On this afternoon's very special episode of daytime talk show Katie, the topic of conversation will be the struggle that women go through concerning their own body image. Although most of the program will be devoted to X Factor judge Demi Lovato discussing her issues, host Katie Couric also opens up about her own battle with eating disorders.
Between the ages of 18 and 24, the 55-year-old former host of NBC's Today and the CBS Evening News suffered with bulimia while attending the University of Virginia and beginning her television career at the ABC News bureau in Washington, DC.
"I wrestled with bulimia all through college and for two years after that," Couric reveals on the show, "And I know this rigidity, this feeling that if you eat one thing that's wrong, you're full of self-loathing and then you punish yourself, whether it's one cookie or a stick of gum that isn't sugarless, that I would sometimes beat myself up for that." Eventually, Katie overcame her troubled past with the help of a therapist and her own personal research into the effects of purging on the human body.
For her part, Lovato claims to have battled body image, bulimia, and bullying for most of her young life, beginning as a toddler. "I remember being three years old in a diaper and rubbing my hand over my stomach … and I remember thinking in my head, 'I wonder if one day this will ever be flat?'" Last year, she told Seventeen magazine about the events that led to her seeking treatment for emotional and physical issues in late 2010, "I basically had a nervous breakdown. I was really bad off. My parents and my manager pulled me aside and said, 'You need to get some help.'"
Sometimes that's all it takes. It is estimated that eight million people suffer from eating disorders.