Shawn Johnson Is Trying to Lose Excess Weight

Shawn Johnson’s Olympic gold medal days are now well behind her (together with an unrelenting routine of 6 workouts per week), and she is taking it easy and looking around for something new – but her first challenge was having to shake off a weight gain.

Shawn Johnson

When the 20-year-old athlete announced taking time off after her performance at the 2008 Olympics, she found she began gaining weight.

She was traveling extensively at the time, she explained to PEOPLE, so of course there was no time for workouts. Also she ate to her heart’s delight – and ended up being 25 lbs heavier.

“It’s not going to happen again,” says the gymnast, assuring that she will be more careful in future. She intends to “work really hard” to control her weight.

Johnson’s knee injury finally drove her into retiring from competitive gymnastics, as she made known at the beginning of June. She hurt her left knee 2 years ago when skiing, underwent 2 operations and 4 cortisone shots, after which doctors warned her that her strenuous workouts can result in a permanent injure. It made a radical change in all the spheres of her life and for the time being she is not quite sure what she will turn to.

The gymnast has been receiving different offers of appearances and commentating since her dramatic announcement, but is laying no definite plans. She wants to turn up for the Olympics in London in July – a trip signed up by some of her sponsors – and go on a tour to promote her volume of memoirs called Winning Balance, but she looks no further for now.

Besides, Johnson has some rest to catch up on – she shared that she had had no opportunity to relax properly for several years. She was able to unwind after she had taken her retirement decision and now she feels out of stress and on her way to complete recovery.