When Shawn Johnson first learned she was pregnant, she had a frank discussion with her husband, Andrew East.
The gold-medal Olympic gymnast, who has said she struggled with a restrictive eating disorder throughout her career, was worried that her pregnancy could trigger unhealthy habits.
“I gave Andrew a list of things to look for, and if he started seeing them, he needed to talk to me,” Johnson, 28, told TODAY Parents. “I was really scared.”
But much to Johnson’s surprise, "the reverse" happened.
“As soon as I got pregnant, I couldn’t care less what I looked like, what I gained, or what the scale said,” Johnson revealed. “For me, it was no longer my body. It was for my baby. And I felt like it had such a purpose that no material body image issue occupied my brain.”
Johnson, who welcomed her daughter, Drew, in November, noted that she now accepts every part of herself.
“I remember going in for my check-up appointment at the OB-GYN and the doctor said, ‘Your (c-section) scar is a little bigger than it should be and I was like, ‘I don’t care. I’m proud,’” Johnson recalled. “I don’t feel pressure to work out, or eat certain things or look a certain way because my body made a human being and that’s pretty amazing.”
The Nashville-based athlete is currently in New York City promoting her paid partnership with Enfamil. It marks the first time Johnson and East, a former NFL player, have been away from Drew overnight.
“There were no tears, but I thought I was going to vomit when we said goodbye,” Johnson admitted. “I was so anxious.”
But there’s no denying that dining at a restaurant without a stroller in tow is nice every once in a while.
“Andrew and I went had dinner last night and that was fun," Johnson told TODAY Parents. “We’re enjoying some much needed husband and wife time.”