November 10, 2017 09:33 PM

Julianne Hough is celebrating body confidence — and encouraging women of all ages to do the same!

The former Dancing with the Stars judge took to Twitter on Friday to share a red-hot photo of herself in a swimming pool — but she admitted that it took her three months to post the image because she was concerned about what people might think.

“❤️❤️❤️ #fbf to a little impromptu photoshoot after I jumped in the pool with a full face of makeup on. When I came out of the water my girlfriend @samanthamarq was like, wait stay there, and she took a few shots,” she began.

According to Hough, 29, the image was take after her wedding and honeymoon — she wed NHL player Brooks Laich in July — when she “had a really big, surprising switch happen.”

“I had never felt more free, beautiful and confident in my body. I truly felt like a woman for the very first time,” she shared. 

WATCH: Wedding Details! Going Inside Julianne Hough & Brooks Laich’s Elegant Idaho Reception

Although she felt confident in herself, it took the DWTS alum months to share the snap “because I ‘didn’t want people to think’ that I was trying too hard or that because this was a real life photo and not for something related to my career that it was weird to post.” 

“Then I went, ‘Whoaw Jules get out of your head and stop making decisions based off of what I ‘think’ people will think. Who actually cares anyway!?!?!’ 🤣🤣🤣” she continued.

“If I like the picture and I feel good, I should share that,” the newlywed wrote. “It’s important to celebrate being confident, inspire others to do the same and to not hold back because you’re afraid of being judged!” 

Hough explained that she decided to share the photo “because I want women, especially girls figuring out who they are to know that we all go through this…. and a lot too. It’s doesn’t just happen once!”

“Yup, I’m human, and the people I look up to are as well…. we all have our moments of insecurity and little things that hold us back,” she added. “But feeling pressure to be the person that you ‘think”’people want you to be, will always stunt your growth!”

To conclude her post, Hough encouraged women to share an image of themselves that makes them “feel really good” — “or maybe one that you have been second guessing about sharing.”

In September, the pro dancer shared her diet and exercise philosophy with PEOPLE, noting that it’s important to listen to your body.

“I try to cut myself some slack if I’m being consistent with my nutrition and activity,” Hough said. “If I am craving a piece of chocolate I go for something dark to satisfy the craving.”

When it comes to exercise, she said “just try to move your body everyday” and don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a workout.

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