Looking lean and keen, Backstreet Boys' breakout star Nick Carter opened up about his addiction, weight struggles and health challenges on the October 7 episode of "The Doctors" talk show.
When he was only 12 years old, Nick joined the Backstreet Boys. He links that early start in show business to his subsequent abuse of drugs and alcohol. Then, in 2008, Nick felt chest pain and tightness. Diagnosis: Drug-and-alcohol-induced cardiomyopathy.
When Nick learned that his addictive lifestyle could result in heart failure, he recognized it was time for a change. In addition to surrendering his addictions, he followed a healthy diet and exercised.
"You can get whatever you want in this industry. And it’s a vicious cycle," Nick says. "And if you don’t have a good support system, and good family and good friends, you can fall into that hole."
Now, 65 pounds lighter, he offers a message of hope to others who struggle with weight, health and addiction. He's so into fitness now, in fact, that he gets perturbed if he misses a session.
“I freak out if I go a little too long without being in the gym. For a long time it was all about getting the weight off because I was 240 pounds at my heaviest, and now I’m around 175, so the majority of that weight loss was due to diet and exercise,” he recently told Fox News.
"If you're going down this pattern of addiction, drug abuse, food addictions, when you change one thing, then you can change the next," says "The Doctors" co-host Dr. Travis Stork.
Nick is currently on a 20th anniversary tour with the Backstreet Boys. He recently released a new book, "Facing the Music And Living To Talk About It" (click for details), in which he discusses how he overcame drug and alcohol abuse.