Battling Back From Love

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Monica Seles On Binge Eating

Being the huge tennis fan that I am, I always regretted the early departure of Monica Seles from the tennis scene. Her infamous grunts on the court and her powerful strokes made her one of the tennis greats. I always held out hope that she would come back on the scene in a big way. And she has, helping even more women with her inspiring story.

This month’s issue of SELF, features a story written by Monica herself. It’s a candid story about her battle back from two well publicized tragedies and her decade long battle with weight, revealing a savvy and determined woman. Here are some interesting quotes that came from the article:

“I’d been playing tennis for 17 years — since I was 5 — and, for the first time ever, I was mortified to be seen in a tennis skirt,” says Monica at the tender age of 22.

“During an awards ceremony, as people around me clapped wildly, I kept thinking about how good it would feel to get off the court and slip into my roomy sweats.”

“The years that followed me after the attack were a blur of failed diets and self-loathing punctuated by brief periods of commitment to reclaiming my formerly svelte figure. Year after year I would make a New Years resolution, not to win another Grand Slam or to work on conditioning and strength, but to be thin again.”

“I cycled through many coaches over the next several years. Before we embarked on the first workout these smart new coaches would have a food warden on the payroll, ready to tackle the saturated fat right out of my hands. They would even reside in a guest room next to my kitchen in order to foil midnight runs.”

“I felt completely overwhelmed by the ‘easy’ task of implementing a ‘normal’ diet in my life. Maybe it was time to take some responsibility for what I put into my mouth.”

Monica goes on to talk about her personal journey in relationship to finding a healthy weight. She shares how the 20 second rule was born out of an attempt to break old habits. She talks about how she decided to wait at least 20 seconds (here at Green Mountain we say 20 minutes), to make sure she really wanted whatever it was.  During those 20 seconds she decided to concentrate on what might really be bothering her.  She asked herself if she could solve the issue right then — perhaps call a friend, finish nagging paperwork, run an overdue errand. And what she discovered was, in most cases by the time she had worked through her issue she was no longer hungry.

“By the time I came up with something I could do immediately, the panic to find something to eat had subsided.”

There is much more to be learned from her experience than just the 20 second rule.  Monica talks with inspiration about how for the first time in her life  ‘not dieting’ freed her from the all or nothing mentality that keeps so many dieters from reaching a healthy weight. Monica lost 20 pounds that year and said she did it because she wasn’t trying to lose weight. What she did gain was a relaxed, happy and healthy lifestyle.

“I refused to say I was on a diet, which implied I’d one day go off it.”

Yep, just like I always said, she’s one for the record books. There is a lot of good stuff in this article. Check out her entire story in the April 2009 issue of SELF, or grab a copy of her book Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, Myself.

Picture c/o Penguin Books

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