Garcia web
France's Caroline Garcia has been hard on herself while not winning and feels lot better now after taking time for herself. Image Credit: AFP

Paris: WTA Finals winner Caroline Garcia said she struggled with bulimia as she looked to “fill a void” when things were not going her way on court.

The Frenchwoman, who won top tier titles in Wuhan and Beijing in 2017, said the last couple of years had been marked by “tears and sleepless nights” and eventually an eating disorder.

“Everyone is different. Some will stop eating and for me it was the opposite: I used to take refuge in food,” Garcia told French sports daily L’Equipe on Thursday.

Distress management

“You feel so empty, so sad, that you need to fill yourself. It came from the distress of not managing to do what I wanted to do on court, of not winning anymore, of suffering physically.

“Eating would appease me for a few minutes. We all know it does not last but it was an escape route. When you’re alone, it’s harder to control. In tennis, you spend a lot of time alone in your room. It’s how it often happened.”

Garcia, who also reached the US Open semi-finals last year, said sharing her struggles helped.

Less guilty

“You start understanding and realising that if it happens, it’s not the end of the world,” the world No 4 said, adding she was now managing her disorder.

“Since I’ve been taking time for myself, it happens less.

“And when it happens, I accept it better and feel less guilty. Allowing myself some regular indulgences helps me avoid having too many of these cravings.

“I was too tough on myself at some point. I’m the type of person who weigh themselves to the gram.

“Now, if I’ve been wanting pizza for two days, I’m going to have the pizza.”