10 December 2013

Review: Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi

Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi
Release Date: November 1, 2010
Number of Pages: 320
Synopsis: "I didn't decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . ."

Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.

In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn't enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.

Even as she rose to fame as a cast member of the hit television shows Ally McBeal and Arrested Development, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, all the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner. With the storytelling skills of a great novelist and the eye for detail of a poet, Portia makes transparent as never before the behaviors and emotions of someone living with an eating disorder.

From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love with and eventually marrying Ellen DeGeneres, and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and women's health issues.

In this remarkable and beautifully written work, Portia shines a bright light on a dark subject. A crucial book for all those who might sometimes feel at war with themselves or their bodies, Unbearable Lightness is a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.

My Review:
I bought Unbearable Lightness by Portia De Rossi from the Used Book Superstore and this is my honest review.

When I bought this book I could not wait to dig in because well to be honest what drew me to the book was that it was written by Ellen DeGeneres’ wife. Now I know that probably sounds awful that I only bought it because of Ellen but I am very grateful that I did ended up picking it up no matter what the reason because the story within the pages was beautiful and inspiring. 

To start of let me make it clear that I am not Anorexic or Bulimic nor have I ever been, but reading about the struggles that Portia went through and seeing the struggle that plenty of other women go through with those diseases is definitely an inspiration. Reading through the story of Portia’s disease made me feel better about myself and I did not even realize it until I was done reading. I realized that I was grateful for my body and that I do not have an eating disorder because I know a lot of teenagers and young women do struggle with this problem.

I really admire Portia a lot because many people have a hard time sharing the stories of their past to their families let alone write a book for everyone in the world to read. The fact that she shows so much strength to tell her story and to let people know how hard living with an eating disorder is was just amazing. I would definitely recommend anybody whose struggling with this disease or even anybody whose unhappy with their body to read this book because it will definitely change how you view yourself. 

I can honestly say that after reading this like I said above I look at myself differently. I used to look at myself and think yeah I am an over weight teenager who should probably start working out, and yes I should probably exercise more to achieve a better bill of health but I see myself as healthy right now because I am not too skinny and I am not obese I’m at a good point in my life and reading Portia’s story really helped me to see that.

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