Katie Couric gets candid on bulimia struggle: ‘I aspired to be thin and lanky’

Katie Couric gets candid on bulimia struggle: ‘I aspired to be thin and lanky’

Katie Couric finally has a weight lifted off her shoulders.

The broadcast journalist, 64, got very candid in her memoir, “Going There,” about how she struggled with bulimia in the 1980s.

In her book, which The Post obtained ahead of its Oct. 26 release, she detailed how she suffered from the eating disorder for seven or eight years starting when she was a teenager. In one chapter, she wrote about not getting into Smith College and feeling so dejected that she chugged baking soda and water. She then stuck her finger down her throat to make herself throw up.

The anchorwoman’s book also describes how her family took dieting seriously and how it “was a way of life” in her household. Her mother and sisters would survive on Tab soda and cottage cheese.

“Starve, cheat, binge, purge — the cycle would take years to break,” she wrote.

But decades later, Couric is learning to love her body, she told People in a profile for the book. “When I go to the doctor, I weigh myself backwards — I look out,” she said. “Sometimes I flat-out refuse. I don’t want it to ruin my day.”

Katie couric
Couric watching the congressional Iran-Contra hearings in the ’80s.
NY Daily News via Getty Images

She also reflected on memories of dieting among her family.

“I think there was an aspect of perfectionism and high achieving that was very much a part of our family, and that contributed to my discontent about my body,” she told People. “There was so much pressure on women, and dieting was so much a part of the culture.” 

“Like so many women of our generation, I aspired to be thin and lanky and all the things I’m not,” the former “Today” show anchor added. “I think back on my formative years when Twiggy was all the rage and that period of time in the ’60s. And there seemed to be an ideal body type, which was extremely thin.”

Couric got through her bulimia when she saw how bad it was for her health and for the people around her.

“I really just started to understand how dangerous it was,” she told People. “When Karen Carpenter died [of heart failure caused by years of anorexia] in 1983, it shook me to the core.” Carpenter was an acclaimed singer and drummer who was known for her hit single “Looking for Love” / “I’ll Be Yours” and was part of the music duo the Carpenters.

Karen -carpenter
Carpenter passed away in 1983 after suffering from anorexia for most of her life.
Getty Images

“I do the best I can. I think probably some of my own neuroses were channeled to them, but I try to emphasize healthy eating and taking care of yourself,” Couric continued. “Food still plays a slightly outsized role in my consciousness, but not nearly as much as it did.”

If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, you can get help. Call the National Eating Disorder Association helpline at (800) 931-2237 or visit nationaleatingdisorders.org. Or call the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders helpline at (888) 375-7767 or visit anad.org

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