Shawn Johnson East has always been the person that seemingly always has a smile on her face. But in a new YouTube video, the star gymnast admits all she was hiding behind that smile.
“When I went on Dancing with the Stars and I had my period for the first time, and I had to deal with going through puberty on national television, I hit a very low spot,” she says in the revealing video. “I’d gained about 15 lbs. after the Olympics and I thought that that was the worst thing in the entire world — which it wasn’t, it was healthy and normal.”
In fact, East admits that she started to do anything to lose weight.
“I went through this dark kind of spiral of a few years on terrible medications and drugs that tried to ‘spike my metabolism’ and did nothing,” recalls East, who became a superstar after competing in the 2008 Olympics. “I took diuretics, I did every fad diet. I remember I went through a three-week phase where I ate nothing but raw vegetables.”
But now, she seems to be on a much better path, having married former football player Andrew East in 2016 and becoming a mother to little Drew last year.
“Having gotten clean from, you know, the medications and the prescriptions and just the obsessiveness — I wouldn’t change anything for the world, I love that I went through it, it was very hard and I don’t wish that on anyone — but I’ve had these tough experiences that make me a stronger mom that will allow me to teach Drew how to be strong as well.”