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Author Glennon Doyle reveals diagnosis of anorexia

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Glennon Doyle opens up about his diagnosis of anorexia nervosa.

On the latest episode of her podcast, “We Can Do Hard Things,” the “Untamed” bestselling author, who battled bulimia nearly two decades ago, told listeners she was stunned by the diagnostic.

“There’s no way I can explain to you the level of bewilderment, shock, denial, confusion,” said Doyle, who co-hosts the podcast with his wife, former soccer star Abby Wambach. , and his sister, Amanda Doyle.

Anorexia nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by abnormally low body weight, intense fear of weight gain, and distorted perception of weight, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Doyle, 46, said she sought help from a doctor because she had relapsed on her bulimia journey and wanted to learn “how to get these relapses of my bulimia under control so that I can be less scared and freer and not in danger”.

However, after the doctor assessed Doyle and reviewed his medical history, the doctor determined that Doyle did in fact have anorexia.

At first, Doyle didn’t believe the diagnosis, in part because she had identified as bulimic for so long. “Anorexia is a totally different thing,” she said. “It’s like a different religion. It’s a different identity. It’s a different threat. It’s a different way of thinking. It’s so confusing, and it shook me to my core. And I don’t didn’t believe it.”

“I was like, ‘That’s just wrong,'” she added.


Glennon Doyle and Abby Wambach at the 2022 Human Rights Campaign Gala Dinner.
Glennon Doyle, left, with his wife Abby Wambach in 2022.Taylor Hill/Film Magic

When the doctor finished explaining Doyle’s diagnosis, Doyle recalled responding, “I don’t think I’m anorexic. I know people who have anorexia. I’ve seen what anorexia looks like. I haven’t don’t feel like you look anorexic.”

“And the doctor said, ‘That’s a very anorexic reaction to have. “”

After the doctor assured Doyle that she had performed a thorough evaluation as well as all the necessary medical tests, Doyle stopped resisting the diagnosis.

When Doyle arrived home, she and Wambach shared a moment in their kitchen when Wambach explained to Doyle that she couldn’t do the healing work for her. Doyle should find the strength to heal himself.

“It was a hard thing for me to say,” Wambach recalled, adding, “I had to say it — it had to be out loud — because you had to completely own this process.”

That difficult love moment, Doyle recalls, left her “chilled”.

“I have never felt so alone on my own body. I am the patient, everyone tells me so, and it is also me who must treat the disease?” she thought.

Once Doyle began educating herself and reading books about anorexia, she was shocked at how well she could identify anorexic behavior in herself. “I don’t know how to explain the feeling of reading things that you thought were part of your personality and who you were, and reading that they are actually just a set of symptoms of a scary disease.”

“It’s humiliating on some level,” she added.

Doyle told listeners she was still learning and healing – something she should have done years ago when she believed she had recovered from bulimia. Instead, she says, she “resolved my bulimia with anorexia.”

“I never, not once, went back and really understood what happened to me. … I didn’t dig around. I didn’t look at things. I didn’t do the work. … Instead, I just used control, discipline and willpower to crush my bulimia,” she recalled.

“I feel like bulimia is like being an animal, and then I fixed it by becoming like a robot,” she said.

Doyle teased the tell-all podcast episode on her Instagram on Jan. 3 by sharing a video of herself telling her followers that the episode covers “a new mental health diagnosis” she had received.

Doyle added that she made the decision to speak out about the diagnosis now, when she was in the ‘messy middle’, rather than waiting for her life to be ‘beautiful and bright’ again so she could help others.


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