Monica Seles and the Unspoken Eating Disorder

By Jatinder Singh, Associate Partner, Lighthouse International

Most people have heard of the eating disorders Bulimia or Anorexia. They are quite extreme and the consequences of the latter can even be life threatening. Yet most people haven’t heard of Binge Eating Disorder (BED) or even think it is a condition.

However, it’s important to understand that this article isn’t about eating disorders - it’s about what they represent and the scale of the problem.

As this article from the Telegraph highlights, hundreds of thousands of people suffer from this condition including former world class tennis player Monica Seles.

Monica is a powerful example of how someone can be highly disciplined and immensely effective in one area of life but struggle with emotional challenges in other areas. Food just happened to be her outlet...

As Seles says:

"It was very hard to understand how on the tennis court, I would be so focused and so disciplined in my training. But when it came to binge eating, I had zero control. I felt really embarrassed about it...I felt ashamed about my binge eating for so long….

I required a lot of comfort [Seles was stabbed on court in 1993] and found it in pints of ice cream and greasy bags of chips. Afterwards I felt I let down my coaches, sponsors, even my family."

As we often mention on the Legends Report, being happy is about having balance in all areas of life, particularly with our mental and emotional needs. Monica is a classic case of being an extraordinary achiever in her professional life but not having enough of the right support for her emotional well-being when she was going through challenging times. As a result she resorted to her addictions, out of fear of not being seen as good enough by those close to her. How many other people out there suffer in silence as Monica did?

Does hearing stories of very successful people like Monica having secret struggles open your eyes to the fact that legends struggle with the same things we all do? 

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