AJ McLean has reached a major milestone.
As the Backstreet Boys star celebrated one year of sobriety, he reflected on how his journey has benefitted him both mentally and physically.
"Drinking caused weight gain," he told Today in an interview published Sept. 27, "but it also weighed down my mental state."
From a physical standpoint, McLean shared that he's "in the best shape of his life," losing 32 pounds since February by removing alcohol and fast-food from his diet, eating more protein and exercising five days a week.
"I weighed myself this morning," the singer, who's documented his transformation on social media, continued, "and I'm 138."
From a mental health perspective, McLean noted his sobriety has also helped him reconnect with his true self Alexander James McLean—and not just be the boy band member AJ.
"AJ is kind of the celebrity who was living the rockstar lifestyle and Alex got stuffed down," he told Today. "But now I've come to a place where they can both coexist."
With his sobriety, his family by his side—including his wife Rochelle and their kids Lyric, 5, and Elliott, 9—and a new solo album on the way, the musician has never been better, adding, "I am so so happy to be in the place that I am today."
McLean has spoken about his decades-long battle with addiction before, telling Good Morning America that the first time he tried drugs was before the video shoot for the Backstreet Boys 2000 song "The Call," noting he "was off the walls."
Despite his previous struggles to maintain his sobriety, the recording artist is committed to the journey and is now living a healthy, drug and alcohol-free life. Sharing side-by-side photos of himself in 2021 and 2022 to Instagram on Sept. 1, he noted "it's amazing what a little dedication and setting goals can do for a person. The journey is far from over though. This is just the beginning! #healthylifestyle #sober #nomoredadbody! Let's go! If I can do it so can you!!"
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