Jane Fonda is finally at peace with herself after spending decades suffering from low self-esteem and the eating disorders anorexia and bulimia, she told the Today Show.
In an unlikely career move, Fonda — who has released more than 20 exercise videos — has written a book called Being a Teen, where she give advice on body image, sex, fitness, and self-esteem to adolescents.
Jane, who battled depression, bulimia and anorexia as a teen, was rocked by the suicide of her mom when she was 12 years old. While her adolescence was rough, Fonda said today's teens have it just as hard, if not harder.
"Today it's even more difficult for kids because of social media and cyber-bullying and sexting and all this," said Fonda, 76. "It's very hard to be a teenager today and hard to be a parent of a teenager, so I decided to write a book that addressed all the questions I would have wanted to have answered."
Jane said she lied about losing her virginity to friends when she was a teen because she wanted to fit in. Knowing what she knows now, the mother of three hopes adolescents don't cave in to peer pressure to have sex when they're not emotionally ready.
"'No' is a complete sentence. Kids need to learn to say no," said Fonda. "Boys and girls have right to have agency over their bodies. We're such a strange nation. We're very puritanical on one level and then yet there's a lot of sexuality in the media. You're supposed to look sexy and be the good girl."
Meanwhile, Fonda credits a healthy diet and daily workouts for her age-defying body. As she has gotten older, Jane transitioned from the rigorous, high-impact aerobic exercise she extolled during the 1980s to gentler, lower-impact workouts. Her workouts include yoga, strength-training, walking, and the elliptical trainer.
“[Exercise is] the No. 1 ingredient for successful aging," said Fonda, who shared her anti-aging workout secrets in her DVD, Jane Fonda Prime Time: Firm & Burn Low Impact Cardio. "It makes a difference for all aspects of your life and your body.”
While she looks and feels great, Fonda is painfully aware that time is running out, saying she gets weepy at how much beauty there is in the world and how little time she has left.
"I have become so wonderfully, terribly, aware of time, of how little of it I have left; how much of it is behind me," she blogged. "And everything becomes so precious. In a few decades [if I’m lucky] I will be in the earth, fertilizing some of the very things I look at now and tear up over."
Fonda shares her fitness and beauty secrets and her thoughts on aging in her memoir, Prime Time.