Presenter Katie Couric has made the emotional confession that she suffered from bulimia during her late teens until her early 20s on a TV special about eating disorders.
'I wrestled with bulimia all through college and for two years after that,' she said, describing the guilt she felt at eating a single cookie or chewing a stick of gum that wasn't sugar-free.
But the bulk of the show was devoted to her guests, who included experts on the subject as well as its sufferers, notably singer and new 'X Factor' judge Demi Lovato.
During the hour, Couric said little more about her experience, which she had never before made public.
'I kind of hesitated to even bring it up,' The 55-year-old host said after the taping. 'But I felt that if I expect people on my show to be honest, then, when relevant, I owe it to people watching to be honest myself.
'I wanted to focus on my guests,' she said, 'while acknowledging one of the reasons this issue is so important to me: I went through it.'
It's all part of a balance Couric is striving for on her new syndicated daytime show, Katie, between sharing her experiences and turning her show into a personal confessional.
After breaking her silence on the programme, the seasoned news anchor and newly-minted chat show host shared details about the illness that first plagued her as a senior at Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia with the Associated PressIt began, she said, when she learned she had been turned down by the college she most wanted to attend.
Couric was a likely candidate for an eating disorder.
'Like a lot of young women, I was struggling with my body image,' she said, 'and feeling like I wasn't good enough or attractive enough or thin enough.'
She termed her figure at the time as 'curvy,' and not the cultural ideal, which she identified as 'five-foot-eight and weighing 115 pounds. It can be so difficult to embrace the body that you have if it doesn't fit with the ideal. Women get praised for being super-thin, so you keep striving to be that way.'
She said her disorder 'ebbed and flowed' through the years.
Some periods were worse than others, when I was binging and purging a lot,' she said. 'I'd have a piece of gum that wasn't sugarless and then say, 'Oh! I've been bad,' and then feel so terrible that I would eat and throw up. It was awful.
'But what I'm describing is something so many people have gone through or are going through,' she noted, 'and it's so damaging, both psychically and physically.'
Couric attended the University of Virginia, then landed her first job at the ABC News bureau in Washington, D.C. And even then, she was waging a battle with food.
With the help of a therapist, she had a grip on her condition by her early 20s, though 'it didn't mean that I didn't still have issues and feel bad about myself.'
But since then, she said, 'I've learned how to have a much healthier relationship with food, and how to enjoy my life without obsessing about food.'
She said she was glad she had shared with viewers her ordeal with bulimia, 'because it's so commonplace.'
'If we're talking about dating over 50, I might say what my attitude is about it. I'm not going to talk about the date I had the night before.
'I want to talk about my own experiences, but I don't want to over share.'
But it would appear she believes the discussion about eating disorders is too important for her not to contribute her own experiences.
Her revelations came as she talked with Demi Lovato, 20, who has opened up about her battles with eating disorders and her emotional problems.
The former Disney star previously said during an interview on ITV1's Lorraine: 'I feel as if television and movies are now glorifying an unhealthy body image which puts a lot of pressure on young girls - and especially girls that are growing up and trying to find themselves.
'A lot of girls who are young are insecure, and they look to the media and what they see in magazines and everything else to see what they should look like.
'And I think that the film industry and the television industry should take more responsibility.'
Demi was admitted to a US rehabilitation facility at the end of 2010 after seeking treatment for bulimia, as well as other 'emotional and physical issues'.
The anchor woman turned daytime talk show host has recently gone public with the fact she is dating financier John Molner, 49, after splitting from longtime boyfriend Brooks Perlin, who was 17 years her junior.
The star has said she would like to re-marry after her first husband Jay Monahan died of colon cancer aged just 42 in 1998.
Mr Molner is the head of mergers and acquisitions at investment bank and securities firm Brown Brothers Harriman and is believed to have been dating Couric for several months.
So far Ms Couric has already welcomed famous faces such as Jennifer Lopez, Sheryl Crow and Jessica Simpson on her programme.
All have opened up about their personal difficulties, including divorce , brain tumours and childbirth.
Her talk show began with great fanfare after she secured first interviews with flesh-eating victim Aimee Copeland and Amanda Knox's former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.
It was his first-ever U.S. interview since being acquitted of murder last year.
Today was not the first time Couric has let the public in on a personal ordeal. Her audience shared her pain from the death of her husband, Jay Monahan, of colon cancer in 1998. The tragedy led Couric, then a co-anchor of 'Today,' to become an advocate for colon cancer awareness and for colonoscopies. In 2000, she underwent a colonoscopy on the air.
'The educational aspect far outweighed any personal embarrassment I might have felt,' she explained. 'I had just lost my husband at 42 to this No. 2 cancer killer of men and women. I had a bully pulpit from which I could implore people to take steps that could potentially save their lives. It was a no-brainer.'
In the future, viewers of 'Katie' can expect her to confide in them again when it feels right.
'I don't think there are any huge revelations about myself that need to be shared or would be appropriate to share,' she said. 'But I'm trying to strike the right balance of talking about my situation, but not focusing on it so much that I'm being put on the couch.'
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2207735/Katie-Couric-claims-DIDNT-reveal-year-battle-bulimia.html#ixzz27QUmuWwk
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