Portia De Rossi: Unbearable Lightness A Story of Loss & Gain.



I am just about done reading this book by Portia De Rossi, an actress married to Ellen DeGeneres and who is best known for her roles on Alley McBeal, Arrested Developement & Nip/ Tuck, about her secretive struggle with weight that almost cost her her life.The book documents her journey of anorexia/bulimia which started when she was began modeling when she as just 12 years old. Her life became consumed with chronic dieting and she hit all time low of 82 pounds while dealing with her sickness. Portia explains that her dieting got worst once she got her first big role on the show ‘Ally McBeal” dealing with the pressure of being a new actress who had to look perfect and compete with her co-stars was only the spark that started her weight- loss spiral. She also was hiding the fact that she was a lesbian, when at the time being a lesbian actress could ruin your career. Ironically Ellen DeGeneres, her now wife, had revealed in 1997 that she was a lesbian and it almost cost her her career. Portia found herself living a double life appearing as the skinny/beautiful/perfect actress she wanted to be portrayed as but inside hiding some deep secrets that consumed her life 24/7. Portia writes the book from the point of view of herself as she was going through the sickness. She was actually able to bring her past thoughts and feelings in great detail as she was starving herself to death. Her stories she tells are unbelievable, graphic and some of the most honest words I’ve ever read in a book. She gives a successfully raw point of view of what it’s like to struggle with an eating disorder and how lonely and dangerous it really is.

At the worst of her anorexia de Rossi, then 27, had alarmingly bony arms and stick-thin legs

‘I definitely had some pretty amazing willpower to get down to 82 pounds.

‘And that’s what I was holding on to. I didn’t think about anything else.’

“But at the time, I thought, ‘Okay, my arms look awful so I should cover them up, but my legs look pretty okay now. I didn’t think I was crazy to only eat 300 calories a day. That made perfect sense to me then.”

It took finding out she had lupus and beginning signs of osteoporosis for her to gain enough courage to battle the disease. Portia explained she wasn’t free from it till she was able to reveal to the world who she really was and channel that energy into horseback riding, a hobby assisted in helping to take over her obsession with weight. She credits Ellen for saving her life and (ironically met her partner when she was at her heaviest 168 which she gained in 10 months) helping her see the beauty in herself.

The book is an amazing read you won’t be able to put it down and it is important for any person who has every put themselves on a diet to be enlightened with.All of us at some point have dealt with being on a diet or being not happy with our weight and the truth is the more you deprive yourself the more you want the things you can’t have. Anorexia/Bulimia is a constant struggle to keep your weight at a place it isn’t naturally suppose to be. The deprivation makes you want things more and makes you gain weight once you give in. It is so important for us to be able to accept ourselves and know that trying to loose weight in those dangerous ways will only bring you closer to death  not closer to a lower number on a scale.


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