Book of the Week 1/27/14

Getting a Grip

Tennis star Monica Seles’ life changed after but a bizarre stabbing in 1993 in Hamburg, Germany forced her to leave the game for two years. In the interim, she faced a bigger challenge battling Binge Eating Disorder (BED) for nine years, which she details in Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self (Avery, reprint 2009).

Seles gained about 20 pounds during her two-year break from tennis and additional weight following her father’s death from stomach cancer. Like others suffering from BED, Seles viewed food as “her best friend” and found comfort in it to relieve feelings of depression and anxiety.

Seles tells how she eventually gained control of her binges by making small changes and lost 37 pounds. She cast aside the “diet” mentality, allowed herself to eat every food group, and permitted herself to eat other foods such as cookies and pasta.

This memoir is written with sincerity and and honesty, traits shared among those in recovery from Binge Eating Disorder. It’s an inspiring, frank, moving, spiritual, and optimistic account of someone who experienced BED firsthand and employed tools to bring it under control  to reclaim her life.

Getting a Grip  is perhaps one of the best books I’ve read on eating disorders, particularly BED, a disorder not commonly addressed or covered before Binge Eating Disorder became  recognized  as a proper diagnosis as of the current edition of  Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-V).