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ReadRunRamble

Read, Run, Ramble

I'm just a girl on a mission - a mission to read many books, run (walk) many miles and ramble about it all! 

 

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Unbearable Lightness A Story of Loss and Gain

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain - Portia de Rossi

This was a tough read - de Rossi is brutally honest about her life and her struggles with different eating disorders and her own self-acceptance.

I appreciate her honesty and hope that it helps connect with those out there who need to hear it. I hope it inspires others in some way, but for me, it was all just okay. The story starts in her childhood in Australia as she becomes interested in and begins modeling and follows her into her twenties when she has become an actress and is even starring in a new movie. The entire story is her struggle - the in-depth details of her binging and purging, her starvation, her skewed sense of reality. I kept waiting for the "recovery". Yet the book ended with her "rock bottom" and then a lengthy epilogue glosses over her attempt and final attainment of recovery. It was very unbalanced for me. I'm guessing maybe there wasn't as much recovery to go over at the time she wrote the book, but it would have made it a much stronger piece had it shown in equal parts the fall and the rise back up. I think there are so many people out there who could benefit from that version of this memoir.

Several times I found myself thinking it wouldn't be a good read for those already struggling or maybe on the fence about their self-worth and weight. She calls herself "fat" when weighing in at 98 pounds and talks about being able to grip her hip bones and see a huge gap between her thighs while lying sideways, but again, still talks of being "fat". Now, I understand this is the mindset, this is where the eating disorder takes hold and the skewed perception reigns, but that is why it is so important to show the flip side. To show the recovery. Otherwise, a reader is somewhat left with the feeling that those skewed perceptions are real and maybe even still de Rossi's belief and struggle (and maybe they are, again, another good reason for more development on the "after" part of the story).

Secondly, I felt like her sexual orientation, though a pivotal point in her self-worth issues and eating disorders, was treated minimally and even somewhat glossed over. She'd throw it in every now and then just to remind readers that she was indeed gay, but again, never really gave it true face-time. It was hundreds of pages of strife and then thirty-ish pages of now I'm outed, married, and at a healthy weight (and oh, by the way I don't eat animals anymore)!

In summary, I think her honesty was brave and probably very hard. I'm guessing it was monumental in her own recovery, but the lack of after story or recovery story left everything kind of hanging and awkward in my opinion.