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How Monica Seles Smashed Her Eating Disorder

At age 16, tennis pro Monica Seles became the youngest winner in French Open history, so we were all stunned in 1993 when she was stabbed in the back during a match in Germany, and forced to leave the game for two years. She eventually healed, but was gripped by emotional trauma as she slipped out of the number one ranking and into a depression. In her new book, Getting a Grip, Monica reveals how the sad series of events led to her eating disorder. She says, "I turned to food for comfort. Food became my best friend. When emotionally I got down, depressed and had anxiety, I found comfort in food."

Monica was training six hours a day, but was also secretly binging late at night. It led to 37 pounds of weight gain, which translated to criticism by her trainers, nutritionists, and the media. To hear more about how Monica tamed her eating disorder


After a debilitating injury in 2003, Monica's foot was in a cast for three months, so she was forced to take time off. That's when she made some big life changes. She fired her trainers, coaches, and nutritionists when she realized she was using them to fix her problems on the outside. It was her emotions, though, that were causing her to binge, so she needed to get those settled if she was going to control her eating habits and make any progress with her body. She said,

I threw out every single diet notion I’d learned. I allowed myself to eat every single food group. My extreme cravings went away. I allowed myself to have cookies or pasta. I stopped dieting and I started living life. That’s how I lost 37 pounds.

When Monica was upset and got the urge to eat, she'd go for a walk instead to calm her down. She's also big into journaling to get her thoughts and emotions on paper, and it's helped with her recovery tremendously. Reading through old journal entries helped her realize she didn't ever want to go back to that place. It became clear that it was time to end her love-hate relationship with food and turn it into a positive relationship, so she could in turn "have a love relationship with her body."


alxxxmx alxxxmx 8 years
she lost the exact amount of weight she gained? suspicious.
Lemerne Lemerne 8 years
I don't understand where my comment went? Is it forbidden to talk about bulimia now?
Matdredalia Matdredalia 8 years
I'm really, really glad that she's putting out this book. Most people hear "eating disorder" and think one of two things: anorexia or bulimia. They don't think about the "other" ED that is as prevalent, if not more so than anorexia and bulimia combined: binge eating. While I think it's horrible that Monica had to endure all of this, I think it's made her an even stronger, more self empowered person and I think that her experience could help a lot of other people.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
Wow, I had no idea she went through all that. I'm proud of her for overcoming that. My eating disorder was very similar to hers, so I know how difficult it is to kick. You definitely have to get in touch with your emotions before you can change anything on the outside.
1apple 1apple 8 years
I had no idea she went through all of this. I'd like to have a read of her book!
gothamgal gothamgal 8 years
I can't imagine how she got through it but that book is on my to-read list; I love books like that.
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 8 years
She's such an inspirational figure for so many reasons. I'll have to check her book out.
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