Everyone adored Shawn Johnson when she took home the Olympic gold medal at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Since her big win, the 23-year-old athlete has gone on to be named the Teen Choice Awards‘ Choice Female Athlete for two years in a row and the season eight champion of ABC’s hit series Dancing with the Stars. Currently, Johnson has been busy planning her own wedding as well as partnering with wedding-planning site WeddingWire on its #JustSaidYes campaign, helping couples to celebrate and share their own engagement stories. In addition to her wedding planning and campaign, Shawn is also running her healthy living website, The Body Department.
Being in the spotlight is not easy. You are constantly getting criticized and under pressure to be and look absolutely perfect. For Johnson, growing up in the public eye was quite difficult, especially when she was struggling with weight and confidence issues.
In her recent interview with Yahoo! Health, the former gymnast opened up to the publication about creating a blog, struggling with her body, and becoming a trainer. Check out the highlights below.
Creating a blog: “For me, it was kind of like, what if I could build a place for these girls to go that was just as cool, but there is no negative association? It was health, and beauty, and fun, and ‘you’re perfect the way you are — but here are some workouts.’ And it kind of took off.”
On her own struggle with her body: “When I first went on [DWTS], I was 16, and I turned 17 on the show. Going from this strict, regimented schedule to going through puberty on national TV and gaining weight, and just being kind of a huge target for criticism, was just really difficult for me.”
Gymnast turned trainer: “I originally did it for myself to learn, and to learn all the details, but I love training. I coach gymnastics a lot, clinics. I just want to take it further […] Having gone through it, I don’t think I could ever be that strict on a girl in gymnastics. I’m more like the fun side of the clinics and camps.”