Caroline Garcia has been open about her battle with bulimia, which stems from the loss and pain of a leg injury.
Interview with French newspaper L’EquipeThe 29-year-old tennis player opened up about a difficult period in his career after injuries and unstable form.
She took a break from tennis in March 2022 to treat a leg injury and the pause has benefited as the Frenchwoman won titles at the WTA Finals, Cincinnati, Bad Homburg and Warsaw to reach the semi-finals at the US Open in the second half of the season.
Before the success spell that brought her back to number 4 in the world in the rankings, Garcia said “there have been many tears, many sleepless nights”.
Garcia, who first hit fourth place in September 2018, said she looked to food to make up for the discomfort caused by injury and loss of form.
“You feel so empty, so sad that you need to fill yourself up. It’s the pain of not being able to do what you want on the court, not winning and being physically painful,” she said.
“Eating relaxes me for a few minutes. We all know it doesn’t last but… it’s an outlet. It’s uncontrollable.”
Garcia said being alone in a hotel room during the tour added to the challenge, but talking to friends and family helped her improve her relationship with food.
“Since I’ve enjoyed everything around tennis a little more and spent more time with myself, it’s been less likely. And when it does, I accept it more and feel less. much more sinful,” she said.
“Allowing myself to have small pleasures more often keeps me from craving something so often. At one point, I didn’t allow myself to have too much. It became too much.
“Now, if I had a craving for pizza in two days, I would just eat my pizza and stop obsessing about it. I had a hard time accepting the fact that it wouldn’t transform my body. I allow myself that little dessert every now and then instead of just thinking about it all week and ending up completely ruined.”
Garcia became the second French player to win the WTA Finals in November, after Amelie Mauresmo in 2005.
She is expected to compete at the Australian Open, which begins on January 16, and ahead of her season opener, Garcia said she is aiming for a Grand Slam title in 2023.
Speaking to WTA in December, she said: “Health comes first, but winning a Slam has probably been one of my goals and dreams since I was a little girl, and with few results. finally, with the WTA Finals, with the semi-final – the final at the US Open, it’s clearly more specific and something that I can reach for, something that I can achieve.”
Anyone struggling with an eating disorder can call Samaritans for help on 116 123 or email [email protected] in the UK. In the United States, call the Samaritans branch in your area or 1 (800) 273-TALK. For more information and support for eating disorders, contact Beat on [email protected]