Did you catch Episode 3: Let’s Talk About Poop Part I? If not, go on back and take a listen to that one first. Ep #4 is Part II in the series and you’ll definitely miss a bunch of important pre-information if you don’t start there.
Let’s Talk About Poop Part II continues our candid (sometimes uncomfortable) conversation about our poop. Today, we dive into the poop tracking acronym tailormade with moms in mind– it might help us even more than the Bristol Stool Chart we learned about in Ep. #3, we explore the many mom-centered ways we can keep track of our food, mood, and poop to get our Crohn’s or colitis under control, and we talk about how you can get your hands on the best free Food-Mood-Poop tracker right now. Plus, we explore how we can use this poop conversation to help better our kid’s health as well.
Even if the whole concept of getting comfortable talking about your poop makes you uncomfortable, I urge to take a listen. The whole subject is tackled with grace and humor, and it’s definitely a conversation we need to have to get our IBD into remission once and for all.
Episode at a Glance:
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Let’s Talk About Poop Part 2[music]
00:05 INTRO: You are listening to The Cheeky Podcast for Moms with IBD, a safe space for moms with Crohn’s and colitis, connect, explore powerful tools for healing and transform our lives to thrive in motherhood and in life. I’m your host, Karyn Haley, IBD health coach, integrative wellness enthusiast, and mom to three outstanding kids. After having Crohn’s disease for 30 years and working as a health advocate exclusively with IBD clients for the last 10 years, I know it’s time to bring the types of candid conversations I have with my clients out into the open. It’s our time to go on an IBD healing journey and do it like only a mom can. Let’s do this.[music]
00:50 KARYN: Well, hey there, dear one. Did you join me for the last episode? I hope so, because this conversation really started back in episode number three. Do yourself a favor, if you haven’t listened to the last episode, let’s talk about poop part one, go back and take a listen. Then jump back to this episode and I’ll be right here waiting for you, Richard Marx style of course. Okay, just a quick reminder in case you missed the last episode. The last episode, episode three had us diving into why we should care about our poop? What to look for and track when we’re monitoring our poop? And the lovely Bristol Stool Chart, the actual chart that gives us ratings for our poop consistency.
01:38: We spent a lot of time just getting really comfortable with the idea of talking about our poop, looking at our poop, thinking about our poop. So, if you haven’t had the chance to listen to that episode, go on back, and I will be here when you come back to episode number four. We ended part one of this two-parter, pondering the question, “Is there something better out there than the BSC? Is there a problem with always relying so heavily on the BSC?” Let’s go ahead and answer that question now. Remember Jenny, Jenny from our part one episode, in the let’s talk about poop episode part one? Jenny is my client who for all intents and purposes, was living a pretty symptom-free life, but Jenny couldn’t enjoy that life or even believe it existed, because she wasn’t having the perfect poop.
02:32: I’d heard about the same belief pattern from other ladies besides Jenny, mom’s having trouble seeing beyond the Bristol Stool Chart. It was a head scratcher for me. A problem I really felt that I needed to solve. And trying to make up for this challenge, I recently developed my own poop indicator. It’s not a replacement for the BSC, [chuckle] definitely not. I’m not claiming that what I’ve developed is better than what they’ve developed, but it’s a poop indicator nonetheless, and one that I think can go hand-in-hand nicely with the Bristol Stool Chart, so we really can know if we’re out of the IBD woods. So what’s even better than the BSC alone? Well, the Bristol Stool Chart with the seven different types of poop ranging from those little marble-y pebbles at the number one side going through the sausage-style poop at the number four, and moving its way down the chart with liquid poop at number seven, this chart isn’t without its limitations.
Is there a better tool than the Bristol Stool Chart to track your poop?
03:40: And I saw this affecting too many of my clients. I recently decided to create my own mom friendly acronym, ’cause what mom doesn’t love an acronym. This is my acronym, BE AWARE. You know acronyms, where the letters of the word stand for something. I’m making up acronyms all the time for my fifth grader to help him understand some sort of school-related concept or to study for a test. I love acronyms when it comes to remembering something, so I thought BE AWARE might work, because it would help all of us BE AWARE of what to look for when it comes to poop on more of an individual and a personal level. So, this acronym goes like this, the first letter, B, in BE AWARE stands for base, base your thoughts about your poop on more than food. I mentioned this in the last episode too. But your poop is about more than just what you eat. Yes, the food you eat definitely affects what your poop looks like, but remember, it isn’t all about poop. Their stress and anxiety levels, depression, other mood challenges, hormones and sleep, there is so many other factors that can come into play here.
BE AWARE is the acronym for savvy moms who wonder why.
04:57: So, definitely we want to be looking at some of those other factors as well. The Bristol Stool Chart doesn’t really let us focus on the why behind what our poop looks like, but as moms, we’re always curious about the why, which is why the first letter of this acronym is fitting for us to consider. E, the E in BE AWARE stands for extremes. Extremes on the Bristol Stool Chart means that something might not be quite right. We’ve talked about the poop stages, in the middle of the Bristol Stool Chart being more common, but the number one poop where you have those tiny pebbles, almost marble like, and then it goes all the way to the number seven on the chart where your poop is pure liquid in the toilet, these are what we call the outliers, the extremes, and you’ll definitely want to talk to your doctor about these different poop levels.
05:57: Remember, there is so much that can be done to help your IBD symptoms, whether you choose to use food, making lifestyle changes, finding mindset techniques that work, or medication when you need it. You know I love a good integrative approach when it comes to helping you with IBD, whatever works, mom-friend, no judgment, whatever works. So, talk to your provider, work with him or her on what to do for what’s best for your IBD healing journey. When it comes to those outliers, the one or the seven, it’s definitely worth talking to your doctor about. A, the A in the BE AWARE stands for always look, always look in the toilet. It’s not enough to look once a week or even once a day. You know as well as I do, that your first poop of the day can look much different from the second and the third, and so on. It’s about looking for patterns. Not just one poop. Always look. The W, W in BE AWARE stands for what, what’s your normal? Remember that the pop that’s normal for you isn’t necessarily the poop that’s normal for me, or your spouse, your neighbor, your friend with IBD even. Follow your poop patterns over time, and it will help you figure out what’s your normal, what’s normal for you.
07:24: Next we have A, the letter A, the second A in the word BEAWARE, our acronym here, the A stands for avoid, avoid unnecessarily stressing about your poop. Remember my client, Jenny, she is the perfect example of someone who was stressing about her poop. I know this is tough. I really do. I know it’s tough. If you’re going 20 times a day, that’s stressful, and there’s bound to be some necessary stress behind that challenge. Remember though that stress, any kind of stress, is going to have a negative impact on your poop. The gut-brain connection is so strong, our thoughts affect our gut, and our gut response in turn affects our poop. In an upcoming episode, we’ll talk about a mom center technique and several of them actually, to help you manage your stress, but for today, know that unnecessarily stressing about attaining the perfect poop like Jenny was trying to do, it’s an exercise in futility. It’s never going to work out the way that you want it to.
08:35: We’ve made it to R. R in our acronym, BE AWARE stands for review, reviewing the Bristol Stool Chart. Review the Bristol Stool Chart, and I say that purposely. Review it. You don’t need to worry about memorizing it, have it available to give you the language to talk about your poop with your doctor. Have it available to lightly gauge where you’re at, it is valuable. And it gives you good information. It’s just not necessarily stress-worthy if you’re where you want to be, note it. Put that thought in your mind about what number you’re at and then move on, especially, especially if everything else about your health looks good. We’ve got another E here, the E at the end, the E at the end of our acronym, BE AWARE stands for exceptions, exceptions to the rule. Just like in language, arts, and spelling class, we talk about I before E, except after C. There’s exceptions when it comes to judging our poop too, especially for IBDer’s. Are you like me where you’ve had portions of your small intestine removed? Maybe you have a J-pouch after a partial colon removal or possibly you have an ostomy.
09:56: In cases like this, exceptions definitely apply. Extensive portions of removed intestines will most certainly affect the state of your poop. So instead of relying heavily on the charts or acronyms, talk to your doctor about what poop should look like for you, for your individual case with the amount of intestine that you’ve had removed. So there you have it, there’s the BE AWARE acronym. B is for base, base it on more than food, E is for extremes. Those ones and sevens are a good time to talk to your doctor. A, the first A is for always look in the toilet. W, what’s normal for you may not be normal for her. A, the second A is for avoiding unnecessary stress. R to review the Bristol Stool Chart, don’t memorize it, but keep it in the back of your mind. And E, the last E is for exceptions. There’s always exceptions to every rule. And if you have had portions of your intestine removed, you might be an exception to this category.
11:07: We are almost their mama or in the home stretch, we’re in the home stretch of this poop talk. It’s time for a quick check-in. How are you doing? Are you ready to bring this topic home? [chuckle] Okay, let’s do this. Wait second, before we do that, I need to just take a quick deep breath. Let’s take a deep breath in, hold it, and then let it out. It’s always good to just take a deep cleansing breath sometimes. Okay, let’s do it. Let’s bring this home. We’ve talked about so many things, and let’s talk about poop part two. Well, really, both of these episodes, we’ve talked about lots of things about your poop in both of these episodes. We talked about getting comfortable looking in the toilet, not just once, but regularly to look for patterns. We’ve talked about having the poop language to describe what’s going on in the toilet, to describe it to your doctor and most importantly to yourself. The Bristol Stool Chart along with my BE AWARE acronym is great to do this.
12:16: And we talked about also, how there’s more things that affect our poop, besides what we eat. Remember our mood, our sleep, our hormones, and there’s lots of other non-gut factors that can also affect what’s going on with our poop. Most importantly, we know that in order to get our IBD into remission, we have to track all of this, so that we can look for clues and patterns that can help us get to that root cause, so that we can develop those root cause thoughts about how we got here, and how we can improve. This is a ton of information to keep track of, and I want you to be able to get started on this tracking today. I want you to have all the tools you need for tracking success. Do you know where I’m going with this, ladies? I know many of you already have a head start, but we don’t have to keep all this data in our head. Many of us moms think we can. I know we fancy ourselves, I know I do as superwoman, but it’s hard, it’s hard to keep this all down without writing it somewhere.
13:25: I know from experience that when I’ve tried to do it, I get busy. I forget what I ate for lunch. I forget what kinda mood I had yesterday. When we all try to keep this information in our head, we never make those necessary connections to help us heal. But when we keep a food, mood, poop or an FMP journal, like I like to call it, all the pieces start to fall into place. All of this poop watching starts to pay off. We are getting to the meat of it mom-friend. I love it. Okay, the food, mood, poop journal is just what it sounds like. It’s a journal that tracks what you eat, what your moods are, your gut and non-gut symptoms, and how all of this comes together to affect your poops. It’s an outstanding IBD Information Gathering Tool, and I highly recommend you get started with the FMP journaling today. If you’re thinking, I’ve done this before, it didn’t work for me. I’ve got a question for you, did you track just your food and your poop? I’m sorry, not enough.
Which Food-Mood-Poop Journaling System is best for you?
14:33: Did you do it consistently? If not, it probably didn’t show you much. The best news about journaling for IBD health is that there are so many ways to do it, I promise you, there’s a way that’s going to fit for your lifestyle and your time. Let me share with you a few ways my clients have found that work for them. Way number one, a free flowing journal, if you’re a journal gal, if you have kept a diary for years, this is the method for you. Just make sure you track more than your poop and what you eat. You’ll also want to journal about your daily mood, your symptoms, remember both GI and non-GI related. For example, my free form journal entry might say something like, for breakfast, I had two sunny side-up eggs fried in butter, one blueberry muffin, and then you might… If it’s a store bought muffin, you might wanna include the brand. For example, you could say Udi’s brand, gluten-free, a cup of black tea.
15:45: And then you might say something like, felt tired, restless night sleep, had a headache before breakfast, perked up after eating, something like that. You could even say headache went away, but felt some bloating, had some gas after eating, ran to the bathroom to poop a couple of hours later. And then you would probably describe your poop, poop was light brown, BSC number six. See how that comes in handy? The BSC is great. Saw bits of food in the toilet. And then you might add a note saying something like, wondered if the milk I put in the eggs bothered me, there were bits of blueberry in the toilet, something like that. See how that free-flowing journal might look. Remember, no one but you is looking at this journal, so make a free-flowing journal or it could be a bullet pointy journal, whatever works for you. Just as long as you can read it and it makes sense to you. That’s all that matters with this type of food, mood, poop tracking.
16:49: Okay, moving on to another way, you might want to try this out, food, mood, poop journaling, another way to do it is to do it on your phone. If you have your phone attached to you all the time, use the note section in your phone. If you like the free-flowing journal kind of way, the one that I just mentioned, but you don’t really feel like writing things out all the time, how about the Notes app in your phone? It’s perfect for this. Or there’s another notes app that I really like, it’s called Evernote. I’ll put a link for that in the show notes. So, whatever works for you, but you’re gonna do the same type of information here. Your food that you’re eating, your mood, your GI and non-GI symptoms, and your poop, of course, using the language that the Bristol Stool Chart gives you along with your thoughts centered around the BE AWARE acronym. So, same kinda thing as the free-flowing journal, but instead of doing it on paper, pen and paper style, this one’s gonna go directly in your phone, wherever you keep notes.
18:00: Way number three. Way number three to use the food, mood, poop journaling. If you wanna take your cell phone to a whole new level, a level, a little bit different than the one used in number two, you can do some IBD tracking with a video selfie. If you’re a selfie girl, you know who you are. If you love a selfie, if you are making videos all the time anyway, why not put your food, mood, poop journal right in the mix. Follow the same format from the past two ideas, but you’re gonna do this one in a video format. Save your videos on your phone, maybe you could even do a summary at the end of the day, and it will help you keep track of patterns that emerge. Just be sure that you go back and watch it so that you can see what those patterns are.
18:47: Okay, we’ve made it to number four, and this is the last one. This is the last way and this is the way that I do it. It works for me, and it’s kind of a cross between the written word and a more simpler form of journaling. It’s my very own food, mood, poop journal. It’s a printoutable filloutable, PDF with the symptoms that you can just circle both non-GI and GI symptoms. You can just circle what’s going on. There’s also a smiley and sad faces that you can circle for your mood. There’s also sections for you to write down what you’re eating. It’s the method all my clients start with on day one. Yep, all my clients start with food, mood, poop journaling as well, and it’s amazing. It’s amazing to see the connections that they can begin to make when they start out.
19:42: Since it’s my goal for you to be awesomely successful here with the food, mood, poop journaling. I’m gonna give you my journaling system for free. Maybe it’s the best method for you or maybe not. Maybe there was one of the other methods that I mentioned that sounds better to you, but not knowing how to start this journaling thing, it’s definitely not going to stand in your way of starting… Getting started with this FMP journaling. Not on my watch. If you want to get your hands on my food mood poop journal system, the one that I use with all my clients, all you have to do is click on the food mood poop journal link. It’s in the episode notes and voila, it’s yours. If you don’t have the notes or you don’t know how to get to the notes, you can also go to karynhaley.com/journal. That’s karynhaley K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y/journal forward slash journal. You can also get your copy of the Food mood poop journal there as well. Also, and it’ll be in the show notes, so go ahead, get it, it’s yours. And whatever method works for you, you can go ahead and get started. So did you pick the best food, mood, poop journaling method for you? Are you ready to get started today? You can do this, mama. I believe in you. I know you can, and I’m here if you get stuck along the way. Always feel free to email me if you’re stuck, firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m here to answer your journaling questions any time.
21:20: Phew, what a whirlwind of poop-filled info on both of these episodes. How many times do you think I said the word poop in this episode? I don’t even think I could count. Can you imagine if it was a drinking game? I don’t even wanna think about that. How did you do? Did we get you all comfy and cozy with thinking about and talking about your poop? Did we take away some of the stigma attached to talking about it openly? I hope so. It’s vital for us to go there. I know it’s uncomfortable, but we really had to do it. And if you can’t think of anyone who is willing to go there with you, if you need to talk it through, I’m always happy to go there. In the name of IBD remission, I will go there with you. I’ll go there with you, mom friend. With all of this info that you have from today’s episode, it’s time for a poop challenge. Remember the poop challenge I spoke about way at the top of this podcast? Of course, it’s a poop-related challenge. I’m gonna take it myself and I hope you’ll take it with me. My challenge is to use this. Find the Bristol Stool Chart in the show notes.
I’ve got a challenge for you! A Poop Challenge.
22:39: That’s from the day before there in the show notes for let’s talk about poop part one, or you can Google it and you can find your own. But go ahead and find the Bristol Stool Chart and print it out. Then for the next three days, make a promise and commit to yourself to look in the toilet bowl every time you go number two. Take a quick peek. You can do it. I know you can do it. For the next three days, I’m gonna be doing it too right along with you. I know you might think it’s second nature to me at this point, but I forget too, so this is my reminder as well. And if you do print out your very own copy of the Bristol Stool Chart and you do check in the toilet bowl for three days right along with me, I wanna support you. I wanna cheer for you, I want to support your efforts. So if you do it, if you participate in the Check Your poop challenge for three days in a row, I want you to let me know. If you’re listening to this podcast on iTunes or other platforms like Stitcher, you might not know that The Cheeky Podcast for moms also airs on YouTube.
23:51: And if you’re watching this on YouTube, you already know that. Either way, if you take the bold bad ass mama move and complete the three-day poop challenge, I want you to let me know in the YouTube comments for this video. This episode title is, let’s talk about poop part two. It’s on my YouTube channel at IBD health coach. There’s a link for it in the show notes. It’ll take you right there. When you arrive on the episode, if you write cheeky in the comments, that’s cheeky like the podcast, C-H-E-E-K-Y. I’ll know exactly what you mean, and I’ll be cheering right by your side. It’s our little secret code to each other to support each other in poop health, and in IBD health, and to know that we’re taking big, bright, bold steps to help our IBD heal every day. That secret word again is cheeky, just like the name of the podcast. And if you put in the comments of let’s talk about poop part two, not one… You’ll see one there. So don’t get confused. It’s not episode one, it’s episode two. So part two of let’s talk about poop, go to my video YouTube channel, put it there and we’re gonna be giving each other a virtual high fives. So you go girl, you can do this. And just in case you’re driving or distracted right now, remember that the link for the YouTube version of this podcast is in the show notes, so you can go and get it later when you can. But the poop challenge is on, and I can’t wait to share this challenge with you.
Do it Like a Mom!
25:38: Alright, poop challenge thrown down. Last but definitely not least, we’ve gotta talk about how you can take all this awesome poop information from today and from the previous episode and do it like only a mom can, so how can you take your book knowledge and do it like a mom? You can share this poop information with your kids. It’s that simple. With information this good, we can’t keep it to ourselves. We’ve got to support our kids with it too. Whether they have got challenges or not, everyone needs to get comfortable talking about their poop. I swear, teaching my kids about the Bristol Stool Chart and giving them the language to get comfortable talking about their poop, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done as a mom.
26:28: By saying to me something like, “Hey mom, my poop’s a at number six, I can quickly get out the magnesium or push the salads and get their guts back on track. And when two of my kids one time said to me on the same day, “Mom, I’m at a number one, I could quickly deduce that there must be a stomach bug going around the house. I got them quarantined to push the probiotics, got some bone broth in their system, and we got that gut bug under control fast. I imagine the power and comfort level it will give your kids to get knowledgeable and comfortable talking and thinking about their poop, it’s priceless, and it’s a gift that will benefit them for a lifetime. We talk about all these gifts that we give our kids, our kids, all the wisdom that we pass down, but we never think about helping them know the language for their proof. This is information that will help them throughout their whole lives, no matter what name you call it in your home.
27:32: As we wrap up this episode, I want to mention one last time, don’t forget to get your hands on the free resource, the food mood poop journal. That will help you get started right away on your journaling. No matter what method you choose, definitely try to get started on that because it’s really gonna help you start to look for those patterns and see what’s going on with your poop. You can get your hands on that free resource at karynhaley.com/journal or just go to the show notes, click on the link and you can get it there as well. Alright, mama, you made it. You made it through these couple of episodes of a very uncomfortable, not much talked about conversation, but one that is just so needed. One that we just had to have. Enjoy the rest of your day. Enjoy the rest of your night. Poop talk out, at least until the next time, she said with a wink.
28:35: Thank you so much for joining me today and for listening to today’s episode. When it comes to IBD, I know there’s a lot of resources out there, and I’m truly honored that you chose the Cheeky Podcast to get your IBD information today. If you found this information helpful, please give us a rating and review. It helps other moms find the podcast and see what we’re doing over here to help IBD moms everywhere. And if you feel called feel a call to do it, share this podcast with an IBD mom who you know could really use an uplifting message today, ’cause that’s what we’re all about over here at the Cheeky Podcast.
Are you ready to take your gut healing to the next level?
29:14: One last thing, if you’re still with me, and if you are, you’re definitely my kind of gal. We have to get to know each other better. If you’re tired of living on the hamster wheel of IBD with all the ups and downs between flares and remission, if you’re struggling to get control of your abdominal pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea and other troubling IBD symptoms, go to my website. It’s karynhaley.com, and my mom had to be just a little bit different, she spelled my name with the Y. So it’s K-A-R-Y-N H-A-L-E-Y.com and schedule your very own free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble-shooting session with me where we discuss the challenges you’ve been having, we set goals to help you move forward, and we talk about how we can work together to help you get your life back. It’s a power packed 30 minutes. You don’t have to live in IBD status quo. There’s so much that can be done to transform your life so you can thrive in motherhood and thrive with IBD. I’ve seen my clients walk this path and it gives me so much joy to take that journey with them.
30:22: My entire coaching practice is run online, so you never have to leave your house and you never have to get out of your jammy or yoga pants for us to work together. You know I’m wearing them to. If you’re ready to take your first amazing step towards healing, I’m ready to chat with you. Schedule your free 30-minute IBD root cause trouble shooting sesh today at karynhaley.com. Click on the work with me tab and I’ll see you soon. It’s important to note that the information in this podcast and in this episode is for general information purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The statements made in the Cheeky Podcast for moms with IBD, either by me or my guests, is not intended to diagnose, treat, to cure, or prevent any disease. Before implementing any new treatment protocols, do yourself a favor and consult your physician first.
31:18: Thank you so much for listening, for being here, for saving this space for us to spend some time together. Until we chat again, I’m wishing you a cheeky and healthy IBD journey.