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LeAnn Rimes: How Fitness Changed My Life

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For too long, LeAnn Rimes let other people set her priorities. Now the Grammy winner (and this month's Mind, Body, Spirit Superstar) is leading a healthy, fit life -- and it shows.

LeAnn's Fit Discovery

For someone who has spent half her life in the celebrity spotlight, 25-year-old LeAnn Rimes seems remarkably un-diva-ish when she takes a day out of her whirlwind album tour to hang with the team from FITNESS. Let's start with the fact that she arrived at our photo shoot half an hour early. Then there's the bit about her waking up at 6:30 a.m. to hit the gym. As for her request to do the bikini cover shot before the lunch break, well, can you blame her? It's clear that these days, LeAnn Rimes is in control of her career and her life. What's her secret? This month's Mind, Body, Spirit Superstar shares how rediscovering fitness transformed her life.

Have you always liked to exercise?

LR: When I was younger, I did. I started playing T-ball at age 4, and I loved it. And I danced until I was 12. Then I went on the road [when her first major album topped the charts] and became very sedentary. Because, I mean, what is there to do when you're on tour? I basically ate and sat on the bus. For me, it was a really lonely experience, and I turned to food at times because I had nowhere else to get that love. I wasn't taking care of my health. I was getting out of breath in the middle of the show, my schedule was crazy, and sometimes I was getting really sick.

Was it hard to deal with all that while in the public eye?

LR: It really was. I tried not to read what people were writing, about how I had baby fat or that I looked fat and needed to lose weight. People can be mean. Still, I knew that I was unhealthy.

What started your health kick?

LR: Meeting my husband, Dean, was a real turning point. He gives me emotional stability. I started working out a bit with him, and I found it was something that really agreed with me. It's fun to exercise with a partner -- we both push each other to be better.

Have you changed your diet?

LR: Yeah, I was working out so hard that I didn't want to ruin it by eating crap. I usually eat a bowl of oatmeal with agave nectar, dried cherries, and walnuts in the morning. I have a protein shake after the gym, then grilled chicken, a whole wheat pita, and hummus for lunch. I have another snack in the afternoon, like half an English muffin with peanut butter and a pear -- I love pears! For dinner, I might have trout with spinach sauteed in garlic and olive oil, and a piece of dark chocolate for dessert. Dean cooks -- he makes this amazing turkey meat loaf stuffed with spinach and carrots and tomato sauce on top. We eat organic -- I shop mostly at Wild Oats and Whole Foods -- even when we're on the road.

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