Episode 160: Sh*T Just Got Real

Get this Week’s Episode:

MP3 Download/iTunes/RSS/Odeo


Kevin Larrabee (Twitter), Dr. Jonathan Fass,

and Leigh Peele

FitCast News

  • Shout out to Ray
  • Destination Abs Update
  • What up Leigh?


  • Hey guys,What up from Australia?

    Can we talk about poop? I know it’s not everyone’s favourite topic but it’s so darn important! Especially when it’s an issue… I’ve had digestive problems since I can remember, tried all manner of things but still the struggle and confusion continues. I had an eating disorder when I was younger and I abused laxatives quite a lot which I know hasn’t done anything for the strength of my ‘movements’ (so yes, the issue here is lack of). These days I eat better than anyone I know in terms of getting enough fibre, water and all the ‘stuff’ that’s spose to move things along.

    Long ago I was lead into the natural health world looking for solutions and now am so overwhelmed with talk of yeast/Candida, fungus, parasites and all other manner of things you don’t want to think about that may be affecting my system. I’ve also heard varying opinions of colonics and enemas – help or hindrance? So, I ask, yeh scholars of fitcast, what is one to do? I would love to hear the realistic approach to solving digestive issues, what to do, what not to do, what to worry about and what to pass off as quackery!?

    Rock on,

  • Hi guys…(gal) 🙂 Love the podcast!
    My question: the holidays are coming and I stress out alittle about what I want to give my clients. I usually make a high protein trail mix and package it in a pint size container with the recipe attached. It is popular and my clients love it-however, I have clients now going on 3 years and I am looking for something different. Any suggestions?

    What do each of you you do for your clients? Thanks, Teri

    ps I am mentioning the word “boobs” so that I might win a t-shirt!-Teri

  • Hi Guys!I am an ROTC cadet training for the Army Physical Fitness Test (or APFT) and have a couple of questions for you. The APFT consists of three events: as many pushups as you can do in two minutes, as many situps as you can do in two minutes, and a 2 mile run. So far I’ve been doing pretty well on the test but I’m running into a dillema. It seems that from where I am right now if I want to improve in one event I have to sacrafice another. For example, if I want to perform well in the run, then I diet and do a lot of aerobic exercise, which seems to prevent me from improving my pushups at all. Conversely, if I start taking in the calories I need to improve my strength, my body fat starts creeping up, which slows me down on the run.

    So, the question I have for you guys is twofold. First, how do you lose fat without losing strength and second, how do you create, say, a 20 week periodization program for pushups that takes into account the need to carry a low body fat on competition day. The pushup program I’ve been using for the last seven weeks or so is the 100 pushup program (google it and you’ll know), which quite frankly failed miserably, so any help you could give me would be great. As a reference for you, I am around 6″1′, 175 lbs, probably around 10-15% bodyfat (just guessing), and currently am able to do 82 pushups, 106 situps, and run 12:32 2 mile. Ideally, I would like to 110 pushups, 115 situps, and 11:30 run time.


  • Hey guys,I was wondering if you could recommend any academic journals that are relatively accessible for those of us that don’t have advanced degrees in kinesiology.  I have access to journal databases through my school, but most of the journals I’ve come across tend to be a bit too scientific and I start to blow out brain cells.  Any info would be great.  I’m sure there’s more information out there than what the internet and magazines supply.  Thanks!

    Will, NJ

  • Hey Kevin, Dr. Fass and what up leigh,
    First i wanted to say that i am an English Texan (do the best accent you can for that Kevin).Just wanted to let you know that you have inspired me to hand out lift strong bracelets with some reduced calorie baked goods to my clients for their holiday gift. Hopefully this will raise awareness of the program. I ordered 50 to pass out and I will make sure everyone that know about it that gets one. Thanks for all you guys do and keep up the good work
  • What are some DVDs you all would recommend for non-professionals, just for normal people looking to improve their workouts?Also, more specifically, who do you recommend for more information on Kettlebells?-MJ
  • To make a long story short, I was recently diagnosed with a condition known as ulcerative colitis that had me on bed rest for a month straight. Then just 14 days ago I had to have an emergency surgery (Total Abdominal Colectomy), and now I have to deal with an ostomy for 6 months or so before I have to get yet another surgery.Here’s my main dilemma. I lost my muscle mass. Literally ALL of it. I went from a lean and muscular 175 to a weak and skinny fat 149 due to literal starvation during my long hospital stay. I’m basically looking for any advice and hope you might have for me in terms of getting back to where I used to be. They tell me I can’t lift more than 15 or so pounds for another 6-8 weeks…so that’s even more time I have to miss out on. Is there anything I can be doing in the meantime to start re-building? I’d appreciate ANY advice regarding this.

    And if there are any coaches or athletes you know who suffer from the same condition I have, I would really like to contact them if you have any names. This is a new and scary chapter of my life, and I’m looking for all the help and advice I can get.


You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. Geoff says:

    This is a message for Torrey:

    I recently had my stomach removed via a laparotomy and thoracotomy and went from a formidable 210lbs to a scrawny, hospital patient looking 170… Doctors orders are ‘no heavy lifting’ for 3 months (for fear of herniating through the lovely 20cm incision in my transverse abdominus) and after 6 weeks I’m still struggling to get enough food down over the course of a day to maintain my current weight let alone put any back on.

    From my own experience so far, my advice would be embrace the fact that you’re alive and loosing a few pounds is really not that important in the overall scheme of things. As much as you don’t want to hear this (cos I hate hearing it) just focus on healing and getting through your surgeries in one piece. This new chapter of your life is going to be scary as hell but in time you’ll learn to live with your new self, your new scars (which chicks dig by the way), and the adjustments you’re going to have to probably make for the rest of your life (don’t think I’ll ever be able to drink beer again..).

    Stick in there mate and you can put on all the weight you want once you’re 100% back on your feet.

    p.s. feel free to email me through GrizzlyPT.com if you want to chat/vent!

  2. Jin says:

    This is for Torrey,

    First, let me preface this by saying that I am not yet a full blown gastroenterologist, nor am I a surgeon. I am a doctor doing what you would consider a residency programme in the US. I deal with patients with ulcerative colitis frequently in day job (and this is my particular area of interest).

    First let me summarize what I think happened to you based on the story you told us. Please correct me if you are wrong. You said you were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) for the last month, but how long before that did you get symptoms? UC doesn’t tend to present suddenly. It is very likely you had been having diarrhoea, or bloody diarrhoea for a few more weeks preceeding your diagnosis. I’m guessing you were started on steroids (prednisolone or hydrocortisone) as well as other immunosuppresive drugs (i.e. mesalazine, azathioprine) during this period as well? However things didn’t quite settle right? Did they also try ciclosporin just prior to surgery, but that failed to right? So I’m guessing the surgery was either because you developed toxic megacolon, or perforated something, or because of the failed therapy. So far so good?

    You have a total colectomy right? Not a hemicolectomy, or a proctocolectomy? I’m asking because I want to know if there is still bits of colon and/or rectum left. This has implications of potential recurrence of the disease, especially if there is rectum left.

    Ok, here’s the (ugly) truth:
    1. As you just had major surgery, you shouldn’t really be doing anything strenuous. NO VALSALVA/BRACING type moves for at least 8 weeks. The reason is that you want your abdominal muscles to heal properly.
    2. When you do recommence, start slow. Start VERY SLOW. Use light weights, for reps. Just do planks for core type stuff – progress these VERY slowly too. Maybe start with sets of 10s
    3. Considering that you have a further surgery in 6 months, (is this a reversal of the colostomy?) my suggestion is to do light activity – when you can- until you had that. Then you can start rehabbing back again. It’s like taking two steps forward, and one step back
    4. Don’t rush into it. You got the rest of your life to get back the mass. Besides, the reason the mass was loss, is because your body was catabolic from the inflammation due to the UC man.
    5. If you still have a rectal stump/rectum, and or bits of colon left, AVOID red meats, and eat a lower fat diet. This is because these foods seem to have a pro-inflammatory effect on the bowel. Some omega-3s are fine. But I would prefer you took these as a supplement, and do not overdo these. 1g EPA/DHA should be more than enough.
    6. As you are recovering from the surgery and the UC, EAT!! You need to put some weight back on (not too much), especially before your next surgery. Because of the inflammatory state you were in (i.e. post-op + UC), you are likely to put fat, especially visceral fat when you do gain weight. Don’t worry about it for now. You can lose it all again after you have fully recovered. This is only a blip in your life.

    That’s all I can think of now. But if you need more advice email me at jin dot lim at mac dot com. I’ll do my best to help a fellow fitness enthusiast.

    P.s. Kevin: One thing I find that helped a lot of my patients with constipation is steady state cardio (especially running), as it seems to affect the parasympathetic system. This is only an anecdote, and an observation I made.

  3. Etana Finkler says:

    Kevin, I’m over here from link from Leigh’s blog. regarding constipation, I also have chronic issues and so did my dad.
    1. Lately, if I’m not feeling uncomfortable from it, I’m just not worrying about it as much. Sometimes I only have a BM once in 7-10 days, but if I’m not feeling uncomfortable, I’m treating it as normal for me, since I’ve tried so many thing that haven’t worked. Possibly I have a very efficient body that uses more of the food I feed it, and doesn’t eliminate as much.
    2. I tried 11g psillium husk daily, + 1 cap of miramax + 100mg colace + 2 liter water + exericse + 3500mg fish oil, and it worked great for about 2 weeks and then stopped working. That was so encouraging and then so discouraging.
    3. Occasionally, weirdly, I find if I have a day where I eat chocolate after not eating it for months, I have a great BM
    4. Occasionally if I go shopping relaxed cruising around the store (any store, even Home Depot lol), but really relaxed, I have a great BM
    5. During my last diet break when I ate carbs, I had more BM than when normally I’m eating less carbs since my calories are so low in deficit.

  4. Etana Finkler says:

    … oh, if I’m feeling uncomfortable:
    1. I’ve tried natural cascara sagrada 450 mg. One capsule was enough to give me stomach ache all day, but not much else.
    2. I tried Super Colon Cleanse (pills by Health PLUS, 4 cap, 3x/day x 10 days), not effective.
    3. I take 3 ducolax maybe twice a year if I’m really uncomfortably constipated.
    I don’t have a history of abusing laxatives, so I felt I could do this, but I do avoid it. Please email me if you find any solutions.

    My dad used hot vinegar and honey I think, but I can’t bear vinegar.

    Sometimes exercise helps, but mostly it doesn’t have any effect.