“I did a film where I basically was told I was fat every day, yet I was the skinniest I’d ever been,” Hough, 29, tells Redbook for its February cover, on newsstands Jan. 2.
While the comments hurt at the time, Hough has since learned tricks to boost her confidence when she’s feeling down about her body.
“Now, when I’m self-conscious, I’ll do something completely crazy or goofy to get out of my own head — something fun that reminds me of the freedom I felt as a kid before all that happened,” she says.
And currently, Hough’s body is in flux — she’s prepping to play fitness pioneer Betty Weider in the upcoming film Bigger.
“Women in that era had bigger hips and bigger busts. I don’t naturally have that hourglass shape — I’m more elongated and square, to be honest,” she says.
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So for the role, Hough has been experimenting with her workout and diet regimen.
“Basically, I cut down on my cardio and was lifting a lot of weights,” she says. “And if I wanted an extra bit of ice cream that day, I would eat it and it would go right to my hips. I was FaceTiming with [my husband] Brooks this morning, and I was like, ‘Look. My butt’s bigger, my boobs are bigger, my waist is smaller.’ It’s kind of nice!”
But one thing that hasn’t changed about Hough’s exercise routine is her commitment to it.
“You don’t squeeze brushing your teeth or taking a shower into your schedule ‘if you have time.’ I try to treat working out like it’s the same kind of health must,” she says.
And to keep it fun, she mixes up her workouts as much as possible.
“I find it difficult to do the same thing all the time. It’s like, kill me now,” Hough jokes. “I need a class where there are people and music. Atmosphere is huge.”