Jane Fonda Reflects On Her Struggle With Bulimia More Than 60 Years Ago

Jane Fonda has been open about her health in recent years – not just her health today, but some of the struggles she endured in her younger years. Most recently, she opened up about her struggle with bulimia in the 1950s and 1960s on The Checkup: With Dr. David Agus – a brand new Paramount+ series.

She explained the unconventional path to recovery she took – which didn’t include professional treatment or a recovery program. It all started when she saw the negative impact her eating disorder was having on her career. At the time, she was always doing something and had to maintain a busy schedule 24/7.

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While it was something she could maintain when healthy, she couldn’t afford the four-day recovery period needed after a binge-and-purge episode. For that reason, she woke up one day and decided her eating habits had to change. And while it wasn’t an easy road to recovery, it’s a road she eventually overcame.

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“I was married, I had children, I was politically active, I was raising money, I was an actor, I was making movies. I couldn’t do it all because the older you get, the more toll it takes on you. If you binge and purge, it’s like three or four days to really recover. And I just couldn’t do the lifestyle that I wanted to,” she said.

Jane Fonda felt like her life was worth improving, which is ultimately when she decided it was time to stop her bulimic behavior – adding that it was “really, really, really, really hard.” She’s now using her experience with bulimia to help educate others about the importance of receiving treatment for eating disorders. 

“If I had it to do over and it was nowadays, I’d probably go to a 12-step program or something, but I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know there was a name for it, and I didn’t know that you could go someplace. I’m talking ‘60s, ‘50s,” Fonda said, before providing optimism that ‘you can recover from eating disorders.’

Jane Fonda began her career in front of the camera in 1959 and rose to fame in the 1960s. Over the next 50+ years, Fonda established herself as one of Hollywood’s more iconic and memorable actresses. Among her many accolades are two Academy Awards, an Emmy, and seven Golden Globe awards. 

Jane Fonda Continues Treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

On September 2nd, Jane Fonda shared a long message with her followers on Instagram. “So, my dear friends, I have something personal I want to share. I’ve been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and have started chemo treatments,” she began the caption, adding a selfie photo of herself. 

She went on to explain how lucky she was that it’s treatable cancer and that more than 80% of patients see success with treatment. At the time, she said her initial treatment would require six months of chemo – which she began immediately and is currently more than halfway through with as of December. 

“Cancer is a teacher and I’m paying attention to the lessons it holds for me. One thing it’s shown me already is the importance of community. Of growing and deepening one’s community so that we are not alone. And the cancer, along with my age –almost 85– definitely teaches the importance of adapting to new realities,” she adds. 

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At a Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power & Potential (GCAPP) event last month, Fonda shared another update with her fans. “The week when I get the chemo is hard, but then after that, I feel good. I feel very strong,” she said, noting that she isn’t losing her hair and doesn’t feel nauseous at all.

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