Gina Rodriguez is seriously stunning on the latest cover of Health magazine, but admits she's struggled with her self confidence.
The Jane the Virgin star lives with Hashimoto's disease, which affects the thyroid and can lead to fatigue and weight gain -- -- and is now opening up about how she manages the disease by practicing healthy diet and exercise habits.
"If I can at least walk for 30 minutes a day, it's extremely helpful for my thyroid gland. Running, boxing, jump rope and hitting the heavy bag are my workout constants," Rodriguez says.
"It's always been a battle for me with weight," she acknowledges. "Keeping weight off is very difficult because my metabolism is pretty much shot, which to me felt like a curse when I was 19. As an actress, I was like, 'Seriously?! In a world that's so vain, I have to deal with the disease that makes you not keep weight off?'"
Beauty should not be chased but individually embraced. Health belongs to you and looks different for everyone. Your journey won't look like mine and that's ok because discovering your personal Health goals is a lifelong commitment. In a society where we are bombarded by limited images of what defines beauty and strength I am so grateful for those redefining and expanding those images. I am legit speechless to be a part of that movement. Thank you @healthmagazine for gracing me on the September Cover of HEALTH Magazine. Your purchase of this beautiful magazine contributes to my career as well as the desire to see a variety of women gracing covers today and I am so appreciative for how you all continue to uplift, inspire and encourage this movement. Thank you to my incredible photographer @jameswhitefoto for embracing my curves. 🙌🏽🦄😘 #Health
The 32-year-old actress adds that she now sees her illness as an opportunity to connect with others that might be struggling with similar issues. "It actually became a blessing because then I got to represent not only women and Latinas but also women who are dealing with this disease," she notes.
However, Rodriguez does admit that keeping to her diet can be a drag. "I'm gluten-free, which is the most difficult thing in the world because, like Oprah, I love bread!" she jokes before admitting that she does get tempted while on set. "It's mind over matter because they put out doughnuts every morning, and they smell divine. I have to look at gluten like, 'Yeah, I want to eat that. Of course I do, but it doesn't make me feel good. And I want to feel good.'"
In May, the Golden Globe winner shaved a good amount of her hair off for her role in Annihilation, and says the drastic transformation changed how she saw herself. "What I realized is that I rediscovered my beauty, and it does not live in my hair. It doesn't live in makeup and it doesn't live in clothes and it doesn't live in my weight," Rodriguez declares. "It's been awesome to rediscover part of myself where I don't have to rely on anything but my character, my heart, my mind and my intelligence, which are what make me beautiful."
The CW star finds that she's most attractive when she's making people laugh and not in her head about things. "I feel sexy when I look at myself in the mirror and that voice shuts up, so I can see every part of me and love it," she shares. "It's so interesting how we'll avoid mirrors. But it should be like, 'No, man, this is you, and this is exactly the way it should be.'"