Monica Seles’ tennis career is well-known, but her struggles off the court may not be.
In a recent interview with Good Morning America, Seles opened up about her struggles with binge eating in an effort to raise awareness about the disorder.
For nearly 10 years, Seles faced binge eating disorder (BED). People with BED frequently eat large amounts of food. Patients often feel out of control during their binges.
"For me as an athlete, it was just very hard to understand how I could be so in control and disciplined in the tennis court and in my training, yet when it came to eating, I would just binge eat,” Seles said in her interview with Good Morning America.
Seles burst onto the tennis scene when she won the 1990 French Open at the age of 16. From 1991 to 1993, she won 7 out of 9 grand slam tournaments she played. She has won the most pro games of any teen in the history of tennis.
During episodes, BED patients may eat quickly, until they are uncomfortably full or alone due to embarrassment. They often report feeling guilt or depression after bingeing.
Seles said she would often eat pretzels or potato chips in binges. She said she felt ashamed because she felt such control on the tennis court but so little control over her diet.
About 2 percent of US adults have binge eating disorder, according to the US Office on Women’s Health. That’s around 4 million people.
People who binge eat can become overweight or obese, which can lead to health problems like type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease.
Seles, 41, is a spokesperson for Shire Pharmaceuticals, the company that make Vyvanse. Vyvanse is the first medication approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to treat BED.
Seles said her goal is to help others who have BED.
Patients facing an eating disorder should seek medical care.