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Video: Jane Fonda on exercise, plastic surgery, marriages

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    >> and that morning on "today's health," jane fonda . she conquered hollywood as an oscar and emmy winner and in 1982 she revolutionized fitness with jane fonda 's workout which remains the top grossing video of all time. now at 73 years old jane is out with two new fitness dvds for baby boomers . jane, welcome back, it's good to have you here.

    >> thanks, matt.

    >> it's been since 1995 since you released a fitness video. why did you put the leg warmers back on? actually you didn't, but why again?

    >> i spent four years researching a book called "primetime" about the latter part of life. when it came to researching the role of exercise and aging, it just blew me away. it's important to exercise when you're younger, but it's like the number one ingredient for successful aging. it makes a difference for all aspects of your life and your body.

    >> but a lot of people are frustrated and i wonder if this has occurred to you. what are your limitations today? i have a hip replacement , a knee replacement , all kinds of things. nobody is doing videos for people like me who can't do what they used to do or maybe people who have never exercised in their lives. it's never too late.

    >> do you think it's possible that you've had these orthopedic problems with the back and the hip and the knees because you worked out so much?

    >> no, it's genetic. my father had it, my brother has it. no, i don't.

    >> so nothing to do with wear and tear?

    >> not really. i think it would have happened anyway.

    >> you have not always had, although you've become known for these fitness videos, you have not always had a positive body image . you talked about dealing with things like anorexia and bulimia. what allowed you to change the way you viewed your own body and in some ways is that always a part of you?

    >> you can really get over food addictions, you can 100%. and i think it was just a matter of deciding that i was either going to live or die. and i went for the light, i went for living. and right after that is when i started my workout business. and, you know, it's -- it gives you a sense of power and of control. you know, i realized when i started the business that it was much -- it wasn't just about being thin or something, it had to do with your brain, your attitude about yourself, the sense that you had some control over your life. and now i've made these new videos under a new brand, the primetime videos, and the new one, the two that i just -- are now coming out, they're more like the ones i used to do in the sense we are in a studio, i have other people working out with me and this time we have a live band. it's really fun.

    >> you said it's about what's inside not as much as outside. i remember years ago you said no plastic surgery , i'm not going to do it. and now you've admitted that you in fact have had plastic surgery on your neck and your chin.

    >> and under the eyes.

    >> why change your mind?

    >> i was walking down the street one day and got a glimpse in the window and was like who's that? and i thought oh, my god, it's me. i feel so great and rested and looked so different and i just decided -- i'm not proud of it. i decided i wanted to look more about how i feel.

    >> were you feeling pressured to maintain a certain image?

    >> no, i just decided that i wanted to buy myself some time and look more like how i feel. but the new workouts are more functional. it's less about trying to look a certain way as being able to get up and town out of a chair, carry your grandkids, look over your shoulder when you're backing down a driveway. everyday life things, you want to stay as independent as you can. you know, you can maintain muscle mass , make strong bones, make a healthy heart, and the brain -- people don't realize when you get older your brain shrinks. by staying physically active, you can minimize the brain shrinkage and postpone alzheimer's and things like that.

    >> reading about you last night, one of the things that struck me, for all the success that you've had, the awards and the recognition, you say that you have always had low self-esteem.

    >> not always.

    >> but why did you for a while? what caused that?

    >> oh, i don't know. it all has to do with how you're raised, right? the way your parents were with you but not necessarily they're bad people . it took me a while to sort of move back into myself and become an embodied perpendiculson. it really didn't happen until i started to get older, until i passed 60. so the message of my life is it's never too late, it's a hopeful message. i'm happier now than i was before. it's not exactly what i expected at 73.

    >> you mentioned a second ago that you were going to take your boyfriend to an event last night. you didn't, but you are very much in a relationship. three times married?

    >> three times married.

    >> what did you learn about love through those marriage sns.

    >> well, i learned that for some people, me included, it's hard to find somebody that is able -- not be afraid to really show up, not be afraid to be really intimate. that has nothing to do with sex, it means being able to be fully present in a relationship. sometimes you need a little mileage under the belt to get there. i feel i've gotten there. and i feel really good and i'm very proud of these videos. oh, they're not videos, anymore, they're dvds.

    >> we have to get with the program. jane fonda , it's always good to have you

By
TODAY contributor
updated 12/5/2011 2:12:43 PM ET 2011-12-05T19:12:43

It was catching a glimpse of herself and wondering who that face belonged to that led a startled Jane Fonda to reverse her stand against having plastic surgery.

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“I thought, ‘Oh my God, it’s me,’” the Emmy and Oscar winning Fonda told TODAY’s Matt Lauer. “I feel so great and so rested and I look so different and I just decided — and I’m not proud of it — I decided I wanted to look more like how I feel.”

The actress and '80s fitness guru told Lauer she didn’t feel pressure to maintain a certain look. “I just decided I wanted to buy myself some time and look more like how I feel,” said Fonda, who had work on her chin, neck and under the eyes.

The thrice-married Fonda, 73, says she’s feeling great, is happy, confident and in a relationship, all with a new book and two fitness DVDs for baby boomers, her first since 1995.

Exercise and aging
While researching her book, “Prime Time: Love, Health, Sex, Fitness, Friendship, Spirit — Making the Most of all of Your Life,” Fonda said what she learned about the role exercise plays in aging “just blew me away.”

“It’s important to exercise when you’re younger,” she said. “But it’s like the number one ingredient for successful aging. It makes a difference for all aspects of your life and your body.”

Fonda acknowledges she can’t do everything she once could, and blames genetics for problems that led to a knee and hip replacement.

“I just realized nobody’s doing videos for people like me, who can’t do what they used to do or maybe people who never exercised in their lives,” Fonda told Lauer. “It’s never too late.”

The DVDs aren’t as much about looking thin as they are about keeping in shape to help keep up with daily living, Fonda said.

“It’s less about trying to look a certain way as being able to get up and down out of a chair, carry your grandkids, look over your shoulder when backing down a driveway,” Fonda told TODAY. “You want to stay as independent as you can.”

Fonda, who suffered from bulimia, says it’s possible for people to overcome a food addiction.

“I think it was just a matter of deciding that I was either going to live or die. I went for the light. I went for living,” she said, looking back at her life.

And though she struggled with low self esteem, it hasn’t consumed her entire life.

“It took me awhile to sort of move back into myself and become an embodied person,” she said. “It didn’t happen until I passed 60. The message of my life is it’s never too late.

“I’m happier now than I was before,” Fonda said. “That’s not exactly what I expected at 73.”

And after marriages to Roger Vadim, Tom Hayden and Ted Turner, Fonda has learned a thing or two about love, like not being afraid to “show up” in a relationship or to be “really intimate.”

“That has nothing to do with sex,” Fonda said. “It means being able to be fully present in a relationship. And sometimes you need a little mileage under the belt to get there. And I feel I’ve gotten there. I feel really good.”

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