In the modern world, everyone is up against surreal body standards and at risk for the inevitable personal struggles that come along with them. Even Ronda Rousey, undefeated UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion and “Furious 7” actress has experienced a personal evolution surrounding her weight. In an interview with Cosmopolitanshe opened up about her personal experiences with body image and the fact that she intentionally set out to gain weight before posting in the 2015 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition.

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“I felt like I was much too small for a magazine that is supposed to be celebrating the epitome of a woman. I wanted to be at my most feminine shape, and I don’t feel my most attractive at 135 pounds, which is the weight I fight at. At 150 pounds, I feel like I’m at my healthiest and my strongest and my most beautiful…

…I grew up as an athlete doing judo, so I didn’t really have a conventional, feminine body type. I grew up thinking that because my body type was uncommon [i.e., athletic], it was a bad thing. Now that I’m older, I’ve really begun to realize that I’m really proud that my body has developed for a purpose and not just to be looked at.

But to be honest, it took a lot of time to develop a healthier relationship with food and with my weight. My mind was backward. I thought I wanted my body to look a certain way so I could be happy. But it got to the point where I didn’t feel I looked good at 135 pounds, the weight that qualifies me for the weight class that I fight in. Now I only try to maintain my fighting weight for a couple hours a year — right before weigh-ins. Afterward, I maintain a weight where I’m not starving or feeling weak, which makes me happier.”

In addition to being an inspiration on the wellbeing front, Rousey rocking it in the fighting world: she recently won ESPY Awards for Best Female Athlete and Best Fighter.

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