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Jane Fonda has a recent interview with Byrdie.com to promote her partnership with a CBD company called Uncle Bud’s, which is a clever brand name. (I found it when I was searching for advice on how to do an at-home facial.) Jane of course mentions their products, which including vaping pens and pain relief gel, and she also talks about her activism, including climate advocacy and the Black Lives Matter movement. She also covers ageism and why staying in shape is important to her. I didn’t realize that she still does the same moves from her Jane Fonda workout tapes, but she does, just slower. She had great advice for her younger self too.
On how this movement is different
This moment is different. First of all, the climate crisis poses an existential threat to humankind that has never happened before and we have a very short span of time—10 years, the scientists say—to cut fossil fuel emissions in half before we reach the tipping point when ecosystems will begin to unravel beyond our control. Climate activists have done a good job awakening the country to the grave danger. Even the usually neutral scientists are crying out for us to wake up and we have. The Movement for Black Lives, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, has been successful in welcoming wildly diverse people to their protests and the world is finally listening and waking up in a way that hasn’t before. I feel real change is coming. That coupled with the pandemic has exposed the profound systemic inequality that has existed for long time in this country and it’s really hitting people—some for the first time.
On how her relationship with her body has changed
Well, I still want to stay fit. I’m not buying new clothes anymore, so I have to be able to fit into the same clothes I’ve worn for years. So while I’m way more forgiving than when I was younger, I like to feel good about my body. Things are tighter than usual but I’m not obsessing the way I used to.
How she exercises now
Many of the same moves from the Jane Fonda Workout but done sloooooowly. ‘Slow down’ is the mantra for older folks, but it’s really important to keep moving and active when you’re older.
I exercise, walk, meditate and read a lot. And I sleep at least eight to nine hours a night. If I don’t sleep, I can’t function at my best so sleep is very important to me.
“What do you wish you could tell your younger self?”
I’d tell myself that “no” is a complete answer.
I love what she said about how she is not buying new clothes and has to fit into the same clothes, but that she’s trying to go easier on herself than in the past. I’ve been covering Jane’s interviews for years and I can relate so much to her body image issues. That’s how I’ve been trying to deal with pandemic weight gain – by reasoning that my clothes still fit and that I don’t need to beat myself up over a few pounds.
Also, my mom has been telling me for years that I never need to explain myself! Pre-pandemic, I would always give excuses when I turned down invitations. My mom says I don’t owe that to anyone and that I should just say “no.” It’s easier now because anyone who doesn’t understand why I don’t want to hang out is willfully obtuse and reckless. They’re also putting their life at risk.