Nikki Glaser Candidly Recalls Years of Struggling With Anorexia and Bulimia

The 'Welcome Home Nikki Glaser?' star got candid in a new personal essay.

Nikki Glaser got personal about her years-long battle with eating disorders. The Welcome Home Nikki Glaser? star documented her journey in a personal essay published on The Cut, entitled, “It Took Me 18 Years to Eat Three Meals a Day.”  

The 37-year-old comedian opened the article by sharing her first memory “rejecting food” in the fifth grade. Glaser shared that she opted out of eating brownies that her mother made, telling her mom, “I can’t,” because she thought that’s what women said when it came to things that weren’t good for them. Glaser got candid about the extent of her eating disorder and how it really began during high school. 

“I didn’t start starving myself until high school, when I stopped doing sports my senior year and puberty kicked in and I gained a lot of weight,” she wrote. “I felt out of control about it because whenever I let myself have treats, I couldn’t stop eating. I hated myself.” 

Glaser said that at that time, a boy noticed her and she got excited about hanging out with him, so she didn’t eat. The comedian said that the next day at school, when the compliments from other students came in, it was the “best feeling.”  

“The next day at school, people noticed it. They were, like, ‘You look great. You look like you’ve lost weight.’ It felt like getting an A on a test I didn’t study for,” she wrote. “It was the best feeling. The date came and went, but I kept up the streak of not eating. I quickly became addicted to the results and positive feedback.” 

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Glaser said that’s when she became anorexic. “That’s when I caught anorexia. I say 'caught' because it was not in my control; it’s not a choice. I didn’t know how to stop dieting. Within a month, I was super-thin and super-popular. And then, a month after that, my hair was falling out and I had dry skin and mouth sores from malnutrition,” she recalled.  

She added, “I slept all day because I was hungry and just didn’t want to be alive for it. I fainted here and there. I was eventually hospitalized and then I started eating enough to convince people I was okay, that I was well enough to go to college. I just wanted to get away and go to school where I could continue to starve myself. It was the only thing I’d ever been exceptionally good at.” 

Glaser broke down the multiple stages that her disordered eating took during the adult years of her life. Glaser noted that when she started doing stand-up comedy, she got a feeling of validation and began seeking treatment. However, her anorexia then turned to bingeing -- which turned into bulimia.  

Glaser said in her late 20s, she found ways to starve all day and night. In her 30s, because of intermittent fasting, she was able to hide the fact that she wasn’t eating. Eventually, Glaser writes that her diet consisted of 12-17 protein bars. 

Finally, the reality star shared that the final part of her eating disorder came when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The comedian wrote that she moved home with her parents and entered a 12-step program. “In April, I was able to stop starving myself,” she said. “Since then, I have maintained my weight and haven’t felt out of control. I actually feel great.” 

Glaser shared that after her treatment, she set rules for herself that consist of eating when she's hungry -- and eating three meals a day. "I made rules for myself. I eat three meals a day, at least, no matter what. Anytime I’m hungry, I have to eat," she said. 

"I used to get really high off the feeling of hunger, and I do a lot of work to combat that now. There are days where I really struggle with gaining a couple pounds or my jeans’ fitting too tight. But I try to keep in mind the best thing I’ve learned: When you stop fighting it, when you stop trying to control it, your body will just be what it needs to be. It will find a balance. I never thought that giving up was the solution, but it really was for me," she wrote.

The E! star said that she has since made a lot of changes in her comedy, being more “honest.” Glaser added that she is also at a place where people can watch her eat, and she feels comfortable. So comfortable, she has her own television show. 

“Finally, I can do a reality show because I’m in a place where people can come look at my closets and my bedroom and my purse and see me eat,” she wrote. “Everything that used to be shameful I’m okay with.” 

Still, Glaser noted that she works in an industry that isn’t forgiving when it comes to a woman’s weight, but she is continuing to do the work to feel better about herself.  

“I would like to have the freedom to get any size I want and still have a career, but I don’t believe I do. We still reward women for losing weight,” she said. 

“I don’t read comments about myself anymore," she added. "I’m missing some good stuff, but I’m also missing things that would really derail my happiness. Learning to be nice to myself is a lot more than just, like, positive affirmations in the mirror. It takes so much work.” 



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