Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Audio: Unbearable Lightness

I've been meaning to post about this book since my list with my ten favorite books so far this year! Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia de Rossi is about the author/actress's struggles with an eating disorder and coming out to the public as a gay actress. I listened to the Simon & Schuster audio version narrated by the author, Portia de Rossi.

(picture from Goodreads)

First Impression: Rather than focusing on actions and events in her life, the author's primary focus is on her emotions and thought processes, which I find an appropriate approach to her story. The writing has a "quiet" quality to it that conveys the underlying menace of the author's struggles. I find this somewhat unsettling and perfect for the nature of the book. Also, Portia narrating the story makes the whole thing feel more personal.

(picture from a Portia de Rossi fanpage:

Conclusion: The most interesting facet of de Rossi's story is that she had no intention of becoming anorexic when she started the journey down. She had a professional nutritionist and an eating plan geared toward helping her lose weight and stay healthy. With constant shows, interviews, and photo shoots, she found herself constantly worried that she wasn't losing enough weight to keep up with the rest of Hollywood. Bit by bit, she did more exercise and ate less every day until she got below 90 pounds and began to feel excruciating pain with any movement of her body. I love that de Rossi displays her progression from a young girl who just wants to be appreciated and noticed as something special to a woman who understands that happiness is the key to health. My favorite part is the epilogue, where she ties everything together and discusses the importance of her story. It especially resonates with me when she states why she no longer believes in diets or weighing herself: she says that without the psychological pressure of always eating "good foods," resisting "bad foods," and losing weight, our body will tell us what it needs when it needs it and each of us will be the healthy weight we were meant to be.

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