When doctors diagnosed Glennon Doyle with anorexia, she didn't believe them.

This article includes descriptions of disordered eating that may be distressing to some readers.

Glennon Doyle is opening up about her recent eating disorder diagnosis.

In a new episode of her podcast, We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle, the Untamed author and recovering bulimic shared the news that she's been diagnosed with anorexia.

"I have been alluding to it, but I didn't feel ready to talk about it," she revealed at the start of the show, which she hosts with her wife Abby Wambach and sister Amanda Doyle.

Watch Glennon Doyle tell Mia Freedman why gratitude is bad for women. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

This time last year, the author announced that she'd relapsed with her bulimia and was feeling "a bit lost about it".

Having dealt with the eating disorder her entire life, she wasn't ready to "make moves" just yet.

For 10 months, Doyle, 46, didn't get better or worse, but remained hyper-aware, knowing that she would have to seek medical help eventually. 

When she did, doctors gave her a diagnosis she wasn't expecting: anorexia nervosa. 

"[They said], 'This might be jarring but [our] diagnosis of you, based on your history and all of your medical tests, is that you are anorexic'," Doyle shared.


She didn't believe them. 

"There is no way that I could explain to you the level of bafflement, shock, denial, confusion," she recalled.

"The shift of my identity as bulimic, bulimic, bulimic... and anorexia is a totally different thing. 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 very deeply. And I did not believe it," she added.

Doyle had tipped off her Instagram followers on the day the episode dropped, sharing she would be making an announcement about her mental health.

"I'm not waiting to speak until I have my 'tada' moment because if I do, I'll never speak," she wrote in the caption.

"This year, we are going to be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyway," she added.


Doyle discussed coming to grips with the diagnosis in the episode, and said the toughest realisation was knowing she would have to get better on her own.

She told listeners about a moment in the kitchen with her wife, where Wambach said to her, "I can't do this for you."

Doyle recalled being "chilled to the bone in that moment."

"I have never felt so alone in my own body. I'm the sick one, apparently, everyone is telling me, and I am also the one who has to fix the sickness?"


The day after receiving her diagnosis, Doyle started educating herself.

"I started reading this book about what an anorexic's life looks like. 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're actually just a collection of symptoms, of an effing disease," she says.

"It was stunning to be a person whose life and work is about self-examination... and then not know this information about yourself. It's humiliating on a level."

Doyle ended the podcast by sharing that she's putting in the work to get better - for herself, her family and the community she's created.

"I am working towards being a much freer 50-year-old," she says.

"And at the risk of sounding grandiose, I am wanting to do this for me and for all of us."

For help and support for eating disorders, contact the Butterfly Foundation’s National Support line and online service on 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673).

Feature image: Instagram/@glennondoyle