Monica Seles dominated women’s tennis for two-and-a-half years before she was stabbed in the back by a deranged spectator during a 1993 match in Hamburg, Germany.
It shocked the sports world.
Though she returned to the tour two years later, she never regained her top form.
During that time, her father — her coach — to whom she was very close, died.
The emotional scars Seles was dealing with led to a significant weight gain.
“I had a lot of inside emotional traumas going on,” she told co-anchor Harry Smith Wednesday. “You could see that reflected in the body that I had.”
Now, though, Seles has shed those excess pounds.
And The Early Show’s newest contributor is back in championship form off the court, spending much of her time in a mode she says is very important to her — being a role model — trying to empower young women to be all they can be — and offering advice on getting and staying slim.
She wants girls to know her life wasn’t always easy.
Several years ago, Seles decided to do a major life-check and deal with a lot of the issues that had, she says, been making her an emotional eater.
Her tips to get over tough times:
FIGURE OUT WHAT IS EATING YOU INSIDE: You need to figure out the problem that is causing you to eat.
TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR OWN LIFE: Make your own decisions. There was a time in my life where everyone is making the decisions for me. I had to take charge.
BUILD EMOTIONAL STRENGTH: Believe in yourself and know you can do it. Be strong.
WORK OUT WITH A BUDDY: Seles doesn’t like to work out and doesn’t like trainers. She works out with a buddy.
DON’T OVERDUE EXERCISE: Three times a week — cardio and strength — is enough.
Her main advice?
“It’s pretty much just to play any sport for young kids, especially girls,” Seles told Smith. “I mean, in my case it was tennis, but if it’s soccer or basketball — just go out there and get fresh air in your lungs, because kids are really sedentary right now, and if you start like that at age 6 or 10, what’s gonna happen as you get older? … I had my periods where I was overweight, and I can really relate to both ends of it.”