Shawn Johnson, the former Olympic gold medalist, has opened up in great detail about the struggles she’s gone through both during and after her gymnastics career.
Johnson, who won gold in the balance beam at the 2008 Games in Beijing, as well as silver medals in floor exercise, the all-around and the team competition, posted a video on her family YouTube channel in which she talks about her use of Adderall and other medications to prevent weight gain, as well as an extremely restrictive diet — consuming only 700 calories per day.
The 28-year-old, who expanded her fanbase after gymnastics by competing on “Dancing With The Stars” (winning the competition in 2009), says she has come a long way. As she discusses in the video, with the help of a therapist and nutritionist among others, she is a much healthier person today, both physically and mentally. Johnson gave birth to a daughter, Drew, in October 2019.
“There’s something that switched when I got pregnant, where it no longer was about me, or my body, or the vanity, or the calories, or what I looked like, or what I weighed — I couldn’t have cared less,” Johnson said. “It was about protecting my baby, and I was so excited by that.”
“Having gone through a whole pregnancy and knowing that I had felt confident through the whole thing, I feel like I’ve climbed Everest, which has been really cool,” Johnson added later. “And now, having Drew, it just gives me such a sense of purpose.”