Anorexia / Health Issues
Brown recalled being diagnosed with narcolepsy, something she believes could be “a direct symptom of the trauma of the murder itself.” She also had a tumor the size of an egg on her pancreas at the age of 11. She wrote that she got lucky and didn’t have to have chemo following successful surgery, noting that the health scare solidified her faith in Jesus and made her “the family’s spiritual leader.”
While competing in pageants, Brown wrote that she was often told she was “so pretty” but needed to lose 10 pounds. When she was 15, she went on an extreme diet and lost 16 pounds in two weeks — eating fruit until noon then chicken and green beans for both meals along with some almonds.
“It was never healthy. You can’t get into the pageant world without hearing about girls taking water pills. There were girls that all they would eat was hard-boiled eggs, all day,” she wrote about the “the body yo-yo” of the competitions.
Looking back at her time competing for Miss Alabama USA, she wrote that she now knows she was battling anorexia, eating only one protein bar a day. “I sit at about 145 pounds when I’m healthy, and at one point I was 118,” she wrote. “I dropped from a size 4-6 to a size 00.”
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