Taking the stage on Monday night, Melissa Lawson sang her new single “What if it all Goes Right?” after being crowned the new Nashville Star.
First, Melissa wants to say “Thank you!” to all those Hot Mom’s out there who voted for her. With her always smiling husband, Rick, at her side and her children watching, Melissa showed so many moms (and dads) out there that life doesn’t end with marriage and children. In fact, life is just beginning.
In our follow up interview last Friday, Melissa sounded excited and ready to face the challenge of becoming Nashville’s newest star. During the weekend, all three finalist were told where their lives would go from there. “The two who did not win, would go on one route and the winner would go another route.”
One of the big perks of becoming the newest Nashville Star is traveling to another country. This month, Melissa will head to Bejing, China, to perform.
Kind of an amazing journey for a mom who started the year seventy pounds heavier and of being no where close to a record deal.
Not only has 2008 given Melissa the amazing opportunity to pursue her dream of becoming a country star, she decided this year she would take control of her weight. “When I got pregnant with my fifth child, I tipped the scales at 287, and I told myself I wouldn’t reach 300.” She didn’t. Only gaining 10 pounds during her pregnancy (she changed her eating habits and was followed by her doctor), she started being more mindful of her food choices during her pregnancy and afterwards.
“I refused to be on a diet,” Melissa said. “I needed to choose something that I would stay with for the rest of my life.” To help herself shed the pounds, Melissa cut out sugar, changed to wheat bread from white, and elimated fast food.
One thing she found to really help decrease the pounds was cutting out all sugar drinks and sweet tea. “I’d drink up to four 32oz drinks a day and that added up.” Now, she drinks water and unsweeted tea with Splenda. She also limits herself to two glasses of tea a day.
Not only did she improve her nutritional choices, she started to move. “I work out five to six times a week, an hour a day. And if I can’t get an hour in I do something, at least 30 minutes,” Melissa said.
She adds, “Foods are tough here. You can get anything brought to you.” To help keep herself on track, she eats what’s offered, but pays attention to quantity. Plus, she does endulge in up to two desserts a week, if she wants it. “Desserts are offered with every meal, so that can add up.”
Not only has she lost 13 inches from her waist since starting her changes in January 2008, she’s lost 70 pounds and has about another 30 before reaching that 200 mark.
“It’s a process,” says Melissa. “People ask me ‘How much more weight are you planning to lose?’ or ‘How much do you plan to lose?’ and I tell them I’m don’t know where my body is going to end up. I want to be comfortable and be where my body is healthy. I’m not trying to be in a race, I’m only trying to live my life.”
Just as she earned her way to the semifinals tonight, Melissa takes it all one day at a time. And after tonight, she’s one week closer to becoming the next Nashville Star.
Now, the finalists get a Hometown visit and a long overdue reunion with families and Melissa is looking forward to seeing all six of her boys (husband and five sons).
Even with the incredible opportunity to live her dream of becoming a country artist, there is a huge drawback to being a contestant. They are not allowed any contact with family or friends during their time on the show. “No communication at all,” Melissa says. “I think that there is a goodness to it and it helps me keep focused so I’m not lingering, wondering what they are all doing.”
She adds her faith helps her through her journey. “I pray about it and that helps too.”
Along with her faith, many members of her church as well and friends and family are helping out while she’s away. “We have a great and large church congregation who have been so incredibly helpful and supportive.”
After being asked what it felt like to be crowned 2008 Nashville Star, Melissa said “This isn’t only me, but all the people out there who voted for me! We did it!”
Yes we did, Melissa. Right on and many more blessings to you!
If you want to learn more about Melissa , check out Nashville Star