Julianne Hough has been preparing for her upcoming role as trailblazing female body builder and co-founder of Shape magazine Betty Weider in the film Bigger, and she's found new confidence — but she hasn't always been this strong.

Hough reveals that she spent many years with self-image issues and that she was once body-shamed on the set of a movie. "I was very self-accepting growing up, then something switched in middle school. I would compare myself to everyone," she shares in a new issue of Redbook. "And later I did a film where I basically was told I was fat every day, yet I was the skinniest I’d ever been."

These days, Hough brushes off self-esteem obstacles and lives a more positive life. "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.

She's also conscious of being kind to herself when looking at photos, stating that when she and husband Brooks Laich used to take pictures together, she was always critical of herself. "He once said, 'Every time you look at a photo, you put it down right away instead of seeing the good in it.' So now when I see a picture, even if I don’t like it, I try to find something positive," Hough says.

Bigger is set to premiere in 2018.

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