Garcia details her struggles with bulimia: “Eating soothed me for a few minutes, it was an escape”

In an interview with L’Equipe, the Frenchwoman spoke frankly and said she had learned to be easier on herself

Caroline Garcia AI/Reuters/Panoramic

She had mentioned it for the first time in her message of November 18, where she went into detail about her 2022 season: “I had sleepless nights, bulimic crises, I cried in my room…”.

This Thursday, Caroline Garcia spoke at length in the pages of L’Equipe, which voted her French champion of the year 2022, a year when she burst back into the limelight, winning the WTA Finals and finishing the year ranked No 4.

In the interview, she was asked in particular about her bouts of bulimia.

The world No 4 did not shy away from the subject, being very frank about the problem and explaining that she has learned to be easier on herself. “Some people don’t go out to eat anymore, but for me it was the opposite: I took refuge in food,” she said. “Those were moments of crisis. You feel so empty, so sad, that you need to fill yourself up. It was the distress of not being able to do what I wanted to do on the court, not winning and suffering physically.

“Eating calmed me down for a few minutes. We all know it doesn’t last, but… it was an escape. It’s uncontrollable. Afterwards, I started talking about it, to my relatives, to friends, to my parents. You start to understand. You realise that if it happens to you, it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes it’s just tiredness that makes your body need sugar.

Garcia: “I manage to enjoy myself, when I feel the need”

After a magnificent second half of the season in 2022, with four titles to her name, including the WTA 1000 in Cincinnati and the WTA Finals at the end of the year, the 29-year-old from Lyon is less prone to the problem of bulimia, but now allows herself a few slip-ups, which was not the case before.

“Since I’ve been enjoying everything around tennis a little more and taking more time for myself, it happens less. And when it does happen, I accept it more and I feel less guilty. Now, if for two days I feel like having a pizza, I’ll take my pizza and it will stop obsessing me.

“I’m more of a weigh myself type of person, I’m more of a gram person. At one point I was quite hard on myself. I had fallen into excess. Today, it’s better. I can enjoy myself when I feel like it. Sometimes you need proof that it won’t do anything to your body (smile).

“For example, I ate a pizza the day before my match against (Daria) Kasatkina (at the WTA Finals). I wanted to eat it. I found a gluten-free dough. I was so happy with my pizza! And I lasted two and a half hours on the court the next day.”

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