Gina Rodriguez has catapulted to fame as the Emmy-winning star of Jane the Virgin. But beyond her acting chops, the actress has attracted national attention thanks to her atypical celebrity cheer (rarely is she photographed without an ear-to-ear smile on her face), her giving nature (she even gave away her Golden Globe dress to a prom-goer in need), and her work to highlight diversity in Hollywood (she originated #MovementMonday to showcase Latina men and women who are killing it in the arts).
But the actress isn’t just wildly successful in her professional pursuits, but also a major role model when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. While most celebrities pride themselves on a weekly schedule of moon dusts and massages—which we’re seriously jealous of—Rodriguez has an inherently relatable method to her health and happiness. She definitely employs regular exercise and healthy food choices into her diet, but it’s her mindset that is so admirable.
While we’ve seen many actresses develop a similar graceful take on their well-being (from Kate Hudson to Cameron Diaz), it’s refreshing to see such a young actress come into the limelight with such a strong, established sense of self. (Teach us your ways, Gina!)
Scroll down to see the healthy lessons from the Jane the Virgin star.
1. Make your own wellness plan
With so many different sites and celebrities coming out with their healthy habits—we admit to not helping the cause!—it can be confusing to figure out which wellness plan is best for you. But Rodriguez opens up that the best plan is your plan.
“I think a wellness philosophy is individual—there’s no grouping of that,” she explains to The Cut. “Seeking out what’s going to make you the healthiest you—getting information about your body and what you need to create the healthiest you is individual and personal. You don’t need to buy into any lifestyle besides your own and what best fits your body.”
After getting diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease—a condition that affects your thyroid and therefore weight—at the age of 19, Rodriguez initially fought against that the diagnosis and refused the medication in order to make a statement. “I was like: They’re just going to have to accept this curvy girl and if the industry doesn’t like it then they’re all terrible, but the only person I was hurting was myself.” she said to The Cut.
2. Do what makes you feel best
Once she realized the mistake of her refusing her diagnosis, she began to listen to her body on her quest to find her best wellness plan: “[Now], I take my medicine. I stay away from gluten and soy and when I do my body feels the best. Same when I feed it fuel and drink water. Creating a wellness plan for yourself without comparing it to anyone else’s is the best thing you can do for yourself.”
3. Know who you are and live it
This early recognition of what’s right for her has given Rodriguez a leg up in a trend-driven industry. But in her case, this strong belief system extends her beyond her physical wellness. The actress is firm in her stance of self-respect throughout all aspects of her work: “I discovered at an early age the kind of woman that I want to be in this industry. It was one of service and giving because so many had done that before me and it was inherent in my DNA. It’s what moves me,” she says. Exhibit A: After receiving a tweet from a high school student about wishing she could wear the actress’ Golden Globe dress to prom, Rodriguez actually sent the dress to the girl! (@BlakeLively, I want everything in your closet.)
4. Care for your body because you deserve it
There are some healthy plans and trainers out there who will push you to work harder for that “beach body” or “flatter stomach.” But Rodriguez understands that working out and eating healthy should be a lifelong goal because you love your body and your life: “The coolest thing I’ve learned is that I can love my body today, but can still desire to get stronger and get more fit. That mentality has changed the way I walk in my skin.” Amen to that—never change your body because you dislike it, work to strengthen it because you love it.