We've been watching Gina Rodriguez closely over the past few years as she's grown from favorite TV actress (she stars in Jane the Virgin) to full-blown A-list star, and all the while she's encouraged women to love their bodies, take care of themselves, and be a force of positive change in this world. In October, Gina dons the cover of Shape magazine, and she speaks honestly in her interview about what it means to be healthy and to truly appreciate yourself.
Gina's workout of choice these days is Muay Thai. "Doing Muay Thai taught me so much about my body. Now I view it as an engine that keeps me active and healthy," she said. "To do Muay Thai, you have to build up your strength and stamina. It's mind over matter; you're pushing yourself. What I like best about it is the sense of inner strength it gives me. Knowing I can protect myself is a powerful feeling."
For Gina, it's not only about looking good and building muscle. It's all about working out in a way that will holistically make you feel your best. She told Shape about the process of making peace with her body. "As an actress, there are so many pressures to look a certain way and fit into a sample size," Gina said. "But I've got to embrace the fact that when I'm shooting Jane, I can't work out as much. My body is going to look different, and that's OK. I'm not willing to wring the joy from my life to kill myself in the gym." Amen to that.
She adores her figure now, saying she loves that her shape "makes me strong and fearless." Gina sent out a body-positive message to everyone when she said, "There's a huge spectrum of body types, and we need to celebrate all of them — the model shapes, the beautiful new wave of curvy full-figured women, and those who are in between. I feel blessed to be part of that spectrum."
When it comes to her diet, Gina eats to fuel her body and give her energy. "I'm not feeding my emotions," she explained. She did admit to having struggled with emotional eating in the past (who hasn't, though?), but she's making an effort to "be conscious" of what kind of food she puts into her body.
All in all, Gina seems to be thriving. But the best part is, she's encouraging other women to do the same with their own lives. Here's what she looks like on the cover of Shape. Gorgeous, right?