Kari Dahlgren

Coach | Author | Advocate

feel normal around food again

9 Authentic Glennon Doyle Quotes to Inspire a Peaceful Relationship with Food

7 beloved Glennon Doyle quotes to inspire an authentic life and intuitive relationship with food

Glennon Doyle’s bestselling book, “Love Warrior,” was a big influence on what became my spiritual journey towards making peace with food. “Love Warrior” was particularly powerful to me because Glennon was so honest about her own struggles with addiction, body image, and food — all ripe and relevant topics on the path to feeling normal around food again.

What inspires me most about Glennon Doyle is her unwavering vulnerability, where she bares her soul with no apologies. Along with Pema Chodron and Geneen Roth, these soulful authors were enormous inspiration as I stepped away from dieting and embraced a more intuitive relationship with food — and myself.

The Best Glennon Doyle Quotes & How They Relate to Making Peace with Food

Along with Love Warrior, I also adore Glennon’s book, Untamed. If you want inspiration for living an unapologetically authentic life, they are great reads. While they aren’t on the topic of food and body image directly, the life lessons strongly overlap with my own psycho-spiritual approach to making peace with food.

To share the wealth of inspiration, I gathered my favorite Glennon Doyle quotes and unpacked them with insights from my own journey breaking free from yo-yo dieting and finding food freedom. I hope these quotes inspire you as much as they did me.

#1 Glennon Doyle Quote

“Sensitive… is her superpower. The opposite of sensitive is not brave. It’s not brave to refuse to pay attention, to refuse to notice, to refuse to feel and know and imagine. The opposite of sensitive is insensitive, and that’s no badge of honor.”

-Glennon Doyle, Untamed

Those who struggle with compulsive eating often have something in common: we’re sensitive. We’re sensitive to other people’s feelings (i.e. we’re people pleasers) and our own feelings, and as a result we gravitate towards food whenever there’s stress, conflict, or emotional discomfort.

Indeed, a study published in Psychological Medicine found that emotional eating increased as stress increased.[1] This is utterly unsurprising; and while it may sound like an obstacle, it’s important to acknowledge our sensitivity as a strength, too. Without our sensitivity, we also wouldn’t be as compassionate, supportive, nurturing, or brave.

#2 Glennon Doyle Quote

“This becomes my ritual. Instead of drinking, every night I shut my bedroom door and meet with the Indigo Girls. Sometimes I whirl, but usually I just lie in bed and practice feeling my feelings. The music is a safe space to practice being human… This is how I know I’m getting better: I become able to survive the beauty of music. I have accepted another one of life’s dangerous invitations: the invitation to feel.”

-Glennon Doyle, Love Warrior

In this passage from Love Warrior, I underlined “feeling my feelings” and “the invitation to feel.” They were powerful words for me back in 2016 when I first gave up dieting and had a long way to go to get back in touch with my authentic feelings.

Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t emotionless; quite the opposite: I was also experiencing the typical whirlwind of emotions that crop up with everyday life like anxiety, stress, loneliness, sadness… But I was also buffering a lot of it with food and overeating.

Feeling my feelings was new to me, and this passage from Love Warrior was one of the influences behind my Stop, Drop, & Feel®️ method for stopping compulsive eating, which asks you to drop into your emotions in the precise moment that you want to eat beyond fullness.

It’s about practicing “feeling your feelings” to develop tolerance for them. This is a powerful practice because emotional tolerance is associated with reduced compulsive eating, according to a study published in Eating Behaviors.[2] Indeed, being able to tolerate the whirlwind of everyday life undoubtedly reduced the urge to reach for a buffer like food.

#3 Glennon Doyle Quote

“I’ve never let myself trust love because I’ve never let myself trust pain. What if pain—like love—is just a place that brave people visit? What if both require presence, staying on your mat, and being still?”

-Glennon Doyle, Love Warrior

The mat Glennon is referring to is a yoga mat. I loved the section in Love Warrior where she illustrates the power of yoga, which to me was synonymous with any practice that involves sitting with yourself without distraction — much like the Stop, Drop, & Feel.

Feeling your feelings is a brave task, especially in the moments that you’re at your wits end. To feel your feelings on a good day is one thing, but to sit still with your feelings on a day where you’re utterly fed up is a demanding spiritual practice.

It involves, as Pema Chodron describes, sitting still in the middle of the fire, and the fire is a powerful teacher. Our pain and our emotions are powerful teachers, pointing us to our true North Star; to our authenticity, guiding us home.

#4 Glennon Doyle Quote

“I’m finally proud of who I am. I understand now that I’m not a mess but a deeply feeling person in a messy world. I explain that now, when someone asks me why I cry so often, I say, ‘For the same reason that I laugh so often—because I’m paying attention.’”

-Glennon Doyle, Love Warrior

Paying attention is hard. Well, paying attention to something fun and lovely is easy. But to perk up and lean in when life is hard (to reference a Pema Chodron quote amongst these Glennon Doyle quotes), that’s a spiritual practice.

I distinctly remember that when I started therapy (also in 2016, what a year) I wouldn’t feel better after a session. I’d feel worse. I’d feel exhausted, and I’d also feel all the icky emotion that we dug up lingering. My roommate at the time didn’t get it. She blatantly asked one day, “Isn’t therapy supposed to make you feel better?”

For me, the hardest life lesson I’ve had to learn — and still need to keep relearning over and over again — is that trying to feel better is a recipe for feeling worse and inauthentic. What I need to keep remembering is that, when I don’t feel great, it doesn’t mean that I’m doing life wrong. It means that I’m doing something right — feeling my authentic feelings whilst living an authentic life — and it’s just blatantly hard.

Now, I’m putting Love Warrior back on my bookshelf and pulling our Untamed for even more inspiring Glennon Doyle quotes.

#5 Glennon Doyle Quote

“I now take orders only from my own Knowing. Whether I’m presented with a work, personal, or family decision—a monumental or tiny decision—whenever uncertainty arises, I sink. I sink beneath the swirling surf of words, fear, expectations, conditioning, and advice—and feel for the Knowing. I sink a hundred times a day.”

-Glennon Doyle, Untamed

To me, ‘Knowing’ is intuition. For you, maybe the ‘Knowing’ is God, universal energy, or your inner voice. No matter what it is for you, it is your true North Star. Your Knowing is the only guiding post you need, and this is a great reminder for those of us who have been deeply conditioned to adhere to strict diets.

With 42-44% of adults actively trying to lose weight and another 23% actively try to maintain their weight — according to a study published in Obesity Reviews[3] — it’s fair to argue that the majority of us have become detached from our Knowing when it comes to food and nourishment.

To lean on your Knowing instead of a diet is a brave task. It means choosing not to diet, which also means entering territory that’s filled with uncertainty and groundlessness. For those of us who are sensitive to uncomfortable emotions, it’s a tall order.

This is precisely why I find Glennon Doyle quotes so inspiring, because they remind me that sensitivity is a strength, and that intuition trumps someone else’s rules.

#6 Glennon Doyle Quote

“Being human is not hard because you're doing it wrong, it's hard because you're doing it right.”

-Glennon Doyle, Untamed

This is another friendly reminder that life isn’t always going to feel good, and when it feels bad, it doesn’t mean something has gone horribly wrong. As a chronic “fixer” and problem solver, I need to remind myself of this often.

These Glennon Doyle quotes, and her books in general, were the influence behind a motto that I adopted: just do the next right thing. When I feel overwhelmed, I try to hone my focus on the next right thing, which is often to avoid fixing or flinging myself into compulsion.

#7 Glennon Doyle Quote

“I have lost identities, beliefs, and relationships it has hurt to lose. I have learned that when I love from my emotions, knowing, and imagination, I am always losing. What I lose is always what is no longer true enough so that I can take full hold of what is.”

-Glennon Doyle, Untamed

I’m aware that some of these Glennon Doyle quotes aren’t exactly uplifting, but they’re the truth, and that’s what I love about her. Indeed, loss is often a natural byproduct of living an authentic life, and choosing to feel your feelings on a regular basis is a prescription for nothing but.

I don’t know if this will be comforting or not, but I parted ways with two of my closest friends about halfway through my journey giving up dieting and feeling my feelings. While it certainly created pain and hurt, I also felt ready.

I was ready to step away from friendships that no longer aligned with my values. It hurt, and I was petrified that I was making an awful, irreversible mistake. But my Knowing told me that it was time.

In hindsight, it was only because I let go of those two relationships that I created the necessary empty space in my life for Ian, my soon-to-be husband, to come into the picture. I firmly believe that if I had remained afraid of feeling lonely, I would have never made those courageous decisions, and I would have never found the love of my life.

Sometimes, it takes loss to create the empty space necessary for something new to manifest.

#8 Glennon Doyle Quote

“It’s okay to feel all of the stuff you’re feeling. You’re just becoming human again. You’re not doing life wrong; you’re doing it right. If there’s any secret you’re missing, it’s that doing it right is just really hard. Feeling all your feelings is hard, but that’s what they’re for. Feelings are for feeling. All of them. Even the hard ones. The secret is that you’re doing it right, and that doing it right hurts sometimes.”

-Glennon Doyle, Untamed

In Untamed, Glennon Doyle encourages us to embrace our full spectrum of emotions as a fundamental aspect of being human. She reassures us that the difficulties we face when we allow ourselves to truly feel are not signs of failure but are, in fact, evidence of our authenticity.

This quote deeply resonates with my own experiences on my journey towards a healthier relationship with food. Embracing the discomfort of emotions like loneliness or sadness without turning to food has been one of the hardest but most rewarding challenges.

Learning to sit with these feelings, to really feel them, has been a crucial step in breaking free from the cycle of emotional eating. It’s a daily practice of choosing authenticity over avoidance, pain over numbness.

#9 Glennon Doyle Quote

“This life is mine alone. So I have stopped asking people for directions to places they’ve never been.”

-Glennon Doyle, Untamed

This Glennon Doyle quote is a powerful reminder that we each must navigate our unique journey, guided by our internal compass, not by maps drawn by others. Of course, I’m referring to diet maps here, as giving up dieting is an essential requisite for finding food freedom; but an authentic life also involves ditching all the maps and making your own.

I am certain that my pursuit of an authentic life was the catalyst for me to leave my day job and embark on a full-time self-employment journey. This shift would not have been conceivable without the clarity I gained around my own values and vision—a clarity that emerged from deeply engaging with my authentic feelings.

Embracing Authenticity with Inspiring Glennon Doyle Quotes

I hope you find inspiration in these Glennon Doyle quotes, whether you’re seeking peace with food or simply wanting to understand this messy, magnificent life. (Side note: This Messy, Magnificent Life is a Geneen Roth title, and it’s also a good read).

Glennon Doyle’s words in Love Warrior and Untamed remind us that authenticity, sensitivity, and the courage to feel our feelings are not just paths to personal freedom, but also to profound healing. As you embrace the lessons from these Glennon Doyle quotes, I hope they remind you that the struggle isn’t an indicator of failure, but a sign of your commitment to living truthfully.

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2 thoughts on "9 Authentic Glennon Doyle Quotes to Inspire a Peaceful Relationship with Food"

  1. Jenifer Smallsays:

    Glennon Doyle is a powerhouse. These quotes are on the nose, Kari. It’s hard to choose a favorite but I’m going with #4. Paying attention to life is the only way, in my opinion, and of course it follows that more of the dirt will surface.

    Do you know the book Bittersweet by Susan Caine? In it she beautifully describes how the best things in life all contain a seed of sadness—a snitch of bitter with the sweet. And it is precisely this coexistence that makes the sweet such a treasure.

    These quotes are a wonderful reminder to sink into our feelings. If GD does it 100 times a day I’m fairly sure I can learn to do it half a dozen lol.

    (BTW congratulations! I’m happy for you!)

    1. Kari Dahlgrensays:

      Hi Jenifer! I’m so glad you liked this one! I had a lot of fun pulling out my books and flipping back to the dog-eared pages 🙂 and I can’t believe you mentioned the book Bittersweet because I purchased it but have not yet cracked it open!! I sure will now, knowing it’s a favorite of yours. Wow, how the stars align with you and I and our book recommendations. Also, I think dropping in 100 times a day is an enormously beautiful and demanding task. I tip my hat to GD. If I can do it just once a day, I count it as a win 🙂

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