To many, Suzanne Somers is fondly remembered as the bubbly and adorable Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company (1977 – 1984).
Nowadays, she’s making a name for herself as author, health and beauty guru, and this month, motivational speaker.
On Nov. 18, Somers will take the podium as keynote speaker at the sixth annual Women’s Show & Business Conference luncheon. Held at Agua Caliente Casino Resort & Spa in Rancho Mirage (Nov. 17 – 18), the event features fashion shows, exhibits, speakers, live music performances, and a “taste of the valley” to raise funds for various local charities.
Palm Springs Life chats with Somers about her upcoming appearance, writing and latest book, and why she loves the desert.
What draws you to the Women’s Show & Business Conference, and what message will you share?
My privilege upon being a keynote speaker is to bring the message of health, hormone replacement, and quality of life without pharmaceutical drugs unless absolutely necessary. This will be my first time partaking in this event, and what draws me is my wonderful new association with Clark’s Nutrition. The Clark family, headed by darling Ray Clark and the rest of his family including the fabulous people who work for him, are all on the same wavelength as myself; we are passionate about living a longer, healthier life.
My message is simple: There is a new way to age. I have used my celebrity to get to the best and brightest minds — not only in this country, but also around the world — to pick their brains about cutting-edge science. What I have learned from all of these incredible scientists, doctors, and professionals has changed my life, and from what I hear from thousands of my readers, the quality of their lives also. This is what I want to speak to my audience about at this conference. My hope is that when they leave they will be inspired by a new idea — they can age with continued vitality, passion, and health. The present paradigm of aging that we are all now witnessing is something we hope will never happen to us. Today’s seniors usually end up with one of the three big diseases: heart disease, Alzheimer’s, or cancer. This is a horrible way to end a wonderful life. My message will teach my audience today’s cutting-edge methods, backed up by science, to have a long life with quality right up to the end.
Why have you chosen Palm Springs as your second home?
Palm Springs is my home. I spend most of the year here, and I love everything about it. I love the magic air, I love the silence, I love the people, and I love the nature. My husband (Alan Hamel) and I love to hike, swim and grow our own organic vegetables. Living in the desert allows for balance in our life, with a crazy schedule we have to keep being in the celebrity arena.
In October, you released your 21sth book, I'm Too Young for This!: The Natural Hormone Solution to Enjoy Perimenopause (Crown Publishing Group). What is one of the biggest myths about pre-menopause that readers will learn about in this book?
One of the biggest myths about perimenopause is that it happens at [age] 50 or later. Women cannot believe that it is actually happening to them at such an early age. Loss of hormones is associated with growing older or being old. No one wants to admit that they are aging in today’s society. There is such emphasis on youth that anything that infers you are growing older has a negative connotation. In my book, I explain how you can stay younger longer through bioidentical hormone replacement and live a life of quality without drugs.
What inspired you to try hormone therapy, and what are some other lifestyle changes you've made that helped you?
Seventeen years ago, no one realized that there was a new way to age. When I finally found this incredible miraculous solution, I had been on a search for three years. I went from doctor to doctor being offered myriad drugs for sleep, for cholesterol lowering, for weight loss, diuretics, anti-anxiety medications, et cetera.
I finally said to one doctor, “Are you joking? Is this the best you have to offer women?” And then I went on a search and finally found a doctor two hours from my home, who understood bioidentical hormone replacement. Within two weeks, the symptoms of sleeplessness and anxiety and bloating and moodiness and joint pain began to subside. I've never looked back — it has changed my life. It's allowed me to enjoy aging. It's allowed me to teach young women that aging can be something you can look forward to and that as women, when we replace what we’ve lost in the aging process, we can keep our edge, we can be sexy, we can be thin, we can sleep without drugs, and we can sail through the passages of the female experience, calm, happy, with true quality of life. It's great.
At a happy and healthy 66, what piece of advice would you give to yourself, circa the “Chrissy” years?
I would have told her, “Have confidence in who you are. Don’t think that others are doing it better. Don’t try to be like anybody else. Recognize and believe in your own uniqueness. There is only one you — make it the best you, that you can be.”
Do you still use a ThighMaster?
I do still use the ThighMaster. There’s a reason over 10 million people own one — it works! I like to travel with it because it fits nicely in my rolling bag and it’s a great way to work the inner thighs and the upper body when you’re trapped in a hotel room.
What’s your favorite way to work out?
I love yoga and will do yoga till I die. I try to get in three practices a week. I took inspiration from my cats, Betty and Gloria. Every morning they wake up and do long slow stretches, stretching their entire bodies, and I realized that they were smarter than me. They understand that to stay limber and vital we have to start slow and stretch and then work up to cardio. The mistake I used to make is starting too fast and too hard. That's how you get injuries.
What inspired your transition from acting to authoring?
I’ve never left acting, it’s just that authoring has taken priority right now. I feel that somewhere in the distance there are more acting opportunities, but right now I’m enjoying doing what I’m doing. Passion is not something you choose. It’s a journey, and I chose to follow. Getting cancer in 2001 started me on the journey because I chose not to follow the “standard of care” protocol I was offered, in particular chemotherapy and the harsh after-care drugs, as I was not impressed by the results I was seeing around me with people who had embraced chemical poisoning as a way to cure their cancer. It just never made sense — fill your body with poison to kill cancer. Even writing it sounds crazy. I felt there had to be a better way for me.
Instead, I realized that I was going to have to change my lifestyle and dietary habits. I decided I would eat as though my life depended upon it, which I believe it does. I chose to take better care of myself. Clearly it was important to choose my food carefully, to embrace detoxification methods presented by my age management doctors, and to make sure that I slept a good seven to eight hours a night. By nature I’m a happy person, but I realized thinking good thoughts was a key component to getting well. I came across a quote, “Worry is a prayer for what you don’t want,” and I found it to be profound, in fact, exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.
We get our messages in mysterious ways — a quote in a book, or maybe a lyric of a song — and this one hit me hard. Every day I wake up and I say a prayer of gratitude for the tremendous love I have in my life, for my beautiful family, for allowing me to live in this beautiful desert, and for being able to do work that I love. This simple daily step brings me great happiness. I truly believe good thoughts are healing.
Your beauty care line is chemical-free. What is your beauty philosophy?
My “Suzanne Organics” beauty products are something I’m extremely proud of. They are not only organic and chemical-free, but “certified toxic-free.” In order to qualify for this, it has to be grown organically, extracted organically, and nothing upwind or downwind of the product can be toxic to contaminate the product. In this way, I feel I am protecting myself from the environmental diseases that are “doing in” so many people.