Shawn Johnson East Says She Was at First 'Terrified' of Pregnancy Because of Past Eating Disorder

Shawn Johnson East tells PEOPLE's Me Becoming Mom podcast that she at first "couldn't wrap my head around" the body changes that come with pregnancy

Shawn Johnson East explains how her history with disordered eating used to worry her about becoming pregnant.

On this week's installment of PEOPLE's new podcast Me Becoming Mom, the former Olympic gymnast, who shares 3-month-old son Jett James and 2-year-old daughter Drew Hazel with husband Andrew East, recalls feeling nervous about the body changes that come with pregnancy given her past struggles as a high-performing athlete.

"I was terrified of it, because, I've been very open about this but, I struggled throughout my gymnastics career with a lot of eating disorders and body image issues and just self-confidence issues when it came to the physical aspect," she tells host Zoë Ruderman, Head of Digital at PEOPLE.

"Because my entire career was based on how, basically, my body looked and how it performed," Johnson East, 29, continues. "I couldn't wrap my head around gaining 50 pounds and not being able to move, you know, and be mobile, and how that would affect me mentally and affect the baby."

Subscribe to our new 12-episode weekly podcast, Me Becoming Mom, to hear celebrity moms open up exclusively to PEOPLE about their extraordinary roads to motherhood.

RELATED: Shawn Johnson East Says She Was 'Breaking Inside' Following Her Miscarriage

Last year, Johnson East told Today that she worried her past eating disorder would resurface during her pregnancy, though the opposite happened. She explained at the time, "As soon as I got pregnant, I couldn't care less what I looked like, what I gained, or what the scale said. 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."

Shawn Johnson, Andrew East family
Shawn Johnson/Instagram

The 12-episode weekly Me Becoming Mom podcast explores the various roads to motherhood through different interviews with both celebrity guests and experts in the field. Topics on the show include IVF, adoption, surrogacy, single parenthood, same-sex couples, home births, pregnancy loss, unexpected and surprising birth stories, among other subjects.

Upcoming guests on the podcast include Alyssa Milano, Padma Lakshmi, Tamron Hall and more.

New episodes of Me Becoming Mom drop weekly on Thursdays wherever you stream podcasts.

If you or someone you know is battling an eating disorder, please contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) at 1-800-931-2237 or go to

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