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.”
© 2013 NBCNews.com Reprints