Kelly Clarkson may be an award-winning singer, not to mention "American Idol" winner, but her struggles with weight have been in the spotlight about as much as her music over the years. And frankly (despite the fact she's recently shed some pounds and debuted a newly fit figure) she's sick of talking about it.
"I'm so over it. What really upsets me is when [fans] say, 'You're tiny. What would they think of me?' That's heartbreaking," she says in the July issue of Redbook. "I've always been that kid who was chunkier than the others. I don't think it's fair to put that kind of pressure on girls. I'm a very normal person. I'm someone who's sick of trying to bend to what society tries to bend you to."
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The 30-year-old, who tells the magazine she has "no desire to be super-skinny," focuses on cardio and strength-training using her own body weight, rather than free weights. But her best weight-loss weapon may be doing what she does best … performing.
"I haven't stopped working for a year straight. When I get busy, I don't indulge in that vacation beer and pizza. So I lose weight," she explains to the magazine. "Really, just being on stage every night burns a lot of calories. It's so physical."
It's been more than a decade since a teen Clarkson was crowned the first-ever winner of "American Idol," and she's recently returned to reality television with a different role — as a mentor on the new ABC reality singing competition called "Duets," alongside fellow musicians Jennifer Nettles, John Legend, and Robin Thicke. She hopes the show will guide its young talent better than "Idol" did for her after she rose to fame as Season 1 champ.
"I'm going to be completely honest — I had no one looking out for me. They were looking out for the show, and it was horrible. I was 19 years old. I was smart enough to know that it wasn't about me, but that didn't make it any easier," she confesses. "I'm all cried out about it, but my first four years, I hated my life; I almost quit a dozen times."
In addition to the new gig, the "Already Gone: songstress has a new man in her life, Brandon Blackstock, a pilot and single dad, who happens to be the son of Clarkson's manager, Narvel Blackstock (Reba McEntire's husband). Previously, Clarkson says, she simply didn't have time for a meaningful relationship. "I've been working my butt off. I never had my mind on anything else — that's why people always think I'm gay. I don't just hook up. I've only had four boyfriends in my life, and they didn't last long."
Could it all be too good to be true? Clarkson seems like she's still pinching herself. "Where's the kick in the ass? I told my assistant that today. I said, 'I'm just waiting for something to blow up.' She said, 'No, that's what happiness is.' I'm like, 'maybe I've never been happy!' Because Brandon does, he makes me happy."
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