'The more I got naked the more comfortable I felt': Rihanna reveals how she conquered her body hang-ups



19:55 GMT, 21 March 2012

She was dubbed the Sexiest Woman Alive by Esquire magazine and recruited by Vogue magazine to front its 10th annual shape issue last year.

But Barbadian beauty Rihanna, 24, has revealed that for years she didn't feel comfortable in her own skin.

And taking a typically unconventional approach she found the more time she spent naked the more able she was to tackle her confidence issues.

Rihanna, currently the face of Armani jeans, has revealed that getting naked helped boost her confidence

Rihanna, currently the face of Armani jeans, has revealed that getting naked helped boost her confidence

'The more I got naked the more comfortable I felt. I just had to face my fear,' she revealed to Women's Fitness magazine.

Since overcoming her inner demons the songstress has sold more than 25 million albums and 60 million singles worldwide making her one of the best selling artists of all time.

And this spring she is set to take on her first acting role in the action thriller Battleship alongside Taylor Kitsch and Liam Neeson.

She added: 'You always find something wrong, you
always find something you’re uncomfortable with, and one thing turns
into another and you get embarrassed and self-conscious about it.

‘After a while, it
was like, “What’s the worst that can happen” and I just started being a
little more daring with it.

'It was just knowing my body is the way it
is no matter what that helped me, knowing that it is what it is under
clothes or outside of clothes.’



Unconventional approach: 'The more I got naked the more comfortable I felt. I just had to face my fear'

But she admits that her confrontational tactic might not work for everyone, adding: ‘My way probably won’t work for most people.’

To maintain a toned physique she regularly works out, and in preparation for her debut film role, in which she plays a naval weapons officer, she stepped up her exercise regime with the help of her personal trainer.

‘I had to do a lot of physical training
with a personal trainer as well as a soldier, and it was gruesome, but
fun,’ she said. ‘One man drilled me, yelled at me, made me do push-ups.
It really got you in the mentality.


'The weapons were really heavy, so at
times I had to hold a 5lb sandbag just to get used to drawing it the
right way.'

Post-filming she upped her usual 10-minute cardio sessions to five 30-minute
workouts a week, or three 25-minute sessions when she’s on the road.

Her personal trainer Harley Pasternak – who has also worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Robert Pattinson, Megan Fox, and Katy Perry – says Rihanna keeps in shape with short, sharp
routines involving cardio, resistance work and core exercises.

‘If you want to work out like
Rihanna, train hard and often, but not long. Rihanna is
really driven, there’s no need for me to motivate her.

'She trains for at
least 25 minutes at a time, and she loves skater lunges, deadlifts and
dumbbell work… Her least favourite exercise is running.’

And to curb her appetite Harley,
who’s known for his 5-Factor diet plans, has Rihanna eating five small,
healthy meals a day which consist of a low-fat protein, a healthy carbohydrate, 10g of fibre, a healthy fat and a sugar-free drink.

Rihanna admits to indulging in a few of her guilty food pleasures, every so often.

‘My favourite food right now is microwave butter popcorn,’ she
confesses. ‘And when I’m in London I’m close to authentic Jamaican food,
so I tend to eat that every day.'

Rihanna's 25 minute workout appears in Women's Fitness which is on sale now, Battleship is in cinemas from 11 April