Julianne Hough is known for many things…her dancing skills, her notable roles in films and productions such as Footloose and Grease Live!, her number one hit country album, and her fit physique. Hough often shares her workout and nutrition tips with her fans on social media and through her Jules blog. She’s even helped designed her own line of activewear, and she recently showcased part of her fall collection on the cover of the August issue of Shape.
While many people look up to Hough as a source of fitness inspiration, she spoke to Shape about how she wasn’t always as confident in her body as she is now. She opened up about a time in her life when she felt an intense pressure to be thin, so intense in fact that she turned toward unhealthy habits in order to stay slim.
“When I look at pictures of myself when I was 19, my body was bangin’, but I was killing myself,” she said. “I was working out two and a half hours a day and eating the bare minimum to survive. I was so miserable. I wasn’t healthy. To be honest, I looked like a kid.”
Now, at age 28, Hough has finally learned to love her body, and maintains a much more realistic workout regime and diet. “I want everyone to know that I’m not Miss Perfect,” she said. “You can cheat every once in a while and that’s OK. You can still have a fit body as long as you work out regularly and eat relatively healthy throughout your life…I love my shape because I feel strong and fit, and that makes me confident…Now I’m embracing the fact that I’m a woman with curves.”
It turns out that Hough is just like the rest of us, and that she too has struggled with her body image and the intense pressure to look perfect. But now she’s healthier than ever, and continues to share her love of fitness and dance with her fans. It’s Hough’s passion for dance that has led to her being named as one of the honorees at this year’s Dizzy Feet Foundation Celebration of Dance Gala. Hough and her brother, Derek, have been selected as the recipients of the organization’s Inspiration Award for their contributions to the dance community.
You can watch Hough show off some of her dance moves in the music video to her debut country single, “That Song in My Head,” below.
What do you think about Hough’s confession about her past struggles with self-image? Were you surprised?