Gina Rodriguez Opens Up About Living With Hashimoto's Disease: "It Actually Became My Biggest Blessing"

"Seriously? In a world that's so vain, I have to deal with the disease that makes you not keep weight off?"

By Diana Marti Aug 09, 2016 4:38 PMTags
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Gina Rodriguez is having a fantastic year. She has two upcoming films, her hit show Jane the Virgin, and she's also become a predominate name in Hollywood for being a positive role model who empowers women and celebrates diversity through social media. Rodriguez is now gracing the cover of Health and calls it "a dream come true."

Just like many of us, the actress still deals with many things behind the scenes and Rodriguez has been very open about what it's like for her to live with Hashimoto's Disease, but she isn't letting it defeat her. "If I can at least walk for 20 minutes a day, it's extremely helpful for my thyroid gland. Running, boxing, jump rope and hitting the heavy bag are my workout constants," She said. "It's always been a battle for me with weight. Keeping weight off is very difficult because my metabolism is pretty much shot, which to me felt like a curse when I was 19. As an actress, I would say, 'Seriously? In a world that's so vain, I have to deal with the disease that makes you not keep weight off?' But it actually became a blessing because then I got to represent not only women and Latinas but also women who are dealing with this disease. I'm gluten-free, which is the most difficult thing in the world because, like Oprah, I love bread!"

Rodriguez is tempted daily with craft tables on the set, but she won't fall for it. "It's mind over matter because they put out doughnuts every morning, and they smell divine. I have to look at gluten like, "Yea' I want to eat that. Of course, I do, but it doesn't make me feel good. And I want to feel good," the actress said.

Gina Rodriguez & Dad Get Ready for Golden Globes

For her latest films, the star was able to get back to an old love: boxing. "I obviously like to box, and I grew up in a boxing family, but I didn't know [director] Peter [Berg] was so into boxing," Rodriguez said. "I ended up boxing every day. I got so strong that summer, it was unreal. Mark [Wahlberg] would come when he could. Peter and I would box each other in the ring. I adore him. He's cracked me across the face, and I've cracked him across the face. It's really not as painful as you would think. We don't break that easily."

The actress admits that her new film Annihilation is the reason for her hair change. "I was going to write for [Lena Dunham's] Lenny Letter about the transition of cutting my hair, and how five years ago, should I have cut my hair, nobody would've had any opinion or said anything to me on Instagram or Facebook or whatever," she said. "But being on a bigger platform like Jane means I got mixed reviews that really had me second guessing my beauty." 

Rodriguez admits that she was vitriol spat on by many viewers, but she reacted quite opposite of what you might expect. "I got some girls who were like , 'Nooo! Why???' or like 'It's so ugly! You don't look pretty anymore!' And I'm thinking, 'It's not your hair. It's my hair,' she  said. "For me, it was so liberating to cut it and transform for a movie. Otherwise, I would've kept my hair long until I was, like, my mom's age because I love my long hair."

God it feels good to be home. #janethevirgin #season3

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The star, who says she feels sexiest making people laugh, says the advice she would give to other is, "'I'm not pretty enough, smart enough,' only exists within you. If you don't feel like you're strong enough, start working on your strength. If you don't feel like you're tall enough, well, sorry, baby, that's what God gave you. It's just life," Rodriguez explained. "Let's start breaking these thoughts down and understand where the truth lies, where you control is and what you can do to make it better. Now, when somebody tells me no, I say, 'OK, thank you. I'm gonna look for the yes. Your no doesn't end my world.'"

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