Ryan Lochte opens up about his clean start to 2017: 'I'm putting 2016 behind me'

Ryan Lochte is on "cloud nine" right now.

The 12-time Olympic medalist, who had a famously rough summer during last year's Rio Olympics, is in the midst of multiple major life events. Just two months after revealing that he had proposed to model girlfriend Kayla Rae Reid, Lochte broke the news that the couple was expecting their first child together, too.

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In anticipation of becoming a father and a husband, Lochte has dubbed 2017 his "clean start," which he's celebrating in partnership with PowerBar.

"I'm putting 2016 behind me," he told me exclusively at the launch of PowerBar's Clean Start campaign at Aqua Studio in New York City. "You're definitely going to see a new Ryan."

I talked to Lochte about wiping his slate clean, what kind of father he's going to be to his first son and what's going to come first, the wedding or the baby?

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Ryan Lochte through his career
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Ryan Lochte through his career
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 12: Ryan Lochte of the United States attends a press conference in the Main Press Center on Day 7 of the Rio Olympics on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
ATHENS, Greece: US Ryan Lochte poses on the podium after winning the men's 200m individual medley final, at the 2004 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatic Center in Athens, 19 August 2004. Lochte took the silver medal. AFP PHOTO FRANCOIS-XAVIER MARIT (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS XAVIER MARIT/AFP/Getty Images)
MONTREAL - JULY 29: (L-R) Markus Rogan of Austria wins the silver medal, Aaron Peirsol of the United States wins the gold medal and Ryan Lochte of the United States wins the bronze medal in the 200 meter Backstroke final during the XI FINA World Championships at the Parc Jean-Drapeau on July 29, 2005 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Peirsol set a new world record of 1:54.66. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - APRIL 09: Ryan Lochte of the USA celebrates winning gold and breaking the world record with USA team mate Jayme Cramer in the men's 200m backstroke final during day five of the FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) held at Qi Zhong Stadium on April 9, 2006 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
WEST LAFAYETTE, IN - DECEMBER 01: World-Record Holder Ryan Lochte of Florida swims the Butterfly leg in the Men's 400M Individual Medley Prelim Heats during the 2006 U.S. Open of Swimming on December 1, 2006 at the Boilermaker Aquatics Center in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 29: Ryan Lochte of the USA poses with his silver medal following the Men's 200m Individual Medley Final during the XII FINA World Championships at the Rod Laver Arena on March 29, 2007 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 01: Michael Phelps of the United States (L) celebrates victory and a new world record in the Men's 400m Individual Medley Final with second place Ryan Lochte of the United States during the XII FINA World Championships at the Rod Laver Arena on April 1, 2007 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Ryan Lochte attends THE CINEMA SOCIETY with CHANEL BEAUTE & VOGUE host the after party for 'THE DUCHESS' at Cooper Square Hotel on September 10, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by BiLLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
BEIJING - AUGUST 13: Ryan Lochte of the United States finishes the Men's 200m Backstroke Heat 6 in first place held at the National Aquatics Center on Day 5 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 13, 2008 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
' Ryan Lochte of USA displays his medal to the media photographers after receiving the Gold medal for the Men's 400m IM at the World Swimming Championships in Rome, Italy on Sunday, August 2, 2009. Photo Tim Clayton ' (Photo by Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images)
Ryan Lochte attends Cocktails with a Cause benefitting Sophie's Voice Foundation at the Hearst Tower on September 14, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 690 -- Pictured: (l-r) Olympian Ryan Lochte during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on August 24, 2012 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Ryan Lochte appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
US swimmer Ryan Lochte reacts after he competed in the final of the men's 200-metre individual medley swimming event in the FINA World Championships at the indoor stadium of the Oriental Sports Center in Shanghai on July 28, 2011. Lochte won the men's 200m individual medley in world record time, beating team-mate Michael Phelps. Lochte lowered his own record by one tenth of a second to 1min 54.00sec. AFP PHOTO / PETER PARKS (Photo credit should read PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images)
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 28: Ryan Lochte of the United States poses with his gold medal after winning in a new world record time the Men's 200m Individual Medley Final during Day Thirteen of the 14th FINA World Championships at the Oriental Sports Center on July 28, 2011 in Shanghai, China. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - DECEMBER 16: Ryan Lochte of USA reacts after swimming the last leg on the Men's 4x100m Medely Relay during day five of the 11th FINA Short Course World Championships at the Sinan Erdem Dome on December 16, 2012 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
US swimmer Michael Phelps (C) poses on the podium with the gold medal flanked by silver medalist US swimmer Ryan Lochte (R) and bronze medalist Hungary's Laszlo Cseh (L) after winning the men's 200m individual medley swimming event at the London 2012 Olympic Games on August 2, 2012 in London. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/GettyImages)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 21: Swimmer Ryan Lochte (L) and singer Miley Cyrus speak onstage during the 2012 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 21, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images for Clear Channel)
Gold medalist US swimmer Ryan Lochte (C), silver medalist Japan's Kosuke Hagino (L) and bronze medalist Brazil's Thiago Pereira pose on the podium during the award ceremony of the men's 200-metre individual medley swimming event in the FINA World Championships at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona on August 1, 2013. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
DOHA, QATAR - DECEMBER 06: Ryan Lochte of USA looks on after the Men's 100m Individual Medley heats on day four of the 12th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) at the Hamad Aquatic Centre on December 6, 2014 in Doha, Qatar (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Ryan Lochte attends the 2015 USA Swimming Golden Goggle Awards at J.W. Marriot at L.A. Live on November 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 11, 2016: Michael Phelps (L) and Ryan Lochte of the United States look on after the men's 200m individual medley final at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games, at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium. It is 22nd Olympic gold for Phelps. Stanislav Krasilnikov/TASS (Photo by Stanislav Krasilnikov\TASS via Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 9: Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer, Francis Haas (hidden) of Team USA celebrate winning the gold medal during the medal ceremony of the men's 200m freestyle relay on day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
DANCING WITH THE STARS - 'Episode 2306' - The nine remaining celebrities ready themselves for one of the hottest nights in the ballroom - Latin Night - with each celebrity performing either a rumba, salsa, samba, paso dobl� cha cha or Argentine tango, on 'Dancing with the Stars,' live, MONDAY, OCTOBER 17 (8:00-10:01 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) RYAN LOCHTE, CHERYL BURKE

Check out my full conversation with Ryan Lochte below:

Your partnership with PowerBar is all about clean starts. What does a "clean start" mean for you right now?

I'm putting 2016 behind me. I'm starting fresh for 2017, and my pledge for a clean start is to swim faster. Definitely one of my goals is to go to the next Olympics -- I want to be there in 2020. There's so much more I want to accomplish in the sport of swimming. That's my pledge, and teaming up with PowerBar is probably the perfect fit for me, especially with their new Clean Start campaign.

Every Olympian wants to surround themselves with the best products possible to help them with their training. For me, since I've been using PowerBar as a training tool pretty much throughout my entire life, so this was a no-brainer. This was a perfect fit for me.

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So, you recently got engaged...

Yes, I did. [Laughs]

Tell me about the announcement and where that idea came from.

I'm giving all the credit to Kayla -- it was her idea! She came across a picture on Pinterest that she was just in love with, and she was like, "I want to do this." It was fine by me! It was perfect. My clean start in 2017 is definitely going to be my family. With getting married and having a baby, everything is just working out really well for us.

And those are two huge life events happening pretty close together for you guys.

You're definitely going to see a new Ryan, that's for sure. I'm so excited. Just talking to other people that have had kids or have gotten married, they're both such great things, and I'm so excited for this new life that I'm about to take on.

Are you helping out with wedding planning at all?

Well, right now we're not doing much wedding planning, just because [Kayla] said she doesn't want to be pregnant in a wedding dress, which, of course, no woman would want that. So, we're going to definitely take care of the baby first, and then we'll start planning. I think it's probably going to be around October or November of 2017.

You said you've talked to some people who already have kids about the parenting experience. What advice have you gotten about what's to come?

Just from my parents and what they've told me. There's one thing that I know will happen: I'm going to spoil this kid rotten, but not with material things. I'll do it with so much love; that's what I'm excited about. I'm excited to change diapers and all of that other father stuff I've dreamt about doing for years. I'm on cloud nine.

What do you mean when you say you want to recommit yourself to swimming?

There's a lot more that I want to accomplish in the sport of swimming, and I'm not done yet. I'm going to put my heart and soul into swimming, and the end-goal is to get more golds.

Around this time of year people set these massive goals for themselves, and then they...

They half-ass it. [Laughs]

Exactly. And as an athlete -- especially as a swimmer, which requires so much dedication -- what's one tip you would give people hoping to stick to their fitness goals?

You have to actually want it. Anyone can say they want to do this or they want to do that, but you actually have to believe it and know there are going to be sacrifices. There are going to be days where you don't want to, but you have to make your body do it, because you know the end result is everything. It's about the commitment, and it's about sacrifice. But the outcome is the greatest reward.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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