IBS (it is). I thought IBS was only for diarrhea (it isn’t). It is making a difference in my life. WooHoo!

    You people who are regular and think if we ‘full of shit’ people just do this or that and it would be all better should just stop. Our bodies do not work the same. Out of my 4 children, two are regular joes (like hubby) and two are like me. Babysitters still can’t get over the fact that you don’t have to wipe poop off of their butts, you just have to be careful the little poop marbles don’t roll out of the diaper and onto the floor. Where the dog might mistake them for…well, nevermind.

  • Jenn

    Coffee, lots of it, keeps me regular. I know it isn’t very healthy but somebody has to keep Starbucks in business….

  • angela marie

    Man! You guys are fast! 😉

  • Spring

    What is this regular thing that you speak of?

    And thank you for posting the six minute rule. I now have reason to clean the library sized collection of mags off my bathroom floor.

  • amy

    I have the same problem and am constantly battling my bowels. I noticed that when I stay away from sugar and dairy (both of which I could live off of alone) it becomes easier to poop more often. I also drink apple cider vinegar before every meal I eat at home and I take digestive enzymes before every meal.
    The biggest thing I think is my stress level. I’m a totally worrier and fixer. Do I actually fix people.. no, do I think I can? Yes. So I end up stressed out about stuff for days. Anyway when I hold onto stuff. So does my colon. I found some good stuff here:http://www.westonaprice.org/askdoctor/ask_constipation.html

  • I have no idea how to tell you to stay regular. By all accounts, I should be the most consitpated person on earth. I don’t eat meat. My diet includes a large amount of cheese.

    Have you talked to your doctor about this? Maybe they can give you some special poop pill or something. (There, my post contained the word “POOP”.)

    Good luck. I’ll send all the positive POOP vibes I can your way.

  • Dre

    I feel guilty because I poop at least twice every day.

    I’m sorry, Heather.

  • Cora’s mommy

    Raisin bran.
    Although this in NOT healthy, and I am not a smoker anymore, but everytime I smoke a cig now, I have to poop. Don’t bash me internet, she asked how I stay regular.
    Taking Colace is good too.

  • Things to eat when you want to poop (at least they work for me): prunes (bleck!), edamame (yummy salty green goodness), coffee (starbucks does it everytime), refried beans from Topanga…but you probably don’t have a Topanga…so come to Vancouver, I’ll take you there.

  • claudia

    this will get you going:
    http://www.wildrose.com/products/specialty/6436.htm

    i absolutely swear by it.

  • Aloe tablets work for me. My Aunt turned me onto them and aloe tablets & I are in love.
    You see, I am not a regular girl.

  • FLAX.

    and coffee. oh, yes. the coffee.

  • kristin

    alas, i have no poop advice but i want to tell you how much i love your blog! and that husbands pooping with macworld is the funniest, most true thing i’ve read all day.

  • the prime pooping position is as follows:

    The Motorcycle Racer Position
    As you sit down on the toilet seat — tightening your butt muscles and supporting your weight with your hands — move your feet backwards toward the midpoint of the bowl. Slowly shift your body so that you angle away from the back of the toilet, with your weight balanced on the balls of your feet and your thighs. Once you are in this position, relax and let go of your waste.

    YEAH RIGHT. IT AIN’T EVER THAT EASY.

  • Keri

    A latte and hard boiled egg gets things moving along pretty well in the ol’ AM. REALLY well.

  • Leon

    Knowing full well that this does nothing to solve the continuing lack of consistent poopage dilemna.

    Just try to keep things in perspective.

    It could be a lot worse.

    If little Leta could speak, she would say, “Mommie, you could be pooping so violently that it shoots out your britches, up your back, and INTO YOUR HAIR.

    ….see if Jon stays with you after you have to explain why there’s poop in your hair

  • lisaann

    someone mentioned frozen poptarts, but when in truth the yummiest thing on earth is a toasted strawberry poptart with butter. ah, the butter. YUM.

  • Dooce:

    As if I really want to think about all that when I’m pooping. I think if I tried to do that, I would get so worried about whether I was doing it right I’d get performance anxiety and not be able to poop.

  • I go whenever I feel the urge. Which usually is 0-3 times a day, and this sentence is more thought than I have put into how often I do it in years.

    My wife is a whole ‘nother story. Her and her mom love to talk about it, the issues with it, the colour and the shape, etc. Well, maybe not that bad but whether they did or didn’t comes up a lot more that I would ever think it should.

    So what do I do to stay regular? Not worry about it. When it happens, there must be something knocking on the door. When it doesn’t happen, I have plenty of other things to think about…

  • hunt

    I have tried to explain to my husband that most girls don’t like to sit in their own stink so most of us are in and out. Coffee works for me! But I also drink a crap load of water too.

  • robin

    Coffeee and dried plums. No, they are no longer called prunes. The new way they market them is dried plums. Then I don’t feel embarrased to buy them. But they make them in orange essence flavor. Yummy.

    Of course, if you have trouble, I doubt prunes, i mean dried plums, will help. But that’s what helps me.

    Also, my mom says after she eats that carb counter ice cream, she’s in the bathroom within 2 minutes. No joke. She used to eat the dried plums…now she just takes a bite of that ice cream. 🙂

  • Jen

    Best way ever to ensure you can poop at least 4 times a day and only take 4 minutes to do the deed: get yourself some colitis! Works wonders for me. Sorry I have no actual advice and am being a smartass.

  • jen

    How to stay regular:

    Stop fretting over the negative comments made by people so uptight they probably shit diamonds from all that built up self-righteous pressure!

    Gosh! Freakin’ idiots!

  • The Plunger:
    2 shots Vodka
    1 scoop Citrucel
    8 Oz. Water

    Works on even the most stubborn clogs.

    (I had to post this somewhere, didn’t I?)

  • My grandmother always said (God rest her poop, she is taking a dirt nap now) “Beets flush out the bowels.” Words to poop by.

  • Lynn

    Angela-in our house we call those poop marbles “power turds” because they are like super-concentrated poop, and smell four thousand times worse than any other form of poop.

    Heather and everyone else…maybe I’m stupid and oversimplifying, but what about good ol’ prune juice? That’s the only way we can keep our daughter regular. we adjust the prune juice-to-water concentration depending on how much dairy or blueberries she’s had that day. Oh yeah…blueberries make you poop too. One of the most upsetting things about the end of summer…no more blueberry poop:(

    Thanks for the visual of the position…although I, too, HAD to know!

  • Constipation and Hemorrhoids are apparently my friends. I know I can’t seem to get rid of them anyway. I eat a wonderfully bland diet of porridge/gruel for breakfast, coffee and try to drink lots of water. I got told off after my second pregnancy because I was drinking SO MUCH water my poor stretched bladder just couldn’t cope. And here I thought I was just plain incontinent. I probably need to eat more fibre. Dried apricots & sultanas will make you poop your brains out if you like them! So – I don’t know. Laxatives?! I hope you find “the answer” and then please, tell me!
    If I get one more comment from a doctor about my “lovely hemmoroid” I’m going to have to go on a killing spree.

  • erica

    in our house, my husband is the one who can poop in like a minute and a half.

    i think that’s sick.

    you need time to relax you butt muscles and build up to it! it’s something that takes concentration, you can’t just go in there and shoot it out!

  • Under 30 minutes? If I take more than 2, I get aggravated. I used to poop rocks when I was a teen, but 30 years later, I rarely get to feel as though my bum is giving birth. More often now, it’s the Clench-Cheeked Sprint to the bathroom.

  • first time commenter:
    1. I was born constipated. I consider it to be psychological in origin as in: tight ass, stick up the ass, control freak, boundary issues, etc.
    2. Now that I’m older, a lot older, I’m less constipated. I consider it a result of:
    A. lots of therapy
    B. lots of fresh vegetables
    When I stop the therapy and the vegetables and substitute:
    A. temper tantrums
    B. M&Ms
    I become constipated again.
    Noteworthy:
    I love edamame too!

  • Hunt:
    I enjoy sitting on the toilet reading books and magazines until my legs go numb.

    The boy I’m seeing swears by a book called FIT FOR LIFE. According to this book, your waste removal schedule should go as follows:

    1. Drink nothing but fruit juice before noon.

    2. Noon – 8pm – eat. But don’t combine proteins and carbs, as your body has a hard time breaking it down.

    3. 8pm-8am – your body processes the food, you wake up and poo your brains out.

    He poops regularly.

    I poop regularly, having ingested half a pizza, a mocha frappucino, three bags of Lemonheads, a Nutrageous bar, and half a block of cheddar cheese.

    I’d say pooping is a specific and personal experience.

  • “Clench-Cheeked Sprint to the bathroom” will be my next masthead.

  • coffee keeps me regular when copious amounts of water and stress are not available. Regular is not the word I would use to describe my pooping though.

    the Prime Pooping Position sounds a whole lot like the Natural Pooping Position that one adopts pooping when backpacking or in italian trainstations. I find that it works great in those situations, but I’ve never tried to execute it on a toilet.

  • Eat and drink your fill. If your body is full, it will *need* to evacuate the waste.

  • Ammer

    I poop every two days, unless I’ve bought Raisin Bran to eat for breakfast. Then, by 10 AM I’m in the bathroom and no one is going to see me for a while.

    My husband, however, gets really cranky when he doesn’t poop at least once or twice in a day. He has issues with his poop. He always has to poop before leaving the house. And he wipes his butt with wet paper towels. He defends this with, “Hey, at least you know I’ve got a clean butt.” He’s very weird about the poop.

    Just thought I’d over-share there…

  • San Diego gal

    Drink wine – it gives me the SHITS everytime.

  • kerri

    I gotta preface this by saying I swear I am not trying to sell, scam, or otherwise rope anyone into one of those pyramid-scheme things that alleges millions of dollars within months. But my boyfriend sells this herbal supplement called “Experience,” made by a direct-sale company called Awareness. Before using this stuff I gotta say I was one stopped-up girl. After 90 days of taking a few of these capsules once a day, I am regular like clockwork. Oh, the joy! I’ll warn you that for the first couple of weeks pooping is definitely an “experience.” When the urge to evacuate hits, watch out! Six minutes, HA! Try six seconds. If I’d waited six minutes I’d have had a mess of fantastic proportions on my hands. I swore I was possessed by the worst kind of pooping evil, the way stuff shot out of me. Okay, that’s probably too much information. But I feel much better these days!

  • Barbara

    Try Uncle Sam cereal – it has flax seeds in it. It’s not nearly as bad as the All Bran twigs. I have found it in most grocery stores including SuperTarget. And stay out of airplanes – holy crap (no pun) does all that sitting and dry air clog up the works.

  • p

    eat spicy food! chipotle tacos work like a charm with all that fiber and hot sauce. chipoopspray is what we call it.

    or try pasta arrabiatta/diavoloccino. that’ll help the browns get to the superbowl alright.

  • BarefootGoddess

    Pilates.
    Holy Crap (no pun intended) all that moving and twisting and bending. If you lay on your back and flip over so your feet are touching the floor above your head, you just can’t help but poop.

    Yeah, and coffee helps too.

  • We are obsessed with poop in this house. Size, shape, color, consistency – the family that poops together stays together! I’ve just read recently that the first thing you should drink in the morning is a cup of warm lemon water, as cold water stuns the gut and warm water encourages evacuation.

    ‘Evacuation’. Nearly as good as my mom’s favorite:

    “I was just in having my morning constitution…”

  • re: motorcycle pooping: Damnit, I’m never going to look at my motorcycle the same again… thankfully, I have never felt the need to pinch a loaf while racing.

    re: how do I stay regular? Well, I go into the bathroom with my favorite reading material, and I poo. Six minutes is PLENTY of time to read half a chapter or so.

    Sometimes I poo 2 or 3 times a day. I’m an over-regular pooer. Hate me.

  • ab

    I had a fish burrito the other night immediately followed by a DQ brownie earthquake (DQ being across the street from the Mexican place). Let’s just say I RAN LIKE HELL to the bathroom.

    Dooce, please don’t hate me because I pooped. I just have the opposite pooping problem.

  • LOL! I’m sorry, I just saw “that’ll help the browns get to the superbowl alright.” and quite literally pissed myself!

  • christy

    I really have no advice to offer as I suffer from the same problem. Although I’ve been taking good vitamins that seem to help sometimes. I think my problem is psychological. I just don’t like to go. I know, I have issues…

    I HAD to comment to this though: “I have never in my life known a male who can poop in under 30 minutes, who doesn’t have to take in an entire year’s worth of MacWorld to see him from start to finish.” Oh my God, that is SO my husband. And the year’s worth of MacWorlds next to the toilet prove it.