Congratulations are in order for Backstreet Boys' star AJ McLean as he recently reached one year of sobriety. To celebrate, he sat down with Today to discuss how his journey has benefitted him mentally and physically.
"Drinking caused weight gain, but it also weighed down my mental state," he said in the interview. He went on to reveal that he's "in the best shape of his life." McLean has lost 32 pounds since February by cutting out alcohol and fast-food from his diet. He also eats more protein and exercises five days a week. "I weighed myself this morning and I'm 138," said the singer, who has documented his journey on social media as well.
Beyond the physical benefits sobriety has prompted, McLean shared that it also helped him reconnect with his true self separate from the celebrity he projects to the world.
"AJ is kind of the celebrity who was living the rockstar lifestyle and Alex got stuffed down. But now I've come to a place where they can both coexist," he shared. "I am so so happy to be in the place that I am today."
McLean has previously spoken about his long battle with addiction. In an interview with Good Morning America, he shared that the first time he ever tried drugs was before a video shoot for the Backstreet Boys 2000 song "The Call." Since then, the singer has committed to living a drug and alcohol-free life.
AJ is also gearing up to release his first solo album in 12 years called Sex and Bodies. When it drops next month, it will be the follow-up to his debut solo album Have It All (2010).