Rock your body right. AJ McLean is reflecting on his dramatic weight loss as he focuses on a healthy and sober lifestyle.
“Thought I’d do a little throwback Thursday vibes,” the Backstreet Boy member, 44, captioned a photo collage shared via Instagram on Thursday, September 1. “Found the pic on the left from a year ago on vacation and wow it’s amazing what a little dedication and setting goals can do for a person.”
In the post, McLean showed a photo of himself “from a year ago on vacation” next to two more recent snaps of himself in the gym with impressive changes to his physique.
“The journey is far from over though,” the Florida native — who shares daughters Ava, 9, and Lyric, 5, with wife Rochelle McLean — continued. “This is just the beginning! #healthylifestyle #sober #nomoredadbod! Let’s go! If I can do it so can you!!”
The “Quit Playing Games” singer has been making some serious changes over the past two years. After battling a drug and alcohol addiction since the age of 22 — and checking in and out of rehab multiple times — McLean decided to get sober in December 2019.
“I’m gonna be one year sober tomorrow, which is insane,” the pop star said on his “Pretty Messed Up” podcast in December 2020. “As long as I’m keeping my side of the street clean, I can’t worry about keeping your side of the street clean. And everything actually worked itself out. I feel much better.”
McLean then thanked his friend René Elizondo Jr. for supporting him throughout his journey, adding, “I was hiding it from my wife — or at least trying to — my bandmates and everybody else. But there was a certain comfort level with René, where he didn’t have to pull it out of me like everyone else did.”
Though the podcast host’s family and bandmates have remained supportive throughout his journey, he admitted to being “terrified” they were going to desert him.
“I thought the boys were gonna be disappointed, or I thought my wife was gonna leave me. I could be completely vulnerable with René … I felt safe, I felt not judged,” he continued. “Not saying I felt judged by my wife, because she doesn’t judge me at all. But I always had this inkling of fear … like, ‘Oh, my God. She’s going to leave me.’”
The Grammy nominee spoke to Good Morning America a few months earlier, detailing the “turning point” that propelled him to get sober.
“I came back home [from Las Vegas], my wife could smell it on my breath and my youngest of my two daughters would not sit with me,” he shared in October 2020. “There’s too much to live for today — my beautiful children, my amazing wife, my career, my brothers. I’ve never felt more grounded than I do today.”
If you or someone you know suffers from addiction issues, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357.