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Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

Hardcover - 01 November 2010
De Rossi, Portia (Author)
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Book Description
""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.

Known for her roles on the hit TV shows "Ally McBeal" and "Arrested Development," de Rossi delivers a revelatory and searing account of the years she spend secretly suffering from bulimia, all the while living under the glare of Hollywood's bright lights. 8-page b&w photo insert.

Product Details

ISBN-10: 1439177783

ISBN-13: 9781439177785

Publisher: Atria Books       

Language: English

Age Range: NA - NA years

Grade Level: NA - NA

Hardcover: 308 Pages

Product Dimension (L x W x H): 22.86 x 15.49 x 2.54 CM

Shipping Weight: 0.54 Kg

Customer Reviews

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2 customer reviews  Between 3−4 stars rating,  29 August 2014
Very Graphic and Honest
By: Yanti Amalia

Portia did a very brave move writing this memoir, and for a first-time writer, she's done a wonderful job. I remember finishing half of the book and putting it down, and I just felt like I was reading a novel. It's kind of sureal for someone to experience the horrible things that she did with eating disorders.

And this memoir surely gives a whole new understanding of what goes in the mind of people with eating disorders, because before reading this book, I only knew eating disorders from textbook and journals. Portia gives you a very graphic explanation of what was she doing and thinking along those years, so that you won't feel disgust anymore with people doing... See More

hardcore diet, but instead you'll sympathize with them because most of them come from their minds. I bow down to Portia for I think this book could help a lot of people to change their perspectives about sickly body image that society and/or media build.

2 customer reviews  Between 3−4 stars rating,  15 April 2014
an awesome story
By: Rika Sartika Sugianto

this was the first ever memoir I read, and how Portia wrote this was made it different, cause she wrote it from her perspective as an anorexic person. and that was so honest! this book taught me many things. thus, what I could say is this book was totally well written and you should get one, because this ain't fictive but true story. a story of her loss and gain as a sick person.

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