Gina Rodriguez is opening up to Self about everything from love to being a Hashimoto's disease warrior.
The Jane the Virgin star has been living with Hashimoto's which she calls, "the curse of a lifetime," for quite some time.
"To the core of my being, I know what it's like to feel like there is no way I can win this, so where do I even begin," the 33-year-old star says. "[Hashimoto's] affects so many aspects of your life. I've had it for so many years...that rebellion of not taking care of myself can't exist anymore."
Rodriguez is now starring in Annihilation, which was a highly physical role for her that required a lot of preparation and physical change.
"I'm OK in both of those," she says. "I'm not less than because I'm 10, 15, 20 pounds more."
Through her battle with Hashimoto's disease and mastering various roles, she has constant support from her boyfriend, Joe LoCicero.
"[He] has really helped me have a healthier perspective on [weight], that stupid number that can destroy us and feel like it's equivalent to our self-worth," she explains. "This love is so easy," she adds, saying her relationship with LoCicero is one that is full of "respect and kindness, and generosity, and compromise, and sacrifice."
Rodriguez has also learned how to value herself and know her worth but admits it took time.
"I didn't know my worth [at the start of my career] because the industry had such a specific perspective on what it should be as a brown woman," she says. "I had to start saying, 'Well, I know if I work hard, I can show my worth,' and I have been doing nothing but that."
The actress, who uses her platform to advocate for women, has set several professional goals for herself.
"I'm ready to do my movie," she says, Rodriguez wants to direct a feature. "Whether that means success or failure, I'm ready to go for it." She also wants to create more positions, both in front and behind the camera, for women and Latinos.
"Obviously I come from a specific lens and a very specific perspective," she says. "I, of course, would love to see Latino communities uplifted and celebrated in a positive light because our administration loves to show us in such a negative light. That's going to be a part of my fight."
Rodriguez also opens up about her fight the symptoms related to Hashimoto's disease.
"I just have never allowed anything to stop me in my tracks, ever," she says. "I would fight depression, and fight my body changing."
She is now battling a new onset of increased anxiety and panic attacks.
"I've just recently started getting debilitating panic attacks and anxiety," she explains that it's related to first-time-director nerves and the pressure to strike the right tone in her show, on stress and life changes. It's also due to "balancing reality with fiction, and reality with the bulls--t of social media, the kind of psychological change that's happening in our climate, period."
Luckily, Rodriguez said she noticed she was taking too much thyroid medication, which was causing heart palpitations that spiraled into anxiety attacks. She then went on to lower her dosage, and the attacks went away.
"It's really important for us to be super self-aware," she says. "I wasn't banking on that. I wasn't like, 'Hey, yea, let me get a disease that makes me have to be super aware.' I don't want to be super aware of myself all of the time."