Exclusive: Demi Lovato Just Told Me Her Secret for Staying Motivated to Work Out

At 6:20 p.m. on a Friday in Canoga Park, California, as the mid-May sun prepares for its explosive evening spectacle, a Lincoln Town Car drops me off at a multimillion-dollar shopping center called The Village at Westfield Topanga. My interview with Demi Lovato starts in five minutes. You may recognize the name Topanga as the ingenue on Boy Meets World, but for the better part of the 20th Century, Topanga Canyon, a small watershed in the Santa Monica Mountains about seven miles south of here, was an enclave of artistic legends. In the 1920s, Topanga was the weekend getaway of choice for Hollywood silent film stars; in the 60s, its steep hills and lush medley of ferns and flora served as a bohemian incubator for North American musicians from Joni Mitchell to Jim Morrison.

Today, Topanga still looks like the same luxuriant jungle that Jim and Joni knew decades ago, but not the Westfield. Though I have arrived at this posh open-air shopping destination, which underwent a costly expansion in late 2015, to meet an artist, we're not here to talk about music. Because Demi Lovato is more than a singer. Ever since the 25-year-old pop star (who's put out six top-selling albums since 2008) went public about her struggles with drug addiction and bulimia in 2011, she has become an icon in the mental health awareness and body-positivity movements. Lovato's candidness, both on social media and in her 2017 documentary, Simply Complicated, about her ongoing journey to physical and mental well-being has earned her both widespread adulation from fans and a deal with Fabletics—an activewear brand that takes size inclusivity very seriously. "Fabletics was designed with every woman in mind—regardless of size, shape, age, or ability—because we want every woman to feel included," the brand's CMO Kristen Dykstra told us last year when the partnership was first announced. "When we started seriously considering our first Fabletics collaboration, [we] naturally thought of Demi."

It's Lovato's newest Fabletics capsule collection that brings me to the Westfield this evening. The just-released line of leggings, tops, and sports bras (available in sizes XS to 3X) was inspired by the active daily life she currently leads on her Tell Me You Love Me world tour, from which she is taking a quick break to talk to the press. Outside the Fabletics store, a line of buzzing young fans waits for the chance to meet Lovato. A press release from the event later reports that the first one in line arrived at 11 p.m. the night before. It's no wonder the crowd is so enthused: Lovato's unique mixture of talents as a recording artist, social media influencer, activist, and now activewear designer make her at once as lush as the landscape of Topanga Canyon and as polished as the well-appointed Westfield.

While her fans await her outside under the setting tangerine-colored sun, I'm given five minutes with Lovato to ask her everything one might want to know about how she stays motivated to exercise every day, her favorite mood-boosting workout, and the fitness essentials she can't live without. Keep scrolling to read our conversation.