What does your excrement say about you?
I’ve always been fascinated by the fact that animal feces is so uniform. That might be a little weird but it is something I think about at least twice a day, usually when I’m taking care of business. Everyday is a surprise, I never know what I’m going to get. With animals it’s just the opposite. We actually identify species by the shape, size, and style of their droppings*!
What is wrong with humans?
If you are familiar with my work you know exactly where this is going. Yeah it has something to do with what we eat. Let’s not jump ahead though.
Allow me to elaborate on this phenomena of the animal kingdom sans homosapiens.
The wombat poops cubes. This is one of the more hilarious evolutionary solutions for a species. Wombats have notoriously bad eyesight. Partly because they are nocturnal and partly because they are the Mr. Magoo of the animal kingdom.
Wombats needed a way to mark their territory using another sense since their peers can’t see anything. Because they are well mannered they decided to start defecating at nose level, this way they don’t need to keep their faces in the dirt all the time. The trouble with snout level is that round things are prone to rolling off of elevated places. Boom! Cubed turds! All the wombat’s territorial fears were eradicated. Billy Mays couldn’t have come up with a better solution to this modern inconvenience himself (RIP).
We as humans may not have our shit together as well as the wombat but we are definitely better than the capybara…
Without going into extreme detail. Just know that the digestive tract of the capybara doesn’t absorb all the nutrients of food during the first go around the ferris wheel… Yeah. There’s a second revolution. Think of a fat kid eating soft serve ice cream straight from the machine.
Well that’s disturbing but what about us?
The love/hate relationship between the brain, the gut, and what we eat?
Why don’t we have some awesome waste trend that happens involuntarily? That everyone does always?
It has something to do with our diets but also something to do with our brains.
There is a complex link between your excrement and your brain, and it’s not just because you might be a shitty person. There is a nerve called the Vagus nerve, it’s actually a bunch of nerves but KISS**, that runs directly from your gut to the brain. This nerve is part of what is called the enteric nervous system (ENS). The ENS covers your gastrointestinal tract with over 100 million nerves and it has a direct link to your central nervous system via the vagus nerve. This is why people are always saying to trust your gut, because your gut is literally your second brain. While the brain may be caught up in conscious thought about how to handle a certain situation, your gut is giving that instinctual push one way or another in a more visceral (enteric?) way.
Everything is connected.
Makes sense, but what is new is that researchers at Johns Hopkins are discovering that the link is much deeper and complex than that.
We know that our mental state can affect the way the rest of our body feels. This is why people who are chronically depressed also develop other seemingly unrelated symptoms. What is new though is that this relationship may go the other way around as well.
Distress in our gut may send signals to our brain to change our general disposition. This is intuitive when you find out that people with GI issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other bowel issues have a higher percent chance of developing depression than the average person.
There are some inferences we can draw from this connection. If our brain affects our gut and our gut affects our brain then what we put into our gut affects our brain and our mental perceptions about what we eat affects how our gut treats those things.
The strength of this effect is still being tested but this really is a game changer when it comes to diet and diet intervention.
Did you feel like shit after your last Whopper? Sour patch kids put you in a sour/ sweet mood swing? Did that feeling of shittiness extend past your physical feeling but also to your mental state? Were you embarrassed to admit that you had eaten the whole thing and all the fries as well?
That may be your gut’s way of telling you that you made a terrible decision and you should feel bad about yourself. It’s time to start unconditioning yourself from falling into these decisions.
On the other hand how do you feel after you eat a meal you know you can feel good about? Are you happier than before you ate? Does it make you want to make more good decisions?
Okay, get back to the crap.
My simple proposal is to take a look at your own leavings to get a glimpse on how your body and mind are doing. This may be especially helpful for those who aren’t as in touch with the rest of their body as they could be.
The ancients used to tell fortunes using feces… Poopy may not tell you if you have a winning lottery ticket but it can certainly tell you if you need some type of life intervention before other body parts start to go down hill.
If things look weird and abnormal*** downstairs then maybe you need to take a look at your head. The first thing you can do to fix things up without feeling like you are forcing yourself to smile is clean up your diet and see if that releases your pearly whites from their long hibernation.
Ready to take the next step in cleaning out your mental bowels? Want to start achieving the body you always wanted in a sustainable way? Get our free newsletter on the truth about incentives and how the rest of the world is out to destroy your progress by signing up here. As a bonus you’ll get email updates whenever a new article is posted and other great content! Welcome to the front lines of Liberation.
*My goal is to never use the same word for poo twice. Let’s see how it goes.
** I like this .gif. I’ll use it as many times as I can.
***Weird and abnormal because your normal may be abnormal for most people. Your mom always told you that you are special she just never specified how.