Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain Read Online Free - "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.
|Title||:||Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain|
|Number of Pages||:||320 pages|
October 02, 2013
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 DeGener...
April 01, 2011
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 cal...
November 25, 2012
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...
December 12, 2010
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 sham...
March 01, 2016
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 powe...
March 23, 2017
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 famil...
May 25, 2011
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 anymore. (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...
January 22, 2011
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...
August 15, 2013
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 rea...
December 02, 2012
I've always had a girlcrush on Portia de Rossi, and especially what she stands for: that lesbians can be glamorous and feminine. But this book soured me on her. I appreciate her candid honesty and delving so deeply into the nitty gritty of an eating disorder, but she started out spoiled, remarkab...