Sylvia Anderson

Sylvia Anderson

Originally from Minnesota, Sylvia moved to California for the sun, sand and warm temperatures. She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in English and Communications, both of which she has put to good use in her work with RadioMD as Senior Editor.
Don't Mess with Runners

Don't Mess with Runners

Friday, 18 April 2014 23:36
Monday is the Boston Marathon. Many folks might not have paid much attention to this day, in the past. But that all changed with the events that transpired just over a year ago. Now, this iconic marathon becomes even more so; dedicating the run and race to all those who were killed and injured.

My sister, Rachel, is going to be one among the pack. Last year after the bombings, she made it her mission to qualify and run Boston this year in memory and honor. And she did just that. See, unless you get a special "pass" or run with some sort of fundraising group, you have to qualify to run the Boston Marathon. It's the only marathon in the U.S. that requires you to do so. To make the cut, you must run the entire 26.2 miles under a specific time for your age group. Unfortunately, in my seven full marathons, I have never hit the mark. It's OK, she's faster than me. A little sibling rivalry can be healthy. In all honesty, I'm really proud of her. That's us in the picture, at the start line of the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C. in 2011. If you can't tell by our body language, it was COLD. We actually did two marathons together that year, both within 30 days.

The Boston bombings rocked us as a nation, as it should. Terrorism is some tricky, nasty stuff. But as a runner myself, it hit especially hard. Runners run for different reasons. They run races for different reasons, too. Some of us do it for health (mental and physical) or to raise money for a cause. Some do it as a healthy competition, with others or with themselves. I've mentioned before that I run for a variety of purposes, but mainly to keep my sanity. I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in memory of my best friend's brother, Mike, who was killed in Afghanistan.

Runners, in my opinion, are a special kind of people. Call us "joggers" and you might get a dirty look or a swift kick to the groin. So, when someone intentionally hurts us – and our supporters – we don't take it lightly. We take it in stride. We rise above. We stay strong. Boston Strong? Hell yeah.

In addition to being a runner, I am, as you know, a writer. So, last year when the bombings occurred, I got out my pen and I wrote a poem. And then I went for a run.
Marriage, Divorce and the New Monogamy

Marriage, Divorce and the New Monogamy

Sunday, 13 April 2014 17:00
I'm nearing the 21st anniversary of my first date with my husband. Twenty-one years! That seems like a very, very long time to be with the same person.

But, that's a generational observation. To my grandparents, who were married 50+ years before they passed on, 21 years was just a warm-up.

Obviously, things have changed.

Divorce is just as common as long-lasting marriages, with an estimated 2.4 million couples divorcing in 2012 (the latest reliable statistics available). In an environment where celebrities often set the standard of what life should look like, divorce is commonplace... even after a measly 72 days if you happen to be a Kardashian.

There's a ton of reasons why more couples separate these days. A hundred years ago, it was unheard of. Couples had to stay together for family strength, financial stability, a pending inheritance. Now, people divorce because they're not happy, they constantly fight, one individual wants financial independence, infidelity, etc., etc.

Which leads me to the question of monogamy: are people truly supposed to stay with one person for an entire lifetime? Or might there be something more to this concept of "the new monogamy"? Would you be OK if your partner suggested that you have multiple partners if it meant it might save your marriage?
Do You Believe in Women's Intuition?

Do You Believe in Women's Intuition?

Sunday, 06 April 2014 17:37
It's been a concept for a very long time: women's intuition. Call it a sixth sense, gut instinct, a simple "knowing" that women seem to possess more often than men. But is it really real?

Psychology Today suggests that "...women are, as a group, better at reading facial expressions of emotions than are men. As a result, women are more likely to pick up on the subtle emotional messages being sent by others." That's their definition of the phenomenon; a science-based explanation of why women can sense things better than men.

According to Urban Dictionary, however, the definition of "women's intuition" is this: Something that every woman has where you just know. Whether it's that your lover is cheating on you or you get uneasy vibes from a co-worker, it's that gut feeling telling you that something is wrong. It may come in the form of a dream, deja vu, a funny feeling, all three, or something else. Never doubt this feeling. Ever.

I particularly like that last part... I think regardless of what is behind the feeling/sensation/suspicion, you should always know that it means something.
Hugs for Hire: Would You Pay to Cuddle?

Hugs for Hire: Would You Pay to Cuddle?

Sunday, 02 March 2014 21:59
The power of touch is an incredible force. A hug can instantly improve your mood or put you more at ease in an uncomfortable situation. A massage provides a stress outlet like no other. Science has even proven that human touch releases the feel-good hormones oxytocin and serotonin and decreases levels of cortisol (the "stress" hormone). But how far would you go to incorporate touch into your life? Would you pay money to snuggle?

You can, you know. In this world where you can buy pretty much anything -- including happiness -- there are now professional for-hire cuddling companies. HER Radio hosts, Michelle King Robson and Dr. Pam Peeke, recently visited with founder of Cuddle Up to Me, Samantha Hess, to learn more about her business as a professional cuddler and what that even means (listen to the segment here).

What DOES it mean?
My Eating Disorder: Lover, Best Friend, Tormenter

My Eating Disorder: Lover, Best Friend, Tormenter

Friday, 13 December 2013 13:18
You're back! Glad to know I didn't scare you away with Part 1 of my turmoil and trouble with ED. And if you're joining me for the first time, ED = Eating Disorder, not Erectile Dysfunction... I'll save that topic for the experts (see Part 1 of the blog here).

When I last left you, I was talking about all the ways an eating disorder can envelop you, taking you to the deepest, darkest places of your soul. It's a sickness – and it really IS a sickness, mentally and physically – that seeps into every pore of your being. It becomes the absolute most important thing in your life and does not care who (or what) is sacrificed in the process whether it's friends or family members... or husbands, marriages.

A positive? You get really good at math. In the good old days of my eating disorder, I was constantly calculating calories consumed vs. calories burned in my mind, figuring out just how many hours of exercise I would need to burn off that apple I had for dinner. To be honest, I still do this to some extent; I'm just eating a more "acceptable" amount of food.

An eating disorder never gives you a rest. It consumes every second, every minute of your day, from the moment you wake until you fall asleep. I even dream about it.
My Empty Plate: The Best Meal an Eating Disorder Can Buy

My Empty Plate: The Best Meal an Eating Disorder Can Buy

Monday, 09 December 2013 23:32

I was going to wait until "Eating Disorder Awareness Month" came around to write this blog, but the truth is we should be "aware" of eating disorders every single day.

If you've never been affected by an eating disorder, or you have never known anyone with an eating disorder, you may be thinking, "So what? What do I care? There's a whole month devoted to people who want to be skinny???" For those of us who DO suffer, most of us would probably answer: we honestly hope you don't care.

Contrary to some beliefs, eating disorders – and the physical symptoms that often follow – are NOT always a way to garner attention. In fact, many people suffering from an eating disorder would rather you just leave them and their eating habits (or in some cases, non-eating habits) alone.

My family and some of my friends (the ones I trust) have come to accept this about me. They know I will not be partaking in family or holiday dinners. I will gladly invite people out to eat, but I will not eat with them. My mom has learned to simply not set a plate for me. I'm not offended; I actually love this about her. My husband knows I will never join him in ordering at dinner. He "eats for two," as I often explain it. And I love him for it as well. The servers at our favorite restaurant know that I may take something to-go, but I will never eat in the confines of the establishment.

Weird? Yes. But bear with me a bit.
5 Healthy Reasons to Take a Cruise

5 Healthy Reasons to Take a Cruise

Wednesday, 18 September 2013 00:48

Cruises have been getting some negative press in the past year or two, with all the fires breaking out aboard, engine trouble, and let's not forget the fate of the Costa Concordia in Europe. But cruise enthusiasts like to think those occurrences are the exception to the rule (and being an enthusiast myself, I agree).

In fact, a cruise is a great venue for a get-away... not only from a vacation perspective, but also from a health perspective.

In the past, cruises have gotten a bad health rap for encouraging over-indulgence. I've been on plenty of cruises myself, and I can tell you that the five-course meals and midnight buffets can be a diet buster. But things are a'changing. These days, taking a cruise can be a truly healthy experience - for body and mind.
Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder... and Healthier

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder... and Healthier

Sunday, 08 September 2013 21:34

If I had a quarter for every weird look I get when I tell people my husband and I live 2500 miles apart (by choice), I could buy myself a very nice handbag.

The usual responses are, “That must be SO hard!” or “How does that work?” Or, my favorite, “That’s interesting...” with a confused look.

It’s true. Our marriage is unconventional, to say the least. Joe and I have been married for 16 years and have known each other for over 20. We’ve been living apart for seven years. And yes, by choice.

Very few people truly understand the decision to live this way. But it’s a relevant topic... whether you live apart from your significant other by choice or by circumstance, it’s happening more and more in the world we live in. Military duties take spouses away for months – even years at a time. College or continuing education opportunities force couples to live apart. Careers often take precedence over living in the same household.

People generally understand (and accept) those “separated by circumstance” occurrences more than one by choice. Why would one consciously choose to live apart from the one they love?

Here’s my answer: two happy individuals make up a happy marriage, despite the distance.
Naked Juice Pays Big Bucks for Its Deception

Naked Juice Pays Big Bucks for Its Deception

Wednesday, 14 August 2013 21:37

Juice. It has been a staple of American breakfast tables for decades. Over the years it's been introduced to kids' packed lunches, vending machines and even toddlers' bottles. Not to mention the "adult" juice beverages, some of which are packed with things like antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients.

Marketing tactics would have you believe that juice is a healthy beverage option – far better than sugary sodas or energy drinks. Phrases like "All Natural" and "No Sugar Added" bolster that mentality.

Unfortunately, for you, the consumer, these labels may mean nothing at all.
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