Shawn Johnson has opened up about how she abused Adderall and diet pills as she struggled with body-image issues after the Olympics, revealing that she had feared her unhealthy choices had caused her to miscarry years later.
In the latest video on her family’s YouTube channel, the 28-year-old former gymnast detailed how she went from ‘110 pounds to pregnant’ after years of restricting her calories, over-exercising, and taking whatever she could to control her weight.
Shawn suffered a miscarriage in 2017, two years before she and her husband Andrew East welcomed their daughter Drew. Although her doctor assured her that it wasn’t her fault, she admitted that she had blamed herself.
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Looking back: Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson detailed how she went from ‘110 pounds to pregnant’ in the latest video shared her East Family YouTube channel
Goal: Shawn only ate 700 calories per day while training for the 2008 Olympics at age 16
‘When I miscarried, I had this gut-wrenching feeling that it was because of my past —because of the ephedrine, because of the Adderall, because of the pills, the diuretics, because of starving myself and the weight fluctuations and the binging and purging,’ she said.
‘I thought it was because of all those bad choices I had made that had caused me to miscarry and that would potentially cause me not to be able to have a kid.’
Shawn explained that she was consumed with perfectionism as an elite gymnast and would only eat about 700 calories per day during her rigorous training for the Olympics.
‘I would pass out during practice or after practice. My body would cramp. I didn’t have energy. I was unable to have a period. I wasn’t maturing,’ she recalled.
She was just 16 years old when she competed in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China, and took home one gold and three silver medals.
Winner: The former gymnast took home one gold and three silver medals at the Olympics
Hard to handle: Shawn started to gain weight after the Olympics and went through puberty while competing on Dancing With the Stars in 2009
Shawn went on to compete on the eighth season of Dancing With the Stars in 2009 as she struggled with a lack of purpose now that she was no longer training for the Olympics.
Although she ended up winning the competition, she said that behind the scenes she had gotten her period for the first time and was dealing with ‘going through puberty on national television.’
‘I hit a very low spot. I gained about 15 pounds after the Olympics and I thought that was the worst thing in the entire world — which it wasn’t. It was healthy and normal,’ she said. ‘I started taking weight loss pills. I started taking ephedrine. I started taking Adderall.
‘I started doing any and everything I possibly could to lose the weight and look the way I did at the Olympics, because in, my mind, everybody praised me for what I did at the Olympics.’
She thought if she could look…