As I mentioned in Friday’s post, last week I attended an event for Mom Energy at the original Organic Avenue location. On our way down, after the “bite size” incident, Melissa and I spoke. I told Melissa that I feel I walk away from Ashley’s talks learning something. You’d think the same was true of all nutrition lectures but too often I feel I’m hearing information that isn’t new or presented in a way that leaves me thinking. Ashley started out the talk pointing out key things that we can all do to feel energized. At one point, each person attending was asked to pick one area they could improve upon. One man (clearly Mom Energy isn’t just about moms or women) vowed to drink less alcohol, another to sleep more. I was having trouble coming up with something I wanted to drastically change because the truth is, I do whatever is in my power to feel good and rested. There was a degree of smugness as I mentally reviewed my “energy” practices.
Then the topic of time management came up and Ashley asked if any of us were guilty of “holding it in” when we had to urinate. If there were guilt-o-meters mine would’ve been buzzing away. Because I see clients back to back, there is often no allotted to use the restroom. And I can’t even blame it entirely on client sessions because if I’m writing something or preoccupied, I can easily ignore the urge to go and had never thought about the consequences.
Ashley explained that urinating is one way of releasing toxins and that if you hold it, the toxins stay in. As the daughter of a urologist, she had been strongly advised against holding it. So I had it, my energy Achilles heel. I promised to work on it and Ashley has been tweeting me reminders since. Like everything else, I first had to research this holding it. Turns out holding your urine can lead to UTI’s and other infections, as urine sitting in the bladder becomes a medium for bacteria to grow. Additionally kidney problems can develop as the bladder receives urine from the kidneys via the ureters. Incontinence is another possibility as your bladder becomes stretched (not something I need after a bladder that’s still recovering from 2 pregnancies and as my mom says will “never be the same”) and for men holding it can cause pain in the testicles (nice). Another issue with holding it is that after the sphincter muscle is contracted it is difficult for it to full release when in fact you “go” leaving some urine in the bladder. This is called dysfunctional voiding. If you need a visual, check out this segment from The Doctors where they show what happens to your bladder when you hold it.
As much as all of this freaked me out, the real message I took from this was that we can’t ignore our body’s signals. Whether it’s fatigue or hunger or the need to use the bathroom, your body will compensate to get what it needs but not always in a positive manner. A lot of wellness comes down to time management and clearly there’s something wrong with my workday if I do not even have time to go to the restroom. In some ways I feel I “fit it all in” but like many working people and mothers it’s sometimes at my own expense.
Any health behavior you feel gets marginalized when you’re busy? Do you hold it? Maybe need to break and go right now?