MAY IT PLEASE THE PALATE: My daughter's turn

(I am turning over today's column to my daughter, and reprinting a recent Facebook post of hers with kind permission.)

For those who don't know, this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (#NEDAwareness, nedawareness.orgâ?¬). I want to shine some light on this very misunderstood topic, and use it as an opportunity to open up a little.

I don't really know what a "normal" relationship with food is. I've had eating disordered habits through my entire life, manifesting as anorexia, bulimia, over-exercising, severe body dysmorphia, and orthorexia. Some of you already know this about me, but for the most part I am quite secretive about this. It's a very isolating path to walk down when you have an eating disorder...There are many details of my story that I could articulate, and probably enough to encapsulate in a book someday. It's really hard to sum up in a Facebook post, but what I want to get across is this.

Having an eating disorder faces you to be with yourself everyday. What I saw as a curse for years and years is now slowly showing itself to be the biggest blessing in disguise. It's taught me that healing happens on so many layers, emotionally, physically, and intellectually. It's shown me my strength. It's literally been my biggest teacher through this life. And actually shining love on the parts of myself that I think least deserve it has been so monumental I can't even explain it. I'm always in recovery. There is no diet, medication, exercise regimen, or person that will take an eating disorder away. Sure, you can mask it. And I learned that the hard way. But one of the best decisions I ever made was to embark on this journey of self-love. And yeah, posting to a bunch of people that I'm "friends" with on this website is scary as hell for me. I've felt protected by the secrecy of anorexia for years. But it also feels so good to just jump off this cliff.

I think eating disorders are often terribly misunderstood in society, and I want to be a voice in speaking up for them. They are complex disorders that are so much more than your stereotypical bone-thin girl eating celery sticks. It hurts me when I see that being the only depiction of what they are. That's why I've set the intention of doing work to help others one day with them.

But in the meantime, if you are struggling with an eating disorder, I encourage you to talk to someone you feel safe with. I know how scary that can be. If you feel comfortable talking with me, I'd be so honored to listen to you. Seriously. I'd be happy to share more of my story with anyone who wants to know as well, but it's all way too much for a Facebook post. So much love to anyone who read to the end of this.

much love,

Liv

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Nick Roumel is a principal with Nacht & Roumel PC, a firm in Ann Arbor specializing in employment and civil right litigation. He also has many years of varied restaurant and catering experience, has taught Greek cooking classes, and writes a food/restaurant column for "Current" magazine in Ann Arbor. Follow him at @nickroumel.

Published: Tue, Mar 01, 2016

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