LeAnn Rimes: My Body and Me
She’s faced weight loss and love affair scandals, but LeAnn Rimes is back on fighting form.
LeAnn Rimes certainly doesn’t make being a size 6 sound easy. First there’s the hour-long morning workout of boxing or Pilates four times a week, which she describes as “fun”.And then there’s the low-fat, low-carb daily diet of Greek yoghurt, fruit, eggs, spinach, fish and salads – although she does treat herself to the occasional piece of cake.
“I’ll have two or three bites and be satisfied,” she says. (We’ll have the rest, thank you very much.)
But for someone who two years ago defended her ever-shrinking body by tweeting: “Those are called abs not bones, love,” in reaction to a particularly concerned post from one of her Twitter followers, it appears the 30-year-old country singer has now gained some “meat”, as she puts it.
“My mom was like: ‘Oh, you have a little bit of fat back in your face.’ I’m like: ‘Thanks, Mom!’” says Texas-raised LeAnn, her slightly rounder face breaking into a warm smile. “But I don’t think I’ve ever gone to an extreme with working out or my eating.”
LeAnn’s body isn’t the only thing she’s had to defend over the past few years. She married dancer Dean Sheremet, 32, in 2002, but found herself falling in love with the very hunky (and very married) actor Eddie Cibrian, 39, during the filming of their US TV movie Northern Lights in 2009. Their six-week affair led to the eventual break-up of both their marriages, and the pair married two years later. Left with two stepsons and Eddie’s furious ex, Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills star Brandi Glanville, 40, to deal with, LeAnn – who burst on to the music scene at the age of 13 and went on to have international hits with How Do I Live and Can’t Fight The Moonlight – found her girl-next-door reputation at stake.
The pressure eventually became too great and, last August, she voluntarily checked into rehab for a 30-day treatment programme for anxiety and stress.
Today, back to full health, LeAnn is preparing to answer her critics with the release of Spitfire, her 11th studio album and most open to date.
“This album allowed me to talk honestly about difficult subjects,” says LeAnn. “Nothing was off limits. Until now, I feel like I’ve had a piece of tape over my mouth.” Not any more…
How has your eating and exercise regime changed over the years?
I grew up on pork chops and fried food and when I was 20, I wanted to start eating healthily. I was always on stage running around and would get out of breath. I wanted to build my stamina, so started lifting weights and circuit training. These days, if I just want to go for a 30-minute hike, I’ll do that instead of hitting the gym. I occasionally have pizza or fried chicken, but I try to keep my carbs to a minimum.
Did you make an effort to gain weight after people seemed so concerned in 2011?
I never tried to lose weight and I never tried to gain it. It depends on how stressed I am. I was eating a ton and couldn’t put on weight!
Were Eddie or your family ever concerned?
No. But being from the South, my mom and godmother are always happier when I have a little meat on my bones.
Are you happy with how you look?
I’m secure with my body. Trust me, there are moments when I’ve stood in the mirror and gone: “Oh my God, I’m getting cellulite!” but then I stand in a different light and I’m like: “Oh, it’s not so bad now.” I have my moments, like every woman.
How do you feel when you look at pictures of yourself as a curvier teenager?
I was a kid. It was baby fat. As soon as I understood fitness, I started to take care of my body.
You’ve recently become a stepmother to Jake, five, and Mason, nine. What’s that been like?
They have been very accepting. It’s taken a while to feel like it’s not just Eddie and the two boys and then me. But I do feel that’s happening, and the love that I have for them is tremendous.
What do they call you?
Lee. Sometimes they’ll blurt out: “Mom!”, but I just go with whatever they call me. As long as it’s nice and respectful, I couldn’t care less.
Do you and Eddie want to have your own kids?
Absolutely. There’s still a lot of adjustments to make. It could be five months from now or in two years.
Eddie’s ex-wife, Brandi, has been pretty vocal about her feelings for you. What’s your relationship like now?
That’s where you write “insert face reaction here”.
Eek… That doesn’t sound good.
It’s been really difficult. You have to stand up for yourself and be your own person, but at the same time you have to protect these children and their hearts. And that’s a very tough balance.
Do you have any regrets?
I don’t like that word. Do I wish I handled it differently? Absolutely. No one wants to hurt anyone or put themselves through hurt. I think the only other thing we could’ve done would have been to get out of our marriages before anything happened. It was tough, and it all happened very fast. I felt so ashamed and guilty.
Are you in touch with Dean?
We’re very cordial when we see each other, but it’s not an easy thing just yet.
Did all this contribute to you seeking treatment for anxiety and stress?
I just wanted to figure out how to take care of myself. I learned that there’s such beauty in imperfections, which is quite amazing. So much music comes from that place.
I’ve always wanted to sing my life. Communicating my feelings can be hard. Through music, mine truly come out. When I speak, they get lost. When I sing, they don’t.
Songs on your new album, such as What Have I Done? and Borrowed, address the affair. Do you fear that honesty might affect your career comeback?
I think a lot of people want you to be human, but you’re not allowed to make mistakes. I’m going to make mistakes – that’s just life. We all want hits, but I truly want to make music I’m proud of.
Do you feel pressure to reinvent yourself and keep up with the likes of Katy Perry and Rihanna?
I can’t live my life wondering if people are going to like me or not. I’ve always just depended on my voice. It’s my gift. And now I feel like I have a lot of things to share and stories to tell. There’s humanity about my music that is hard to find these days.
Click here for the original article by Sara Lieberman for Fabulousmag.co.uk