One of the things I love about blogger, runner, baker and cake decorator extraordinaire, Char from My Life’s a Marathon is that she doesn’t shy away from the big issues.
While many gloss over those subjects which make others uncomfortable, Char dives in with gusto and regularly reports on the complexities and nuances of bodily functions and the challenge they pose to exercisers.
I know that I too delve into the less-discussed subjects of periods and pimples, but I’ve rarely touched on habits-du-toilette. (NB. Possibly a made-up phrase!)
But now’s the time.
As a youngster I cringed when my great-aunt would discuss her bowel movements with my parents and it seemed the sort of topic that only the aged or infirm willingly pondered in any detail.
It wasn’t until I lived in Africa and suffered from 3-4 bouts of salmonella poisoning that I too joined the ‘bowel-movement-over-sharers’. Indeed the first time I became sick (just a week or two after arriving) I soon discovered that nothing is sacred as I was forced to discuss toilet bowl contents with complete strangers. In a country where giardia, malaria and many other diseases were common – people were well-versed with all-things-bodily-movementish.
So… now that I’ve provided sufficient warning… I’m about to dive in. In a manner of speaking.
I discovered some time ago that walks-for-exercise made me – ahem – want to go to the loo (in one way or the other. And I suspect you know what I mean!).
This is not necessarily a bad thing – indeed it’s great for most people.
However… in addition, I tend to regularly suffer from diarrhoea (despite my GF diet). It plagues me for no apparent reason and particularly in the morning. In the past I’ve blamed diet coke, although the problem doesn’t always ease when I take DC breaks. (My doctor has mentioned FODMAP issues and a low FODMAP diet!)
So – long story short (?!) – I continually hear that exercising first thing (before food) is beneficial for a myriad of reasons. (Not least, in my case, that I get it done-and-dusted and don’t have the time to talk myself out of it later!). However, although I’ve been thinking I’d like to do early morning walks, the worry of ‘needing to go to the loo with some urgency’ while out and about has been putting me off. The combination of the effects-of-walking and my usual morning toilet issues stress me.
I’ve had a few near misses in the past and on a number of occasions pondered whether running the last 100m will help or make matters worse!
My favourite local walk is the oft-photographed pier and – thankfully – there’s a public toilet on site. Indeed, my (occasional) evening walking buddy often has to stop for me (and hold my phone and keys!) mid-walk.
So I do know there is help nearby if I need it. But… it still stresses me – the risk involved; and I tend to use it as an excuse to NOT walk in the morning, and I really don’t need to find ANOTHER excuse not to exercise.
It’s not something I have to worry about at other times – just the combination of mornings and exercise, it seems.
Today, I was in my mother’s hometown as she had an early medical appointment, so I got up and had some diet coke and *ahem* went through my usual morning ablutions before driving her to the doctor and going for a short walk while waiting. I stayed within a few blocks of the surgery as I knew it had public toilets attached. And… there were no problems (oh, except my ankles, shins and knees hurt within the first 5mins of my 25min walk!).
So… I’m thinking that if I get up and take a few minutes to have a diet coke or hot water and lemon etc (well, probably diet coke in all honesty!) do what I ‘need to do’ and THEN go for a walk it might be okay. Surely that means I’m still exercising first-thing and burning more fat (or whatever) / doing good things for my metabolism. And I’m hoping today’s effort (and lack of problems) has given me the confidence to get back into morning walks and lessened the fear of, well… you know….
Shock, horror! Just finished pre-brekkie walk!
— Diet Schmiet (@Schmiet) September 4, 2013
Anyone else *ahem* plagued by such worries?