Shawn Johnson Recalls Road to Recovery After Eating Disorder, Pill “Overdosing” and Miscarriage
As Shawn Johnson said, “I wouldn’t change anything for the world.”
The famed gymnast and Olympic gold medalist was referring to her journey to recovery after battling with perfection and the toll it took on her—a journey she revisited in depth in a new video posted to her YouTube account titled, “body image issues: 110lbs to pregnant.”
In the video, Johnson began by explaining that she had been competing in the 2008 Olympics under a restricted 700-calorie diet, would pass out during practice, had no energy and was unable to have a period.
“One of the things that was I guess a sacrifice and a cost of the sport was my perfectionism,” she said, noting that she had taken that perfectionism too far.
Once the Olympics were over, Johnson, who went on to compete on Dancing With the Stars, gained weight as a result of not training as she had been during the games and considered the gain to be “the worst thing in the entire world.” As a result, she began taking weight loss pill and Adderall and doing what she could to lose weight and look how she did at the Olympics. Johnson noted in the video that she realized she had an issue with self-image and that if she could not maintain perfection, she would go to any and all costs to achieve it.
“In my mind, everybody praised me for what I did at the Olympics. They praised who I was as a human being when I was there,” she explained. “In my mind, if I could look like that, not necessarily compete or do gymnastics, but if I could be that person again, then the world would say that I was enough and I was accepted, which didn’t make any sense.”
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