Monica Seles is a force to be reckoned with on the tennis courts. But when it comes to her personal life, the sports star says that she’s been battling a binge eating disorder that has defied her attempts to achieve her weight loss goals, reported People.
Recognizing that others shared her condition and fear of revealing their struggles, Seles says that she decided to go public by unveiling a new public service announcement together with the Binge Eating Disorder Association and National Eating Disorders Association.
“It took a while until I felt comfortable talking about it. That’s one of the reasons I decided to do this campaign: to raise awareness that binge eating is a real medical condition.”
Those struggling with binge eating disorders (BED) typically consume large amounts of food but, in contrast to those with bulimia, do not purge, according to ABC News. More women than men are impacted by BED, and an estimated four million Americans have the condition.
BED is linked to feeling embarrassed and ashamed, and can cause obesity and related problems. Seles noted that she experienced those feelings and attempted to hide her condition from family and friends for almost a decade.
“I look at my life and how many years I wasted by being shamed about it, hiding it from my family and friends and doing my binges in private.
“My trigger foods were pretzels, potato chips. And I would do them alone because I was so ashamed that, here, I was a tennis player who was so controlling on the tennis court. I could direct. I’m very dedicated. Yet, in this one area of binge eating I was out of control.”
Seles revealed that her binge-eating episodes typically occurred in the evening after she had spent a long day battling publicly on the tennis courts. Then at night, she battled herself.
“My eating was just uncontrollable. Once the binge was over I felt so upset with myself,” says Monica in the public service announcement (PSA) that she filmed.
In addition to working with the eating disorder organizations to make that PSA, Seles is serving as a paid spokeswoman for Shire Pharmaceuticals, which makes Vyvanse. The medication is the first prescription approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating BED.
When it comes to opening up about struggling with weight loss and related conditions, Monica isn’t alone.
As the Inquisitr revealed, Lady Gaga has shared her struggles with eating disorders, including bulimia. She emphasized that she had made the decision to open up about her eating disorder with the goal of helping young girls stop hiding their own battles with conditions such as bulimia or anorexia and seek help.
Gaga discussed her bulimia battle during a conference at the Brentwood School in Los Angeles, reported the Huffington Post.
“I used to throw up all the time in high school,” she said.
“Weight is still a struggle. Every video I’m in, every magazine cover, they stretch you — they make you perfect. It’s not real life.
“I’m gonna say this about girls: The dieting has got to stop. Everyone just knock it off. Because at the end of the day, it’s affecting kids your age — and it’s making girls sick.”
In addition, prior to her death, Joan Rivers talked about her own battle with bulimia, as the Inquisitr reported.
“I diet all the time,” Rivers confessed. “I will eat anything.”
[Photo By Alex Wong/Getty Images]