Pop Culture

Newlywed Julianne Hough reveals why marriage scared her so much

Former "Dancing With the Stars" pro and judge Julianne Hough looks supremely confident on the floor, because she's practiced for years learning all the right moves.

But when it came to getting hitched, she wasn't sure if she was ready for a brand-new routine. As she tells Health magazine in its November issue, "I've always wanted to be married and be a mom and have kids, but to be honest, all of that scared the s--- out of me," she said.

"I was like, 'Oh my gosh, to be married and committed to somebody, that just seems so grown-up.' But the first thing that I felt when I got married was, 'This is the complete opposite of scary. This is like home.'"

"Home" for Hough these days is with Canadian hockey player Brooks Laich, whom she wed in July.

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Julianne Hough and Brooks Laich at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in September.

Undoubtedly, the 29-year-old is feeling more relaxed these days in her happy marriage, which may make some of her health challenges easier to bear. She spoke with TODAY in September about what it was like to cope with an endometriosis diagnosis, and now tells Health that she'd originally assumed the pains she felt from it were just normal period cramps.

"I'd see my mom and my sisters all have bad cramps, but being a dancer, I was like, 'I'm fine. I'm a tough cookie,'" she said.

It wasn't until she was in one of her final seasons with "DWTS" as a dancer that she agreed to go to the hospital for treatment, and only then after her mom saw her double over during a show taping. As she told TODAY, they went through multiple doctors to get to that final diagnosis.

She's not alone; many women go a decade before they're ever diagnosed, according to the Endometriosis Foundation of America. Hough had surgery, telling Health, "I had (endometriosis) everywhere, to the point that they took my appendix out because it was so bad."

Today, however, she's literally the picture of health — as the magazine's cover star — and is naturally focused on remaining healthy for all kinds of reasons. As she notes, getting "me time" is of utmost importance to keeping in her prime.

"If I don't have my space for an hour, I feel overwhelmed and I just need to chill," she said.

But once she gets that time (and perhaps a cup of tea and a nap), she's ready to take on the world again. "I always try to wake up and think about three things that I'm grateful for," she said. "Something that has happened already, something I'm currently grateful for, and something I'm wanting that I can achieve that day."

Clearly, she's taking all the right steps.

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