Ask Brandi Jo: My daughter struggles with food.

I had a mom ask me for help and guidance of how to talk to and help her daughter who is 13 and going through anorexia! This hit home for me, cause at the age of 13, I battled this horrible disease for two years and almost died from it.
 Mine started because I had switched schools with my best friend. We started 7th grade together. That is a hard grade for many girls. My best friend became instantly popular and I became the odd one out. I had no friends and my self esteem was non existant. I was trying to find out who I really was, my mom and I started having those teen age issues. My life felt out of control, the only thing I could control was food. That is how this horrible disease took over. I lived in darkeness. I was slowly killing myself and my weight dropped to 87lbs at 5 foot 7.

I could not see myself like others saw me. When my parents would make me eat, I would get creative and hide food. After two years of trying several different counselers and treatments, my parents decided to pull me out of that Junior High school, which was a blessing. The school was harming me by allowing girls to keep on bullying new girls, like me. The summer I was fixing to start 9th grade, I decided to start eating, but another monster came into my life, Bulimia. That will be another blog post.

For the mom whose daughter is struggling like I did, here is my biggest advice.

 Please give your daughter grace. She can’t see how she really looks like. The anorexic mind is chemically altered due to lack of nutrition. Don’t force her to eat. It will only push her further into the darkness of the disease. 
Let her be heard. Ask her what she needs and really listen to her. It might hurt to hear what her pain is in life, but really listen.
Have her go through my steps and I will even do them with her. I know my Crowning Confidence program can help her.
I also recommend to let me help you both find a Celebrate Recovery class for her age group called the Landing. It will really help and get to the root of the issue, cause honestly it is not about food, it is about her feelings.
I would recommend having her get a physical and seeing a professional family counseler.

This disease can be cured! There is hope. I am here for you both always. I know what it is like in every way!

Don’t lose hope!

Brandi Jo Middleton


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