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When Demi Lovato sat down with Ashley Graham to talk about her relapse, she mentioned that she didn’t initially realize that her excessive exercising was actually a manifestation of her eating disorder. It didn’t occur to Demi that working out three times a day was unhealthy and was directly connected to her eating disorder, and her loved ones didn’t necessarily realize it, either. They might have been concerned about her working out, but didn’t say anything because they didn’t make that connection. (And, of course, they aren’t responsible for Demi.)
Shawn Johnson spoke with Today about being worried that her eating disorder was going to manifest during her pregnancy, and she told her husband some of the things that he should look out for so that he would be aware of any reason to get Shawn help:
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.”
I’m sad for Shawn that instead of initially being able to celebrate being pregnant and focus on that joy, she was terrified that she would have a relapse. Enlisting her husband’s help was a level-headed, fantastic way to take care of herself, though. It’s also wonderful to hear that her fear turned out to be unfounded and her focus shifted to her baby rather than what she looked like. I hope that this continues for her. Today noted that Shawn’s trip to New York was because of her paid partnership with Enfamil, and it was her and Andrew’s first overnight away from baby Drew. Shawn said that they are “enjoying some much needed husband and wife time,” and that she was sure that she was going to be physically sick when they left Drew, because she was “so anxious.” I’m hoping that Shawn continues to be healthy and happy and that she’s able to focus on enjoying time with Andrew and Drew.