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'Dancing With the Stars' alum Julianne Hough takes steps to find self-acceptance

Julianne Hough may look effortlessly confident on 'Dancing With the Stars,' but she's only recently learned to fully accept herself.
/ Source: TODAY

Dancer-turned-actress Julianne Hough has always seemed to have all the right moves on the dance floor, but she was less sure of her footing off it.

The 29-year-old "Dancing With the Stars" mainstay told Redbook in the magazine's new cover profile that she's forcing her self out of her comfort zone "in order to change” and grow into herself. The newlywed credits some of that new outlook to her husband, former Washington Capitals center Brooks Laich.

For example, she stopped obsessing over gaining weight — even when she did just that to bulk up to play fitness pioneer Betty Weider in the biopic, "Bigger."

"You know, I’m not perfect," Hough told Redbook. "When Brooks and I first started dating and we would take a picture, he would show it to me and I’d be like, 'Oh, God, let’s take it again.'

"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 opened up to TODAY earlier this year about her body confidence issues with an honesty and vulnerability that made her a 2017 TODAY style hero.

In her Redbook interview, Hough added that she's "a thousand percent" more self-accepting than she was before. That's important to the "Footloose" and "Rock of Ages" star, because her first go-around in Hollywood wasn't completely glamorous.

"I was very self-accepting growing up, then something switched in middle school," Hough revealed. "I would compare myself to everyone...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.

"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."