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christine215's avatar

Do you think it's possible to "train" some of your 'bodily functions'?

Asked by christine215 (3158 points ) December 14th, 2010

Like clock-work, my husband can wake up, get the paper and a cup of coffee and ‘evacuate his bowels’ before getting into the shower and getting ready for work. Me, not so much. It’s a ‘crap shoot’ for when or if I’m able to make a movement any given day. (bad pun, ok… Groan!)

Do you think there is any way that a person can train his or herself to “go” at a certain time of day?
(if you answer yes and you have this ability, please share your secret)

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17 Answers

picante's avatar

I’m not sure I’d call it “training,” but I definitely think the more routinized one’s diet, sleep pattern, exercise schedule, etc., the more routine bodily funtions will be. At least that’s true for me.

janbb's avatar

GQ for the pun! I just naturally do; never had to train myself.

Summum's avatar

I’m more like you @christine215 but I go around 12 times a day. LOL What a subject.

christine215's avatar

@picante I wish that were true for me…I cook for the both of us, we eat healthy meals, exercise three times a week and get our 7–8 hrs a night in…—I just hate having that feeling at work and then you get to the point where you have no choice… and then you pray that it doesn’t reek!—

wundayatta's avatar

@christine215 You do know about bathrooms, don’t you? You make it sound as if you don’t want to use one because you might make a smell? Isn’t that what they are for?

picante's avatar

Your question and follow-up response have definitely moved me, @christine215 ;-)

christine215's avatar

@wundayatta, yes of course, but I have this neurotic aversion to having to take a ‘dump’ at work…(nobody really LIKES to take a dump at work)

Plus isn’t it just better to be able to get that out of the way BEFORE you take your shower?

marinelife's avatar

I don’t really think it is possible to train yourself to go at a certain point.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think one can take action to make their bowel movements more regular, through diet.

woodcutter's avatar

it’s the coffee doin its thang

seazen's avatar

I don’t know about train… but I go in the morning like clockwork, and lately, started going twice – the second time after about 10 minutes. Then three times – all three within the space of an hour. It’s fairly regular – and I’m not trying to do anything about it. I hope it’s healthy, and I feel okay otherwise.

Kardamom's avatar

I wouldn’t describe what you need as training so much as changes. People don’t dump when they want to, they dump when they need to. Some people like your hubby are just lucky that they don’t have as much of a problem, but when you do have a problem, you need to fix some things.

So you may have a little problem getting your body to “need” to go. I’m guessing that your diet may be lacking in fiber and you might not be drinking enough fluids or exercising enough. You need to have the right combination to get things moving.

If you don’t already do this, start adding fruits and vegetables to every meal that you eat (have strawberries or oranges or dried cranberries with breakfast, have carrot sticks, apple slices or grapes with lunch, have multitudes of vegetable main dishes and side dishes for dinner) and start eating less meat, cheese, processed foods and other fattening/unhealthy foods. I’ve often heard the term “Don’t eat white foods.” That’s because things like white bread, white rice, potatoes, cheese and other full fat dairy foods will stop you up plenty, because there’s little or no fiber.

When buying bread, make sure the very first ingredient on the package is some type of whole grain (not somewhere half way down the list) such as whole wheat, whole rye, whole oat etc. And when you start adding your veggies, try to eat a colorful spectrum of veggies (broccoli, squash, sweet potatoes, peppers, radishes, lettuces (except iceberg) beets, orange or purple colored cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, turnips etc.) You can eat these things raw or throw them into soups, stews, enchiladas, salads, lasagne, or even roast them. Try different methods of prep so you don’t get bored.

For dessert, don’t eat ice cream, cookies or cake. Instead eat bowls of fresh berries with a tiny bit of sugar, or have some whole grain cereal with nuts and dried cranberries, take a plate of orange slices or apple slices with peanut butter in front of the TV. You can also eat popcorn, as long as it’s not drenched in salt and butter (popcorn is a whole grain).

You might also want to consider a fiber supplement. I take 2 that are more accurately described as food, rather than a pill or a supplement. But Metamucil makes a non-flavored powder fiber supplement that you can add to any drink or your morning cereal with milk. It’s less gritty than what I take, but I don’t mind that. Metamucil also makes a very delicious cinnamon fiber wafer that tastes very good, much like giner snaps. I take 1 tablespoon of Bob’s Red Mill ground flax meal and 1 tablespoon of Trader Joe’s psyllium husk in a big old glass of water or juice each day (usually before dinner) so that by morning I’m running smoothly. Make sure you drink plenty of fluid throughout the day and get 30 minutes or so of vigorous walking or other aerobic exercise every day. That should help.

jca's avatar

(raises hand) “Over here, I can!” The secret for me is drinking something hot – either tea or coffee. Every day I make tea, take a shit and then take a shower, and I’m clean for the day and don’t have to be concerned about having the urge to go and being somewhere where it’s inconvenient. I like my “method” because it gets it out of the way. I, too, would be self-conscious if I had to shit at work. Once in a very rare while I will have to shit a second time, and then my preference is to go at home, but if I’m out or at work I usually prefer to be in a bathroom alone. I can’t go and feel rushed, which is another reason I like to be in a bathroom alone on those rare occasions.

If I travel, I know myself and I know that what I need to do is to leave the hotel room, get some coffee from the lobby or coffee shop, take it back to the room, drink it, and then do the shit and shower routine.

Without the tea or coffee, I can’t go like clockwork. The tea or coffee is definitely my secret. What helps me also is eating fresh fruit and vegetables every day, but regardless, to have the “clockwork routine” I need the hot tea or coffee.

christine215's avatar

@Kardamom – short of being a fanatic, we have quite a healthy diet. I make sure that the family is fed lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
A typical day is whole oats for breakfast, sweetened with fruit of some kind (I eat about 80% locally so right now it’s fruits that I’ve frozen, dried or jarred or as a real treat, berries from the freezer stash) home made whole wheat pumpkin mini muffin for snack, lunch is generally soup or leftovers from last night’s dinner. I like to do vegetarian dinners at least twice a week and I’ve gotten the family hooked on quinoa and farro. The dinners with meat are chicken, fish or lean meat of some sort, leafy greens, an orange vegetable and sometimes brown rice. When in season, I like to have a bowl of fresh fruit sitting out, but the seasons done for fresh, so we’re eating what I’ve put up.
Right now, my farmer friend has growing “in the tube” winter greens and celery, and root veggies and squashes are still abundant, but I still have a nice variety of frozen summer veggies in the freezer.

Kardamom's avatar

@christine215 Wow, it sounds like your diet is pretty healthy. I’m guessing that you might still need to add the fiber supplement though. When you start approaching your 40’s, things tend to slow down in the nether regions. Just make sure you drink plenty of liquid if you start taking flax or psyllium or Metamucil. And make sure you get that 30 minutes of walking or aerobic exercise everyday, that helps to keep things moving too. If that doesn’t help, you might want to consult your doctor to see if you don’t have some type of medical condition that is stopping you up. Until then, I’m rootin’ for your pootin’ : )

jca's avatar

make sure your thyroid levels are good – that’s your metabolism and that rules your digestion. slow thyroid can = constipation.

christine215's avatar

@jca, I was actually just at the doctors this AM for my physical… getting it ALL checked this time

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