This fall, Single Edition is hosting a three-part series on various lifestyle topics targeted towards single women. From careers and relationships to health and sex, the panelists in these series are all educated professionals that gave sound advice on how to “Love the Life You Love.”
The host, Sherri Langbert, founder of Single Edition Media, is dedicated on improving quality of life by educating the general population about our every day concerns. Focusing on these issues for singles in particular, Single Edition is the “premier lifestyle destination for singles,” offering an array of topics to help manager our lives.
In the second session of the series on Tuesday, October 6th, held on the 8th floor of Saks Fifth Avenue (by the shoe department!), Langbert opened with a few words of welcome and we delved right in to the topics of health, nutrition, fitness, and sex. Though the seminar was targeted towards single women, all the advice is applicable to anyone and everyone!
The first speaker on our expert panel was Jennifer Wider. A physician specializing in women’s health with publications in Cosmopolitan, The New York Times, and SHAPE, she gave us five life-saving tests that all women should take, discuss with their doctors, and monitor:
1.) Blood pressure and cholesterol – Heart disease is the number one killer of American women! Get checked annually, especially if anyone in your family has a history of heart disease.
2.) Pap Smear – Annual pap smears can help detect early onset of cervical cancer caused by HPV. And another good reason not to smoke is that smoking increases the chances of cervical cancer.
3.) Mammogram – Starting at the age of 40, get checked regularly. Get checked every one or two years, or more often if deemed necessary by your physician or if you have family history of breast cancer.
4.) Colonoscopy – Unbeknownst to most, colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer for women.
5.) Dermatology appointment – Skin cancer is the most common cancer among both men and women. With the increase of people getting tanning treatments and exposure to the sun, it’s no wonder why you should get your skin checked frequently. Stay out of the tanning beds and load up on Vitamin D.
Wider also mentioned that despite having more time and money for themselves, studies show that single women are in poorer health than their married counter parts with spouses and families to take care of. Also, women have a harder time getting a good night’s sleep then men, and again, happily married women are shown to sleep better than single women (note: must be happily married). So tips for a better night’s sleep include:
1.) Stick to a routine sleep schedule. Try to avoid staying out late partying all weekend, only having to reset your cycle back to the early mornings of the work week.
2.) Avoid coffee, caffeine, chocolate, and sweets at night – preferably not even after 3:00 pm.
3.) While exercising is highly important, try not to get your workout in too close to your bedtime: the adrenaline rush will keep you up. Get it in 3 hours before you plan to go to bed.
4.) If you’re tossing and turning at night and still can’t sleep, just get up. Go do something to take your mind of of not being able to sleep – read a book, watch TV, take a walk – and try again after 30 minutes.
Our second speaker of the evening was Susan Weiss Berry, a nutrition counselor who deals with basic dietary advice to more serious eating disorders. Her philosophy is based on “mindful eating:” being aware of what you are eating, observe with interest in what you are consuming but without judgment.
What exactly does that mean? Well, in summary, most people eat for the sake of eating, just shoveling food into their mouths without any regard for what they are ingesting. Each calorie should count for something, and so you should limit your intake. That is not to say that you must starve yourself, but because your body requires less than you think, each moment should be enjoyable.
Berry suggest taking yourself on a “culinary adventure,” where you treat yourself out to a nice place once a week. Rather than racing through your meal, take the time to sit and truly enjoy what you are eating. If you are by yourself, she suggests to take a journal and take notes with observations on what you are eating. She analogizes the experience to what a judge on Iron Chef may do: smell the food before hand; lift each bite close to your face and note the textures; and bite each morsel slowly, seriously savoring each flavor and taking in the experience. Not only will with train you to eat slower, which is healthier for your metabolism, but in no time you develop your very own food critic attitude.
The third speaker was fitness consultant and personal trainer Amie Hoff, who was voted “Best Person Trainer” twice by Allure Magazine, and appeared on MTV’s Making the Band as P. Diddy’s personal trainer. She started off her session by addressing her own “mindful eating” experience.
She suggests that every time (or every once in a while) you go to your grocery store, buy something you’ve never eaten before. That way you really have to think about what you are eating. You’ll eat it slower and more inquisitively, and open your appetite to new experiences.
Delving into the fitness portion of the seminar, Hoff says that for most people, motivation is difficult; but for people in relationships, it comes slightly easier because they have that extra boost of confidence from a supportive person. Further emphasizing the downfalls of being single…
However, do not despair! Hoff suggests to set a goal. Duh, well everyone wants to “lose those 5 extra pounds” or whatnot – but make sure your goals are realistic. Have a plan that includes where you are currently, where your want to be, and how to get there. Define what you want to do and why you want to do it.
Easier said than done, of course, but Hoff suggests keeping a journal. Write down anything related to your workouts: How do you feel? What exercises do you do? How long, how often? Keep a schedule and force yourself to keep it. Even if you’re having a lazy day where you just want to skip out, force yourself on your feet even if only for 10 minutes. If it’s only for that 10 minutes, great – but more often than not you’ll just want to keep going. Also, be sure to take note of your achievements and actual progress that has been made, to show that your results are attainable.
Working our with a partner has shown to be more effective: you have a motivator, a benchmark, and it is mutually beneficial for both people and will make the working out experience more enjoyable if it is shared. Now, your partner doesn’t have to be your spouse or someone you’re in a relationship, per se, it can be a friend or a designated workout buddy. Just find someone!
In addition to your local gym or sports club, there are tons of specialized athletic clubs to join with people that share your same interested. For example, New York Road Runners has running groups for runners of all levels, and for super hardcore folks there are groups to help train for century cycles and triathlons.
For a more social setting, Hoff recommended Zog Sports with a variety of different leagues such as soccer, kickball, dodgeball, basketball… lots of balls! They also donate part of your team membership fee to charity, which is great. I also recommend New York City Social Sports Club (NYCSSC – whew a lot of letters!), that is a similar idea with the focus on being social and meeting new people, with fun, unsanctioned flip cup games.
Lastly, our last speaker, Cathy Beaton, a sex therapist and psychoanalyst, talked to us about sex (baby). She taught us to “love your sexual self,” because overall your sexual self impacts your sense of well-being. With this connection, you can gain confidence and self-esteem. Women, especially in today’s society, need to “reboot” their way of thinking, and discard negative thoughts that bar sexual freedom; thoughts about the stereotypes on attractiveness, personal senses of worthlessness, or the “good girl guilt.” Everyone, both men and women alike, is entitled to pleasure from both psychic and physical stimulation.
After “cultivating fantasy” about your sexual self, then the foundations are built for communication and trust in a relationship. You should take responsibility of your sexual pleasures because “no one else can advocate for you as well as you can.” Beaton emphasizes the importance of communication in a healthy sexual relationship and that both physical and verbal cues are necessary to help each other out.
Our four experts graciously stuck around after the seminar to answer more personal questions. Not only did we fill our heads with insightful tips, but attendees were given goody bags related to our topics of discussion: a week-long pass to New York Sports Club; discount to The Vitamin Shoppe and to Saks Fifth Avenue; Clarins beauty bag with cream and balm; hair treatment oil by Jonathan Product; and the Silver Bullet vibrator, pomegranate vanilla lube, and a discount from Babeland. Spark Network also threw in a free speed dating session for HurryDate.com, which is one of their many websites, including JDate.com, BlackSingles.com, MoretoLove.com, and many more.
Though it was a seminar to encourage single women to better their lives, all the advice was relevant to anyone looking to improve their lifestyles, or just to think differently and more positively.
To join us next time for the third and final seminar on Tuesday, November 3rd, visit their site for details and tickets. The next panel will include a career coach, business advice, an entertainment and food expert, and an ex-bachelor on love and relationships. And if I don’t see you there, it’s a good thing I take such great notes, huh?