Unbearable Lightness

Unbearable Lightness 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 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 DyingIn 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 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 PointEven 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 DisorderFrom 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 IssuesIn 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

Portia Lee James DeGeneres, known professionally as Portia de Rossi, is an Australian actress, best known for her roles as lawyer Nelle Porter on the television series Ally McBeal and Lindsay Bluth F nke on the sitcom Arrested Development She also portrayed Veronica Palmer on the ABC sitcom Better Off Ted.Portia is married to

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  • Paperback
  • 320 pages
  • Unbearable Lightness
  • Portia de Rossi
  • English
  • 17 October 2019
  • 9781439177808

10 thoughts on “Unbearable Lightness

  1. says:

    My favorite part was eight pages in, when she indulges in too much yogurt, freaks out, and starts doing lunges to make up for it I start sobbing now as I lunge my way across the floor and I wonder how many calories I m burning by sobbing Sobbing and lunging it s got to be at least 30 calories It crosses my mind to vocalize my thoughts of self loathing because speaking the thoughts that fuel the sobs would have to burn calories than just thinking the thoughts I ve read seen a number of stories about eating disorders, and no one has ever gone so deep into the little nooks and crannies of her particular brand of crazy as Portia de Rossi.I was both appalled and in awe Her story is emotional and terrifying.But the book has major problems She acts completely and totally fucking insane for 275 pages then tacks on a 30 page epilogue to summarize her recovery That doesn t make sense to me She gives us all the nitty gritty, down and dirty details of her eating disorder then glosses over her journey back to health Her journey back to health is the whole point Without that, this book might as well be a how to guide.

  2. says:

    Opening Line He doesn t wait until I m awake He comes into my unconscious to find me, to pull me out I knew almost nothing about Portia De Rossi before reading her gripping biography Sure I d seen her years ago on Ally McBeal I knew she was beautiful, I knew she was married to Ellen DeGeneres and I had just assumed she was another perfect movie star living the dream with a life to be envious of This is so not the case here Unbearable Lightness is brutal, scary, well written and shocking in its honesty, chronicling Portia s almost lifelong struggle with an eating disorder We bare witness as she yo yo diets through the ages of 12 25 binging and purging, basing her happiness on the number on the scale Then finally with the help of a nutritionist we watch as Portia becomes successful at dieting Starving and excessively excising her way down to 82 lbs Sad, frightening, tortuous and just plain crazy, this was engrossing yet at times painful to read.We are given some insight into Portia s life however this does not read like your standard memoir, focusing almost exclusively on her eating disorder and shying away from any real understanding of her career or personal relationships In a vague sense we learn of Portia s childhood in Australia, her early modeling days, first marriage in Los Angeles and almost invisible, worthless feelings associated with Ally McBeal The only behind the scenes we get there are regarding her fittings and the size of her power suits Portia s sexuality is discussed but again vaguely, mainly it s as a fear of being exposed and her confusion living life as a closeted gay woman Throughout we get the feeling that Portia doesn t feel she deserves anything, to say she has low self esteem would be an understatement, she has no self esteem She is lonely, obsessed with food and calorie counting and her only real relationship is with her treadmill Basing any happiness on losing weight, because everything will be perfect if she can just lose 5 10 15 lbs As a warning at the height of her disease this begins to read a bit like a how to guide for the anorexic and I would bare this in mind if you re at all going to be using this book as a form of recovery tool During one Christmas Portia hits her lowest weight At 82 lbs she s consuming just 300 calories a day She knows she s too thin, she s hiding her bony arms and her family is crying at the sight of her however she no longer knows how to eat, food scares her and she s afraid of going back to the binging purging and self hatred.Eventually on a movie set DeRossi s body can longer take the abuse she s sick, exhausted and her bones ache She has also developed osteoporosis and lupus and has to start eating Portia s recovery process here is insightful, uplifting and beautifully done and I really wish her the best CheersThis was the scariest passage for me I hadn t eaten for many hours and my calorie count was fairly low that day, I would allow myself to have a piece of Extra chewing gum I always allowed myself to have gum, but at 5 calories a stick, I had to add it to my daily calorie allowance because it was these kinds of unrecorded calories that could build up and cause you to gain weight Portia proceeds to pig out in a self described frenzied feeding Consuming the entire pack of gum in a matter of minutes Then filled with guilt over what she s done and terrified she ll gain weight again she begins running sprints in high heels across the mall parking lot, in a desperate attempt to rid her body of the calories from the gum and maintain control.

  3. says:

    Before I begin my review of this book, I want to share the story of the first and last time I forced myself to throw up While this doesn t relate exactly to Unbearable Lightness, it sheds light on why I empathize so much with Portia De Rossi and what she went through Skip down a few paragraphs if you wish.In my first few years of adolescence, I always felt lost I was born gay in a society where the word faggot is tossed around like footballs are thrown on Sunday, born homosexual in a world where my own mother prefers me dead than happy with a man I couldn t change any of this all I thought I could do was struggle through school and maybe make a friend or two.Couple that with the need to be above average Getting good grades wasn t satisfying enough, so I controlled and obsessed about the simplest, most natural thing my body Society couldn t make a law about being too skinny or too fat I was never dangerously underweight, but I loved to teeter at the edge At the edge, I felt accomplished, not average Here s a quote from the book where she discusses average Average It was the worst, most disgusting word in the English language Nothing meaningful or worthwhile ever came from that word An average person doesn t cure cancer, win Olympic medals, or become a movie star What kind of a boring, uninspired life was I going to live if I was thought of as average in any category My brother could not have levied a greater insult than calling me average with the exception of normal, ordinary, and mediocre But I stopped Like Portia, I found other ways to express my emotions and take control of my surroundings Part of this was due to when I forced myself to throw up with two fingers down my throat I don t recall the circumstances of the incident too well, but I remember the horrid pain the pounding sensation beating across my skull, and the feeling of acid burning in my mouth Of course transition from unhealthy to healthy was a gradual process that involved much self discovery than just that, but that s one moment I can clearly recall.My struggle isn t even an eighth of what De Rossi went through in Unbearable Lightness In the book, she details her draining yo yo diet, her multiple episodes of binging and bulimia, and how she nearly lost it all after whittling herself down to a mere 82 pounds Her struggle to meet the expectations placed upon her by herself and her Hollywood circle was horrifying thankfully, she also shares the story of her uplifting recovery, and her heartwarming romance with Ellen DeGeneres.De Rossi s writing wasn t perfect A better editor could have eliminated the few typos and unattractive sentences I saw But none of that mattered, because her honesty and how she made her sickening struggle relatable won me over I cringed, I sighed, and I nearly cried in the middle of a shoe store She can actually write pretty well, as there are several powerful quotes I noted while reading Here s one that describes her insecurity and her distrust during her battle with anorexia All the words Ann used were euphemisms for fat Normal just meant that I was fat Since when did anyone ever go to the doctor s and feel good about being in the weight range that s considered normal A normal size for women in this country is a size 12 Models aren t normal Actresses aren t normal She may as well have told me that I d just embarrassed myself in front of 15 million people I suppose the real reason I love this book is because I can empathize with it so much Ellen was right when she said that it would help a lot of people No, I don t know what it s like to keep track of every calorie I eat or to starve myself to the point of collapse But it s wonderful to know that someone else someone successful, gay, and happily married survived it all and is still doing much review cross posted on my blog, the quiet voice.

  4. says:

    i wish i knew the conditions of the publishing of this book it is so obvious that the book could have been much, much better with just some editing even just some basic copy editing would have made a difference the hand of a loving editor could have made it so much stronger, it s a real shame this hand wasn t given much, or any, play the first part, which is focused on portia s bingeing, is sloppy the second part, where she describes the time in her life when she got a grip on the bingeing and began the serious process of being a bone fide anorexic, is fascinating and heart rending portia represents very well the interdependence of control, lack of control, self deception, compulsion, obsession and self hatred that make this condition so damn difficult to heal she also hints, maybe unwillingly, to some of the dynamics that took her to her massive lack of self confidence and her tremendous self hatred at some point, in one brief passage, she fingers her father as the obvious culprit, but the book makes abundantly clear that the relation between portia and her mother is not a little problematic the second part, therefore, is the best and most readable i think one could simply skip the first and start there this is not to say it could not have used editing, too at the end of the day, it s just remarkable that this book got written it must have been tough in spite of her obvious weaknesses, this woman is a marvel of strength, talent, and resilience i don t know many people who can go through complete subjugation to a deathly eating disorder while keeping down a high visibility job, survive and manage to create meaningful relationships, and sit down to write a 300 page book about it all just wow i read this because i was wondering whether to teach it it s a good representation of what an eating disorder is, but ultimately, in spite of portia s best efforts, it still proclaims the gospel of thinness i like that portia points out that all of us have a basic weight we ll naturally gravitate around if things are pretty decent for us and we don t eat crazily, but i am sorry she didn t say that, for some people, this weight is not 130 lb for some people it s 180 lb, and that s okay too i wish she had said this we owe so much to ellen she kicked down a glass closet that was literally killing women i am happy that portia and ellen found each other maybe i will teach the second half of this book i m not sure i ll teach the epilogue, though i want kids to feel okay about being heavier than 130 lb.

  5. says:

    Update to give another star, now that I ve finished it.The book could have used a little better editing, but the writing is intelligent Writing level is not the point, here, though The goal was not literature, but to send a message, and this she accomplishes very well.It was, to me, a very powerful book and something I really strongly feel should be read by anyone going through a diet or appearance struggle Especially the end of the book and epilogue If you skim everything else, at least sit yourself down and read that part carefully There were parts of the book itself that had me a little emotional, but the way the narrative closed choked me up I had wondered that she d chosen not to add pictures to the text, but I felt that her overlying message is that chasing appearances is a fool s errand There are pictures, however, and the way she chooses to employ images here, is wonderfully intelligent i.e don t flip ahead.There are threeno, fourthings I took away from this.I think any adult can make the realization that the glamor of Hollywood life is a facade that thinly stretches over, and doesn t very well cover, the bones of big business Looking at celebrity rags and gossip, it is good to remember that each person is just a person who is working at a career and that career hinges on presenting the appearance of perfection, regardless of the state of what lies beneath This should have long been obvious with Marilyn, but often needs reiterating We perpetuate the creation of a myth, to afford ourselves conversation, escape, and entertainment.While I support the concept of entertainment, culture, and escape I do not support the idea of taking the actor actress model celebrity out of their career and deifying them as perfection, or tearing them down for their imperfections I think Brittany Murphy s death brought me a little further around on this perspective, as I d hated her as an actress and didn t like to see her on screen, then found myself humbled to discover much about her after her death that made me sympathize, empathize and understand a little better I realized I was judging instead of really seeing, and it made me step back and reconsider my reactions and thoughts on any celebrity I also believe that jerks should not be glorified for the sake of their celebrity status, despite their misdeeds Just to clarify Portia s book peels back the facade again to remind us that under the cardboard, there s rot I long ago realized that, instead of feeling jealous and bitter that I hadn t done anything exciting or fantastic enough to become famous, celebrity is of a burden than it is a blessing rather than dismissing the sour grapes out of bitterness, I can pass them over with relief that, thank god, that is not a life I have to live.It s an interesting perspective shift, if not exactly a huge epiphany I m sure many others are much further along in their personal growth than I am, but I was gratified to experience that insight instead of craving a life that would not suit me, or attempting to live vicariously through someone else.So there s that.I ve been dieting for a year now, watching my weight, and worrying and stressing over what I eat, how I plan my meals and trying to be very careful in my habits I understood and related too well to what she expressed about having to adhere to her routine come hell or high water, and the threat to that routine being very anxiety inducing I understand the thrill of feeling powerful when you meet a weight goal, like you ve unpeeled some new layer to a new you underneath I ve said repeatedly that I couldn t wait to see who I am at the end of my journey, and I realize now this is an unhealthy way to think.I also understand the fear of eating one thing and thinking it will cause an unstoppable downward spiral I never want to weigh 205 pounds again I am horrified and terrified of returning to that place and vehement about preventing it Reading this, I could see she d taken many good weight loss strategies and ideas and had turned them self destructive in taking them totally over the top You follow along the gradual slide downhill as she fine tunes those things to the point they become ridiculous and crazy While I was sitting there reading and amazed as she did various nutty things, I could easily see how it could happen I understand and relate to anxiety instigating absurd behavior that is not immediately obvious to the driver but clear to everyone else around them I can t say how many times I ve done something completely wacky, in the midst of an anxiety attack, that seemed totally normal at the time.Her message of disordered vs ordered eating therefore was a sharp reminder to me to re visit my motivations for my own weight loss, and to take a closer look at the healthy and unhealthy thoughts and ideas behind it I think that there are a good number of things that I am doing that are positive I think I have a healthy goal, but, it bears examination I really liked her points on the concept of diet and exercise being almost blasphemy in her head, now, and that instead there are activities that nurture our spirit AND body that we can partake in that help maintain healthy weights rather than pushing ourselves to perform an action mindlessly and solely for the sake of weight loss It makes me better able to separate what I am doing that is actively helping me in my own quest for self acceptance and happiness, vs those things that are simply mindless tasks that I would have to force myself to do, and would not, ultimately, find very rewarding I loved her insight that the most rewarding exercise for her was to take up something that required her to learn a skill, so her focus was on getting better at that skill vs just getting thinner Ah, there s the key Aim for growth, not detraction Build the positive, rather than focusing on the negative I read that and thought good girl because, it is an intelligent way to choose to live your life, regardless of who you are, where you re from, or what your circumstances.I read her message about her sexuality, and her attempt to fit into a mold She comments that she wasn t butch or feminine, but somewhere in between, and was as much an oddball in the gay world as she was in the straight Trying to fit one mold or the other was disingenuous and unhealthy both to herself and the person on the other side of a relationship I understand this very well I have always been in that in between place between masculine and feminine Not a total tomboy, definitely not an ultra feminine girl Trying to fit into either mold in my life has left me awkward and confused, rather than at ease in my own skin While I ve known logically the truth in what she says, and have been striving to better fit into my own sense of self, reading it struck a chord relaxed something I d hidden away within It was nice to read the words of someone who has had the same issue, confronted it and resolved it I don t look at Portia de Rossi and see a stereotype, and so, in my secret heart of hearts, I m happy to know that I could stand apart from them, myself, with the personal commitment to not let myself fall for the idea that I must be pigeonholed into a category I think many of us secretly seek out categories within which to define ourselves, as a mis guided attempt at finding a society to belong to We join a club, or participate in a group, hoping to be one of that group and belong, only to find we don t quite fit that mold We agonize when we don t fit in with others, not realizing we are seeking a common ground and simple communion with fellow humans.Rather than having the strength of mind and self esteem to define our own guidelines and terms for identity, which, counter to our fears about such things, ultimately DRAWS what you desire to you, we agonize over the detracting qualities or lack of some THING that we should have to fit And issues like this arise, self esteem flounders, and we struggle, instead of blossoming into the freedom of accepting who we are and loving ourselves as is Her message is not just about acceptance, but to stop chasing after it As long as you re running after something else, you can t stop, breathe, relax, and let everything catch up to you And it certainly does, in time There s no point in mourning the fact that I didn t realize this years ago It is better late than never, and I m thankful this book sparked my curiosity to read it and bring those realizations about I assume that this is exactly what she hoped for in sharing her struggle.So, mission accomplished Good book Might not be 5 stars for someone else, but it is for me.

  6. says:

    I hope I can do justice to this book in my review If you read the Goodreads blurb, you already know what the book is about, so, I ll restrict my comments to my own thoughts, and feelings.This is not your usual memoir by someone who used to be anoxeric She s not an immature teenager, she s an intelligent, introspective adult woman She writes with skill, drawing you into her world, making you see and feel what she saw and felt.As Portia walked us through her life she not only made it crystal clear how distorted an anoxeric s self perception truly is, she has also shown us how ANY eating disorder makes a person feel Whether you re eating too little or too much Either way, your concept of your life in relation to food isn t based in reality, isn t logical, and is so compulsive you can t see the error of your ways You just keep on doing all the wrong things, thinking all the distorted thoughts, and eating in all the wrong ways, day after day after day year after year The seemingly endless conversations with yourself about food is enough to send anyone round the bend It never ends because you are always talking to yourself inside your head about food.I m going to include an excerpt here, and then I ll continue with my comments after you ve read Portia s words It s time to face last night It was yogurt night, when I get my yogurt ready for the week It s a dangerous night because there s always a chance of disaster when I allow myself to handle a lot of food at one time But I had no indication that I was going to be in danger I had eaten my 60 calorie portion of tuna normally, using chopsticks and allowing each bite of canned fish to be only the height and width of the tips of the chopsticks themselves After dinner, I smoked cigarettes to allow myself the time I needed to digest the tuna properly and to feel the sensation of fullness I went to the kitchen feeling no anxiety as I took out the tools I needed to perform the weekly operation the kitchen scale, eight small plastic containers, one blue mixing bowl, Splenda, my measuring spoon, and my fork I took the plain yogurt out of the fridge and, using the kitchen scale, divided it among the plastic containers adding one half teaspoon of Splenda to each portion When I was satisfied that each portion weighed exactly two ounces, I then strategically hid the containers in the top section of the freezer behind ice crusted plastic bags of old frozen vegetables so the yogurt wouldn t be the first thing I saw when I opened the freezer door.Nothing abnormal so far.With that, I went back to the sofa and allowed some time to pass I knew that the thirty minutes it takes for the yogurt to reach the perfect consistency of a Dairy Queen wasn t up, and that checking in on it was an abnormality, but that s exactly what I did I walked into the kitchen, I opened the freezer, and I looked at it And I didn t just look at the portion I was supposed to eat I looked at all of it.I slammed the freezer door shut and went back to the living room I sat on the dark green vinyl sofa facing the kitchen and smoked four cigarettes in a row to try to take away the urge for that icy cold sweetness, because only when I stopped wanting it would I allow myself to have it I didn t take my eyes off the freezer the whole time I sat smoking, just in case my mind had tricked me into thinking I was smoking when I was actually at that freezer bingeing Staring at the door was the only way I could be certain that I wasn t opening it By now the thirty minutes had definitely passed and it was time to eat my portion I knew the best thing for me in that moment would be to abstain altogether, because eating one portion was the equivalent of an alcoholic being challenged to have one drink But my overriding fear was that the pendulum would swing to the other extreme if I skipped a night I ve learned that overindulging the next day to make up for the 100 calories in the minus column from the day before is a certainty.I took out my one allotted portion at 8 05 and mashed it with a fork until it reached the perfect consistency But instead of sitting on the sofa savoring every taste in my white bowl with green flowers, using the fork to bring it to my mouth, I ate the yogurt from the plastic container over the kitchen sink with a teaspoon I ate it fast The deviation from the routine, the substitution of the tools, the speediness with which I ate silenced the drill sergeant and created an opening that invited in the thoughts I m most afraid of thoughts created by an evil force disguising itself as logic, poised to manipulate me with common sense Reward yourself You ate nothing at lunch Normal people eat four times this amount and still lose weight It s only yogurt Do it You deserve it.Before I knew it, I was on the kitchen floor cradling the plastic Tupperware containing Tuesday s portion in the palm of my left hand, my right hand thumb and index finger stabbing into the icy crust I ran my numb, yogurt covered fingers across my lips and sucked them clean before diving into the container for As my fingers traveled back and forth from the container to my mouth, I didn t have a thought in my head The repetition of the action lulled the relentless chatter into quiet meditation I didn t want this trancelike state to end, and so when the first container was done, I got up off the floor and grabbed Wednesday s yogurt before my brain could process that it was still only Monday By the time I came back to my senses, I had eaten six ounces of yogurt If you ve ever had any kind of eating problem whether you re anoxeric or obese you ve done this Admit it You have You know exactly how Portia felt every second Every second You ve felt the power of food over you, over your sanity, over your will crushing you.That is what makes Portia s book so good She can take that inner hell and put it into words on a page Words that make sense Words that completely convey the sheer torment of that life.She, of course, talks about being gay being in the closet, being denied access to a loving relationship for fear of repercussions, being so alone.She also talks about what drove her to eat again, and what life was like then not all that smooth food was still an out of control element in her life She had to learn to think about food in a SANE manner Sane food thoughts Thousands of people strive to have those every day More people than you could ever imagine would dearly love to have SANE FOOD THOUGHTS Again, she is adept at sharing this new struggle with her readers.After reading this book, I had a very honest talk with my husband about myself about things I try to hide from him although I was never truly successful in that, as he informed me Portia said, It s ironic, really, when all I ve ever wanted is to be loved for my true self, and yet I tried so hard to present myself as anything other than who I am In talking about Ellen, her spouse, she said, She would force me to live a truthful, honest life, to be exactly who I am with no pretence And, so, I told my husband that I needed to live without pretence, to be accepted exactly as I am to stop feeling ashamed to start feeling like ME Of course, he let me know that he accepts me, and always has It is inside my own head wherein the problem lies But thanks to Portia s book, I ve cracked open my skull, and shone a ray of light inside Here s to many Here s to SANE FOOD THOUGHTS May we all be blessed with them.Why did I tell you about my personal life Every once in awhile a book reaches into our lives and actually CHANGES us This book did that for me Which means, it was a damn good book If you ve read all of this, I thank you May your kindness in taking the time to share my world, be returned to you a thousandfold.5 Stars It made a significant impact.

  7. says:

    I ve been reading a lot of books about eating I m very interested in why we, as a society, can t seem to do it right any I have this same question in regards to the, um, marital arts but that s a different review Why are people freaking out about food Why is everyone fat Except for the people who are too thin What s with them I m also particularly interested in eating since having 1 lost a lot of weight almost 10 years ago and 2 having learned that my infant cousin starved to death in the 1970s as a victim of Communism I don t understand how we relate to food any on a societal level and I m not that comfortable with it on a personal level either.I m not going to pretend that I don t love a good celebrity autobiography Or even a terrible one if it is terrible in the right way And I m particularly interested in Portia de Rossi because she s interesting looking those eyebrows and she s been on two prematurely cancelled shows that I ve loved Arrested Development and Better Off Ted I m not really familiar with her from the Ally McBeal years and I take no small amount of pride in never having seen one episode of that show too busy watching 90210 I frequently forget that Portia is a lesbian because I m so tolerant like that and because she has long hair and wears lipstick But, that s neither here nor there The combination of beautifully slim celebrity from my favorite TV program and the topic of eating disordered or otherwise was an irresistible pairing.But, I wasn t hopeful after finishing the first chapter The writing was overwrought and awkward and felt like it had been reworked to death But, the subject matter, as I ve mentioned, is of keen interest to me currently and I ve read worse so I forged ahead Forged ahead to the point where I locked myself in my room this morning so I could finish it without disruption That didn t happen but it would have been cool if it had worked While someone author or editor may have struggled with the first chapter, the rest is passably written and engaging.Now, I ve never had one moment s concern that I might be anorexic or have an eating disorder but this book it made me deeply uncomfortable She has a clever way of describing an inarguably crazy element of her diet fitness routine that would make you cringe and think, Girlfriend, that is just sick , and then immediately describe another element of said routine that was than a little familiar Worry about incidental calories from toothpaste Crazy Measure out all of your food all day long Totally sane Maybe Start frantically jumping up and down in front of your whole family because you ate a potato Crazy Blurting out to your husband, I m just so exhausted from having to watch everything I eat Totally sane Probably Possibly Whatever Don t look at me like that You have issues too I ve been overweight Very overweight It was a short period of time sandwiched between longer stretches of being fairly lean and athletic, if never really lithe or skinny It took a lot of discipline to lose that weight and the fear of gaining it back is with me all of the time In reading this book I recognized that it s a very fine line between watching your weight and staying fit and disordered eating And it isn t a straight line You can t walk right along the edge hoping that your balance will keep you from falling over the wrong side It s a crooked line and if you aren t watching vigilantly you re going to be over the line and not even realize it Because disordered eating isn t just binging and purging de Rossi s assessment of what is or isn t disordered eating is interesting but I won t give away the ending I will just say, for now, that I m leaning and in favor of that definition On a related note, I was surprised to learn how much anorexics like food I d always assumed that they were able to be anorexic because they didn t really like eating I ve always assumed that my love of eating would keep me safe I would have liked to have read about the environment at Ally McBeal because it can t be a coincidence that so many of the principals from the series spent their time there looking emaciated and wild eyed with hunger She is very careful about how she speaks about everything and everyone from that time, as if legal had redacted all of the good stuff.I ll make just one observation Eating disorders are often, though not always, related to issues of control In de Rossi s case this seems to be at least partially to blame But, where most people would probably assess the issue as the mother having too much passive aggressive control over the child I will go on record on the side of Portia s mother giving her daughter too much control at too early an age Portia wanted to be a model and models need to be rail thin so rather than say to her over achieving daughter, No You re not going to start dieting now You re 12 , de Rossi s mother paid for her to join Jenny Craig I m not a big believer in letting kids make their own choices My kids are going to have an awesome rebellion because they will be among the few children out there with something to actually rebel against.

  8. says:

    I read this book back when I was about 18 years old and still to this day it has stayed with me My copy of this book has been in so many hands of people that are closest to me because I just felt like it needed to be read Looking back. I think I recommended it so much because I wanted my family and friends to try and understand me a little better Although I did not relate to all of the same issues Portia dealt with I did find pieces of myself throughout each chapter If that makes any sense at all The writing throughout this book could have been a little better but if you put that aside and remember this is a very raw, sad reality that Portia De Rossi articulates so well I love this book so much and hope some of you will as well

  9. says:

    There are two reasons to write a book like this when you are stricken with a psychological illness like anorexia 1 as therapy, to catalog the dark places you went, so that you can take it out once in a while and reread it to remind yourself of those dark places so that you never let yourself go there againb to give help and hope to those who are struggling with the same illness you vanquished.Here s the thing though if you re doing a , you don t publish it If you re doing b , you publish it but you have to focus at least in equal parts on the illness and on the process of getting better This is the part Portia got wrong The vast majority of the book is devoted to the details recitations on her success as an anorexic To me, it reads like a user s manual to the disease And she devotes very little time to the hard work of how she got better This is, at best, irresponsible If Portia is under the delusion that this book is helping people, I have news for her.

  10. says:

    This is a surprisingly good and inspiring story of one woman s struggle with anorexia I say surprising because I always have low expectations when a celebrity writes a book, but Portia de Rossi s memoir is a notable exception.Portia s problems could be traced back to when she was a child and realized she was gay Her mom advised her not to tell anyone, which set off intense feelings of fear, shame, inadequacy and a decades long eating disorder Portia s anorexia intensified when she got an acting job on the 1990s TV show Ally McBeal, and she was so terrified of being outed as a lesbian that her weight dropped down to 98 pounds She collapsed, was taken to a hospital and the doctor told her that her body was so malnourished that she was showing signs of osteoporosis, cirrhosis, lupus and that her organs weren t functioning properly.After this scare, Portia was able to get some treatment and returned to a healthy body weight She also met her future spouse, Ellen DeGeneres, which boosted her emotional well being.The memoir is well written and details the obsessive thought process that someone with anorexia can have Portia would have panic attacks over how many calories she ate each day, and then would exercise like crazy to try and work them off By the end of the book, Portia has figured out a healthy eating plan and no longer torments herself over food.I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has struggled with body image or an eating disorder.

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