With her sunny disposition and radiant smile, it’s no wonder that Golden Globe–nominated actress and health advocate Suzanne Somers is one of America’s most beloved icons. But Suzanne has also faced a painful past, heartbreak and illness that have threatened to dim her light. Here, she shares how faith, family and one daily reminder keep her shining on.
Best known for her golden locks and ability to evoke big laughs in her role as Chrissy Snow on Three’s Company, Suzanne Somers is a quadruple threat as an actress, singer, author, and health advocate helping millions of women live healthier, happier lives.
But Suzanne admits that her strength was forged from overcoming years of pain and self-doubt. “I grew up with an alcoholic father who told me I was a ‘worthless nothing,’” Suzanne shares with Woman’s World. “His disease made him say horrible things. After he got sober, he apologized…but for years, I felt worthless.”
After going through a heartbreaking divorce in her early 20s, Suzanne again struggled with her self-worth. “At age 24, I was a single mom of a 5-year old, and I found a therapist at a local community service center,” she recalls. “Bit by bit, she helped me rebuild my self-esteem.” And as Suzanne’s confidence grew, she landed more acting jobs, including her iconic role on Three’s Company.
Suzanne was let go from the show after five years, but she never let it hold her back. “Our obstacles are our greatest gifts,” she says. “Being fired helped me discover a whole new me!”
This openhearted attitude not only went on to fuel Suzanne’s diverse career, it also helped her beat breast cancer in 2001, inspiring her to develop her own non-toxic cosmetics and supplements line.
Today the 72-year-old feels better than ever, is remarried with a big family and isn’t slowing down. “I reinvent myself every day,” she beams. “I’m excited for what’s next!”
Take Care of You
“Self-care is so important, not just for our physical bodies but emotionally and spiritually too,” Suzanne says. “So wake up every day, do your hair and put on nice clothes, not for anyone else but so you feel good about yourself! Eating right, exercising and using clean products naturally put a spring in your step. And exercise can totally change your attitude. I love to put on music and dance with my husband—or you can dance by yourself! Taking care of you helps you feel beautiful inside and out!”
Lean on Faith
“I have a deep relationship with God,” reveals Suzanne. “I pray every day and receive strong messages from Him in return, many of which come from nature. Last month, a group of bighorn sheep came onto our property in the desert. It felt so holy, and now my heart fills with joy and gratitude every time I see them. That was God talking to me!”
Spark a Chain Reaction of Joy!
“I am a firm believer that you can program happiness into your mind and body,” says Suzanne. “They say that we are made up of 40 trillion cells that ‘talk’ to each other all the time. So every morning, I wake up and talk to one of those cells. I say, ‘I’m healthy! I’m happy! I have love in my life!’ Then I imagine all the cells passing along that message, and all 40 trillion singing in concert. That visualization keeps me positive and brings me joy!”
Feed Your Soul with Family Time
“I’m a serious cook and love to entertain friends and family,” Suzanne shares. “I have an organic garden that is one of the great joys of my life! My husband, Alan, and I often walk down to the garden to pick our own food. We have three kids and six grandchildren, so we’ll all get together and make dinner from ingredients found in our garden and just eat and laugh a lot. My family gives me so much strength!”
Live in the Moment
“I’m one of those people whose brain thrives on being busy,” Suzanne explains. “But all those long days shifting into high gear can bring on stress and anxiety sometimes. So whenever I need to decompress and relax, my go-to for instant calm is yoga. I do some sort of practice three times a week, and it helps me focus and quiet my mind to just be present in the moment I’m in. Doing that has had such amazing effects, both when I’m actually doing the exercise and afterward, and it brings so much peace and calm.”
Free Yourself with Forgiveness
“Several years ago, I received a misdiagnosis, and for six days, the doctors said I likely wouldn’t live,” Suzanne shares. “They eventually realized they were wrong and reversed the diagnosis, but I went into a deep depression. I started therapy again, where I worked through letting go of past pain and learned that forgiveness is a gift you give yourself.”
Feel Incredible with SUZANNE Organics!
Inspired by Suzanne’s healthy lifestyle changes after beating breast cancer, SUZANNE Organics (available at SuzanneSomers.com) offers nontoxic cosmetics, skincare and supplements made with botanical extracts that are loaded with nutrients. Suzanne’s personal favorite? “My Ageless Serum and Hair, Skin & Nail Renew supplement!” she cheers. “At 72, my hair should not be this strong and thick—it makes me look and feel amazing!”
This story originally appeared in our print magazine.