Riley's "DWTS" winner's speech said it all: "I want to let women of all sizes out there know you can do whatever you put your mind to!" she said. "It doesn't matter what size, what color you are — you can do whatever, whatever, whatever you put your mind to!"
[Photos: Check Out 'DWTS' Performance Pics]
Backstage after her win, Riley told On the Red Carpet that the mirrorball trophy was "the cherry on top of a sundae" for her.
"And it's a representation that you can do whatever it is that you put your mind to," she added. "I think it's amazing that I'm doing something positive, and I did something just because I wanted to learn how to dance just because I wanted to work out, you know what I mean? I wanted to be healthy. It was kind of a selfish reason."
Riley dished that she never imagined she'd be the mirrorball champ and revealed that it wasn't even her goal when she signed on to the show.
"When we first started, that wasn't the goal — it really wasn't," she told Us Weekly. "I was like, 'OK, this will be cool. It'll be great exercise, I'll gain confidence, I'll learn dances. ... I love dancing — maybe I'll experience something new.'"
Watch Riley's winning moment:
But throughout the season, the actress had to deal with remarks from some viewers about her size. "There were a couple [comments], like, 'She danced well — for her size,'" Riley told In Touch. "I don't want people to think that! I just want to dance well ... I don't think it should be an anomaly for a person my size to be able to dance or have confidence. Everybody should have confidence."
She added that she had no desire to become a stick figure and definitely wants to keep some of her assets as is. "I keep telling Derek [Hough], 'If I lose my butt and my hips, you're outta here!'" she joked.
Riley's "DWTS" appearance also inspired some viewers to start exercising. She told People, "It is awesome that people are so touched by me just dancing on a television show. This is just something I did for fun, and it is helping a lot of people."
And she added this tidbit about her own shrinking bod: "Being a little smaller does open up your closet to new choices, but it has made my spending a little worse," she said.
As for continuing her weight-loss journey — or even dancing, for that matter — the "DWTS" champ said she's ready for some rest. While making the press rounds with her glitzy new mirrorball, Riley told the "Good Morning America" hosts about her future plans.
"I'm not really sure [what's next], but I do know I'm going to sleep," she said. "I have a couple meetings next week, so we'll see."
"DWTS" on "GMA":
- Arts & Entertainment
- Amber Riley