The stunning transformation of Julianne Hough

Dancer, singer, actress…she basically does everything. Throughout the years, Julianne Hough has continued to expand her skill-set, making the world more and more in love with her. Starting off her time in the spotlight on Dancing with the Stars, she has since taken on the movie scene and country music field as well–and she does it all with a smile on her face.

She's accomplished so much in such few years, that some may not know just everything that went into her stunning transformation. Let's take a closer look now.

She left home at a young age to pursue dancing

Hough's childhood was different from others. From the very beginning, she pursued a career with a demanding schedule. As reported by People, Hough and her brother, Derek, left home when they were 10 and 13 years old, respectively, in order to attend London dance school Italia Cont Academy of Theatre Arts. In order to train to be ballroom dancers, they had to leave every morning at 6:45 am and take the subway by themselves. Hough spoke to this intense time in her childhood, sharing, "I remember one of my first days there I got off at the wrong train station…. I was just standing there thinking, 'Where am I?'"

She suffered from abuse in childhood

With an intense schedule at such a young age, Hough also experienced a difficult time with growing up overall. She explained to Cosmopolitan during an interview, "While I was in London, I was abused, mentally, physically, everything."

She had to grow up fast and shared that she experienced even more trouble once she reached puberty. She later reflected on this time and shared more details, saying, "I was 10 years old looking like I was 28, being a very sensual dancer. I was a tormented little kid who had to put on this sexy facade because that was my job and my life. But my heart was the same, and I was this innocent little girl. I wanted so much love."

She had to have thick skin for high school bullying

Hough ended up spending five years in London. She told Teen Vogue that this time in her life, "taught me to have thick skin."

This is unfortunately something the future star would need once she returned to Utah for high school. It wasn't an ideal time for Hough, who experienced bullying throughout those teen years. She went into more detail about high school with Teen Vogue, saying, "I had a hard time with bullying. I ate lunch in the bathroom…. I'd get invited to parties, and instead it would be these abandoned houses."

She called off her engagement to her hometown fiancé

What used to be bullying eventually became media attention and scrutiny. Hough joined Dancing with the Stars when she was in her late teen years. At the time, she was engaged to her boyfriend, Zack Wilson, who she knew from back home in Utah.

When 18-year-old Hough and Wilson put off their engagement, speculation rose as to whether Hough was dating her dancing partner at the time, Apolo Ohno. Wilson addressed these rumors during an interview with TV Guide, saying, "Because I'm a dancer I know what performing takes…. I've been involved in ballroom a lot, so I know there has to be chemistry when you dance together. It doesn't mean that there's any romance going on."

Even though romance never came for Hough and Ohno, her relationship with Wilson did not last. Hough later spoke to Interview Magazine in 2012 about her past relationships. While she did not say she was speaking about Wilson, she addressed an early relationship in her life and what she'd learned since then, saying, "It's just so public now that you have to be careful saying hi or giving somebody a hug, because then somebody will turn it into something else. So I think you're always a lot more careful. I started out in a relationship with a guy who wasn't in the business, and there was definitely a resentment thing that kind of happened."

She used to keep an intense diet and workout schedule

Hough has always worked out and taken care of herself and her body. But even she looks back and thinks she took it too far in the past.

When she was in her late teens, she looked incredible–but she wasn't focusing on her health like she later wished she had. Hough told SHAPE magazine during an interview in 2016, "When I look at pictures of myself when I was 19, my body was bangin', but I was killing myself. I was working out two and a half hours a day and eating the bare minimum to survive. I was so miserable. I wasn't healthy. To be honest, I looked like a kid. Now I'm embracing the fact that I'm a woman with curves."

Endometriosis took a toll early in her career

Hough has dedicated herself to her work since she was young, but at one point she needed to take a step back due to health reasons.

In 2008, the 20-year-old was rushed to the hospital from Dancing with the Stars due to extreme stomach pains. Hough opened up at the time to People, sharing, "I found out that I had endometriosis and that I needed to get surgery that week…. The first initial thought was a little bit of fear because I didn't know what it was, especially because it's not talked about as much as it is today."

And it wasn't just in 2008 that these pains began. Hough told the magazine that she had symptoms since the age of 15 but thought it, "was just the kind of pain you have when you're on your period."

So although it was scary to be rushed to the hospital, in a way Hough was relieved, "because I was able to put a name to the pain, and know there were treatments and I could talk to my doctor and create a plan to help manage the pain."

She added 'movie actress' to her resume

Hough kept up her intense schedule by adding filming a movie to her agenda. At 22 years old, she landed a role in the movie Burlesque. And while her role in the movie involved a lot of dancing, her background didn't necessarily make the work any easier.

Hough spoke with Reuters about the training that went into her part for the movie. She said, "On Dancing with the Stars, you learn the dance, you dance the dance on TV, and then you're done…. Burlesque was months of preparation, and each number was shot over and over again, over 16-hour days."

What was her favorite part of the movie? The star got to show off her singing chops during one scene. But just because it was her favorite doesn't mean it was easy. She said, "When I sang 'Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend,' sliding down those beads was probably the coolest thing I've ever done…. And the most painful. I had welts on my sides, my legs, my arms and my neck for weeks."

With fame came unwanted paparazzi attention

With work on television and on the big screen, Hough received more attention from the paparazzi. In 2011 the 22-year-old was dating another well-known celeb: Ryan Seacrest.

With two celebrities in one relationship, the media followed the couple and reported on their lives. Hough spoke to Women's Health Magazine about the press and her thoughts, sharing, "It kind of sucks…. I was thinking, Oh, crap, maybe I should've sucked in a little. They were photographing us from a boat, and it was the first time I've gotten upset, like, I can't just lay out and stuff my face? It really messes with you."

She had her dream wedding

While Hough's relationship with Seacrest didn't work out, she started dating her future husband in 2014. Hough started dating hockey player Brooks Laich when she was 25 years old.

Then in 2015, the couple took their relationship to the next level and got engaged that August. When it came to their wedding, Hough and Laich already knew where they wanted it to take place. Hough's family used to spend summers at a lake in Idaho. She told People, "When I introduced Brooks to the lake, he fell in love with this special spot, and we knew this was where we wanted to raise our family and grow old together…. It just felt right to be married here."

The couple tied the knot in July of 2017, and it was everything they wanted. Hough revealed to People after the ceremony: "Brooks and I kept eye contact the entire ceremony…. We never stopped looking at each other."

She's happy to go without makeup and eat pizza

For Hough, the years keep getting better. The star reflected on her looks during her teen years with People magazine, saying, "Back when I was on Dancing With the Stars at 18 years old, I think I look older than I do now…. I've definitely gone for a 'less is more' standpoint [today]. I cut back on hair and makeup and all that stuff. As far as beauty goes, my philosophy is starting from the inside out. Being happy, having a positive attitude, drinking tons of water—happy girls are the prettiest girls."

And while Hough still works out and looks fabulous, she has her cheat days too. Speaking with SHAPE magazine, she let them in on a little secret. Hough said, "E! News recently posted a picture of me coming out of the gym, and there were all these comments about the photo, like, 'We could have abs like this, but we love pizza too much.' I started laughing because pizza is my favorite food. I eat it a lot!"

Hough isn't here to pretend she's someone she's not. She continued to be open and honest during the interview, saying, "I want everyone to know that I'm not Miss Perfect. You can cheat every once in a while, and that's OK. You can still have a fit body as long as you work out regularly and eat relatively healthfully throughout your life."

Dancing will always be a priority

Hough may have a full plate with her insane schedule, but she knows what is important to her and what she won't give up.

It was actually advice from her husband that inspired her to remember this. As she shared during an interview with ET Online, "One of the first things I'll never forget he told me [was], 'Protect the things that are important to you.' Like, don't let me stand in the way of something that you love or don't say it doesn't matter. If it's important for you then protect it and own it'…. He's like, 'I'm protecting the things that are important to me too.'"

So what is this important passion for Hough? It always has to do with dancing.

She continued, "I don't think I'll ever stop dancing…. Dancing is just a part of who I am at the core, and whether that's taking classes or performing or just dancing in the kitchen, it's just a part of who I am. It makes me happy."