Book Review: Monica Seles’s “Getting a Grip”

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Eating disorders are not a taboo subject anymore in the media. We mostly hear speculation about starving celebs, celebs who seem to be in a constant battle to under-weigh one another, abuse drugs or laxatives or pills to stay skinny.

And sure, we hear about celebs like Oprah and Kirstie Alley who have fought public wars with their weight over and over again … but other than them, it’s not too common that we hear about a celebrity/professional athlete dealing with emotional eating issues or binge-eating disorder. That is, until now.

In the riveting new book Getting a Grip, tennis phenom Monica Seles reveals the secret battles she was waging off the court, following her stabbing during a match with Steffi Graf and the death of her father to cancer. As depression and anxiety plagued her, food became a drug that numbed her.

Getting a Grip is her story of how she came to know herself outside of tennis, overcame binge eating/emotional eating and took back her life.

And it’s a pure inspiration.

When US Weekly does it’s column, “Stars, they’re just like us,” I usually laugh because they’re so silly. Wow, a celeb dad walking his kid into an ice cream shoppe. How … novel?! Right. That’s certainly nothing to write home about.

But Monica Seles’ journey has “just like us” written all over it. It’s truly one that I think so many people — women in particular — will be able to relate to. I know I could.

I admit up front that prior to reading her book, my knowledge of Monica Seles and my interest in the professional tennis world was a big fat “Nothing,” but when I read an excerpt from her book in SELF recently I knew this was a book I wanted to read.

I was approached by her publisher and they sent me a copy and asked me to do a review so … here I am! Continue reading “Book Review: Monica Seles’s “Getting a Grip””

Weeding the Roots

dandelion2_previewThis weekend my husband and I went to a wedding in Cleveland with a bunch of friends.

We had a truly fabulous time (we laughed so much this weekend that our sides hurt!), and after we got home on Sunday afternoon, we decided to take advantage of the sunshine and warm-ish weather and get to work tending to the dandelions that sprouted up in the past week.

We worked as a team, him using the little digging gadget to get to the root of each ugly weed, and me trailing behind with a bag to collect the dead weeds.

Now, I admittedly don’t have a green thumb and have never really gotten into gardening. Even though my parents are both really into it and can usually be found on a weekend afternoon in the garden, I never joined them as a kid, and honestly don’t know much about it. Continue reading “Weeding the Roots”

“Eat With Dignity”

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Eat with dignity.

Three words that say so much, yet took me so long to “get.”

I’ve seen this phrase on my Weight Watchers message boards a million times, and never really understood what it meant until a friend explained her interpretation to me.

She was talking about her tendency to binge and my tendency to chew-and-spit, and how neither behavior is an example of “eating with dignity” and in fact is the very opposite; we’re not dignifying our bodies or our minds when we engage in such behaviors.

Learning to eat with dignity basically means eating with a purpose, filling our bodies with nutritious things we’re proud of, in the amounts we’re not ashamed to be seen eating.

It doesn’t mean extremes (starving or bingeing/purging).

And it doesn’t matter if you’re eating a PB&J in your car on the way to your third meeting of the day, or sitting down to a fancy five-course meal.

It’s such a simple concept but for people with disordered eating issues–or even eating disorders–it’s not that easy to remember or to practice regularly. Continue reading ““Eat With Dignity””

Bingeing or Binging …

It’s only recently that doctors and scientists have classified and publicly acknowledged binge eating an actual eating disorder, putting it on par with the more commonly recognized eating disorders of anorexia and bulimia.

And though not every woman who binge eats has a chronic, compulsive disorder, many still struggle with it in private, whether it be once a month or once a week.

It’s hard to say what exactly “bingeing” is; everyone seems to have a different definition (and spelling!)

Webster’s says a binge is “1 a: a drunken revel : spree b: an unrestrained and often excessive indulgence c: an act of excessive or compulsive consumption (as of food).” All of the above could apply. Continue reading “Bingeing or Binging …”