I tried the Squatty Potty. This is what I learned about myself.

Image by The Dabblist
When I was 16 my 19-year-old brother used to hang out with
this 30-something lanky, foulmouthed creeper from Brooklyn that told us all
about how squatting was better for his colon. “I’m telling ya,” he’d say. “Yah probably
got ten or twenty pounds of shit trapped up in your body because yah don’t
squat.” Then he went on to describe how he perched on the the toilet like a gargoyle
guarding a city to make sure that he won’t have cancer in ten years.
He ended his rant with, “Can I use your toilet? All this
talk is really making me need to shit.” And as he entered my restroom, I
refused to close my eyes because I knew I’d wind up conjuring an image of him crouched
on my toilet seat.
At the time, this was one of the craziest things I’d ever
heard, and this nasty man from Brooklyn was all I could think about when I
heard about the Squatty Potty.
It’s a bench that sits at the base of your toilet, and
raises your legs when pooping into a squatting position so that your colon can
be fully extended. I first heard about it on the radio where it was described
as the “perfect gift for Mother’s Day.” I described the Squatty Potty on
Twitter as a “poop yoga platform” and next thing I knew the makers sent me a
free one so I could write about it on my blog.
According to their website, pooping while sitting kinks my
colon like a garden hose blocking the flow of waste. Squatting unravels the
sucker so that poop can flow like nature intended. The Squatty Potty claims to
cure everything from colon cancer to urinary infections. I
didn’t suffer from any of these problems, but the thought that I had some
clogged pipe in my body that might some day lead to weight gain or death made
me nervous. That really was the strange thing about researching this product.
By the time I got done reading about it online, I was struck with fear that I
might, unwittingly, be shaving years of my life because I pooped incorrectly.
The squatty potty arrived while I was
at work and I got a text from my wife asking me if I was serious. “As serious
as colon cancer,” I said.
“I’m not using this thing,” was her
response.
Somehow she knew I was hoping she’d
give it a shot too, and we could compare and contrast… well… results.
I set the thing up next to the toilet,
and I will admit, it made pooping exciting again.
I didn’t realize how boring taking a
dump had become until I got the Squatty Potty. I started to look forward to my
morning poop more so than I… well… ever had. But thinking back, I wonder if it
was something different. A new take on a very old problem.
I mentioned that I got a Squatty Potty
to a co-worker, and she asked, “How’s that going?”
“Bigger than usual,” I said.
And indeed, it was bigger, and
heartier, than usual. In my mind, I could see my colon being stretched out. The
Squatty Potty’s slogan is “Happy Colon. Happy Life,” and I wondered if my colon
had an emotional state. Perhaps it was happier, more vibrant, that it ever had
been before.
My 8-year-old son started using the
Squatty Potty, too. I asked him what he thought of it and he shrugged. “It
feels like standing while pooping,” he said.
It was then that I realized the Squatty
Potty simply kept his legs from dangling.
All the excitement quickly died away, however,
and I soon started to realize just how awkward this thing was (as if pooping in
general isn’t inherently awkward). Eric Spitznagel at Men’s Health said, “It’s
like trying to drop a load while sitting criss-cross applesauce.”
I mostly struggled with my pants. It
really depended on what I was wearing. If I had something with a loose elastic
waist, gym shorts for example, it wasn’t that big of a deal, but if I were
wearing jeans, I had to take off my pants to get on the damn thing, which I
must say, in the middle of an emergency, can be problematic. After about two
weeks, I started to miss the simplicity of just sitting on the can and letting
it rip.
Eventually, it felt like more trouble
than it was worth. But I kept at it for a few more days, for the sake of my
colon. The tipping point really was after a particularly troublesome Mexican
meal when I leaned forward while using the Squatty Potty, a little ill and
light headed, and nearly took a header into my bathroom tile.
On the Squatty Potty website there is a
lot of credible research showing that squatting is beneficial. And you know
what, I’m not trying to discredit that. Frankly I’m not qualified. But what I
will say is that I’m an American. And I’ve used an American toilet all my life.
And frankly, I’m not sure if I’m ready to give up something as wholesome and
simple as sitting and pooping.
I will admit, the Squatty Potty has
brought to my attention some of the dangers of sitting and pooping, and even
though I’m more knowledgeable, I’m stuck in my ways. I know that fast food is
clogging my arteries, and yet, right now, I could go for some Taco Bell. I can
say the same thing about soda pop or bacon. So I suppose what I’m trying to say
here is, using the Squatty potty has simply shown me that I’m not ready to give
up the relaxing feeling that comes with sitting down on a traditional American
toilet, both feet firmly planted on the floor, and letting it happen.
This is not to say that I might not
regret my decision in 20 years after my colon goes from unhappy to dying.

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Clint Edwards was blessed with a
charming and spitfire wife, a video game obsessed little boy, a snarky
little girl in a Cinderella play dress, and an angry baby girl. When Clint was 9-years-old his father
left. With no example of fatherhood, he had to learn how to be a father and
husband through trial and error. His work has been featured in Good
Morning America
, The New York Times,
The
Washington Post
, The
Huffington Post
, Scary
Mommy
, The Good
Men Project
, Fast
Company
, and elsewhere. He lives in Oregon. Follow him on Facebook and
Twitter.   

 

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Comments
  • Chris

    Man, this is hilarious. The solution is lower toilets, nor an awkward stool, no pun intended. We I'm camping and squat in the woods, it all flows better.

    I've been reading your blog since my wife told me we are having our first. Thanks for all the insight and honest perpetration. She is due in two days!