Katie Couric Says She Hasn't Done This One Thing in 5 Years
The former Today anchor explains why she ditched this everyday habit.
Even when Katie Couric appeared to be thriving as a young woman, she was battling a personal struggle: an eating disorder. The iconic journalist and former anchor of the Today show is now opening up about the extent of that battle in her much-anticipated new memoir, Going There, which comes out on Oct. 26. Read on to find out what shook her "to the core" amid her eating disorder, and the trigger she's avoided for five years as a result.
Katie Couric battled an eating disorder for years.
As part of the media blitz surrounding her book's promotion, Couric discussed her past eating disorder with People, noting that her obsession with her weight started at an early age and it only snowballed from there. Eventually, she "wrestled with bulimia all through college and for two years after that."
"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," Couric told People. "There was so much pressure on women, and dieting was so much a part of the culture. Having older sisters and watching them kind of subsist on Tab and cottage cheese. I remember after college I said, 'I've lost 10 pounds.' and my sister said, 'Keep going!'"
By the '80s, Couric was aware of her eating disorder. That's when she started to focus on getting well and changing her mindset. "I really just started to understand how dangerous it was. When Karen Carpenter died [as a result of anorexia] in 1983, it shook me to the core," she said.
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Couric doesn't weigh herself after recovering from her eating disorder.
These days, Couric says food still "plays a slightly outsized role in my consciousness, but not nearly as much as it did." (In fact, she indulges a "weakness" for chocolate chip cookies.) Still, weight can be triggering, so she's careful to avoid the scale.
"I haven't gotten on a scale in five years," she told People. "And when I go to the doctor, I weigh myself backwards—I look out. Sometimes I flat-out refuse. I don't want it to ruin my day."
She's also careful to model body positivity for her two adult daughters as much as possible. "I do the best I can," she said. "I think probably some of my own neuroses were channeled to them, but I try to emphasize healthy eating and taking care of yourself."
The former anchor also revealed the real reason she left the Today show.
Couric's eating disorder is far from the only reveal to come out of her new book. In it, she also shares that she left the Today show because she worried that some of its sillier elements were damaging her career—and her ability to be taken seriously as a journalist.
"I longed to be respected for my journalistic chops, and although I'd done many serious interviews in the morning, the fun stuff, which I had a blast doing—like flying across the plaza dressed as Peter Pan while flinging phosphorescent confetti, fulfilling my dream of being a backup singer for Darlene Love, hurling myself onto a Velcro wall—was what people remembered," she writes, as excerpted in Page Six.
Couric's book shocked former Today anchor Deborah Norville.
Couric also writes in her book that former Today host Deborah Norville, whom Couric replaced in 1991, was the source of "residual bad feelings," and that she had a "major relatability problem" as well as a "relentless perfectionism" that viewers didn't like.
In response to Couric's portrayal of her character and the events of the time, Norville told the New York Post, "I'm really too stunned and, frankly, hurt to comment."