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Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

Average Rating 4
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(29)

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(27)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

A book all women should read!!!

I really applaud Portia for sharing her story with all of us around the world on Oprah and also on the Ellen show. I have not been a victim of any eating disorders but I truly feel that is for all women out there. I believe 95% of women always worry about their weight a...
I really applaud Portia for sharing her story with all of us around the world on Oprah and also on the Ellen show. I have not been a victim of any eating disorders but I truly feel that is for all women out there. I believe 95% of women always worry about their weight and media in today world has made us focus so much on our appearance. I will be purchasing this for my nieces that are now in middle school and High School and always talking about their weight, which includes myself as well. Thank you Portia for bringing awareness to such an important issue that many of us do not know other women are going through.

posted by lovelylady14 on November 4, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

I guess this is good if you are interested in eating disorder rituals

This book was okay...it got kind of boring though reading page after page of the author doing repetitious excercises and ritual preparation of meals??? and the dishes to eat them with. I did feel really sorry for the author and others with this kind of disorder. I am ...
This book was okay...it got kind of boring though reading page after page of the author doing repetitious excercises and ritual preparation of meals??? and the dishes to eat them with. I did feel really sorry for the author and others with this kind of disorder. I am not sure if the book would help anyone with the disorder....might just give them a few more hints on losing weight.

posted by Kit6 on November 19, 2010

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  • Posted January 22, 2012

    Greatest book on the subject!

    Eating disorders are a very hard thing to talk about and de Rossi explains it quite vividly. I've read many things on the subject and found no one to be better than her. The peculiar path between the struggles she goes through and the happiness anyone can see now in her eyes is worthy of reading. I highly recommend it, especially to people that have gone through the pain of an eating disorder.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    Next on my wish list

    I just watched Portia on Oprah...she fell victim to all the media hype I complain about, but also had the additional pressure of being afraid her being gay would be found out. What kind of people are we? Judging by size and sexuality and NOT by who a person is, in their core and heart?
    My daughter is on the other end of the weight issue...morbidly obese...but I will be buying this book for her. The only thing completely within our control is what we eat and how much of it. I applaud Portia's courage, not only in beating this disease but in having the courage to admit to it and share her story.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2012

    Highly recommended

    A poignant book of self-destruction and self-discovery.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2013

    Excellent book...very interesting story!

    I got this book for my teenage daughter to read for a school assignment. She thought it was an great story and that it was very informative and well written. The struggles that Portia went through were so sad, but at the same time it was an experience to learn from.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

    This is a good book for most women to read. I do think there cou

    This is a good book for most women to read. I do think there could have been a little less of her step by step meal planning and exercising and more about her recovery. In reality for most people and eating disorder would not just cure itself. End result is to be happy from within but most of us don't know how to do that. I can't imagine that she is in no therapy at all following near death from anorexia. I applaude her for telling her story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Great read

    This is perhaps the best glimpse into the mind of anorexia that I've ever read. De Rossi pulls no punches in this look at herself and how she got to where she was, then how she climbed back out. Great read!

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  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Great story!

    I really enjoyed Portia de Rossi's story about her struggle with anorexia. While at times, it was upsetting, it was truly inspiring to read how Portia was able to overcome this disorder. I think this is a great read for anyone!

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  • Posted August 28, 2011

    Great read for everyone that struggles with self-esteem, not just with eating disorders

    This book honestly reveals her struggles with constant dieting that lead to eating disorder since teenage years. It was very well-written as to what she was thinking for so many years. There is a lot of depth and intelligence to life and love too.

    Although at times it does sounds like a 'tip for anorexic' book, I feel through this, it brings out her true emotions and her view of herself. A person who has a distorted self-image of herself and could only focus on how bad she looks that she ignored her good parts, and more importantly the people that she loves.

    It brings an insight to a mind of someone who is anorexic, which is a little scary. But more importantly, it also tells of a person who has very low self-esteem and struggling to find acceptance. I think if anyone has, at some point in life struggled with their own self-esteem and finding acceptance, this is a recommend read..

    She's much more of a writer than I had expected after reading this book. In recent years, she's more covered as 'Ellen's wife' in media that I've probably lost perspective; she is a very beautiful and highly intelligent woman with a mind of her own. Reminded me of how much I liked her so much in Ally McBeal, before she even came out as gay.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2011

    Much better then I thought :)

    Even though Portia hasn't been in a lot I've always liked her couple that with a fasination of eating disorders I had to read this book. At first reflectoin of the book I almost didn't want to like like it,despite the fact that it's so well written.It's not easy to read a story about someone thin and bueatiful talk about how fat and ugly they are, but then you get over your self and realize that this poor girl did have a real problem. Bottom line read this book!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2011

    This book was so good. It is amazing how some of the most beautiful people feel so ugly on the inside. It paints the perfect picture of an eating disorder and the torment Portia went through. Great book.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommend

    Book Review: "Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain,"
    By Portia de Rossi

    Reading this book was a total skew from the genre of books I normally read. What brought me to read this book was more of a general interest in how the author, Portia de Rossi, overcame two very strong concepts in her upbringing that she had to learn to accept in her life.

    Before I chose to read this book, I read reviews on the book itself. The reviews were either good or poor, nothing really in the middle. I chose to go by the reviews that gave a good light on this book and now that I've finished reading it, I'm glad I did.

    Reading "Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain," was touching, honest, & heart wrenching as we followed Ms. de Rossi's life & her reasoning for the decisions made in her life. There are many people in the same place as Ms. de Rossi, choosing to live by society's standards & not accepting how they were born. I am one who has had trouble accepting myself, perhaps not in the same way as Ms. de Rossi, yet just as painful. Reading this book helped me to look deep within myself and evaluate my choices. Many of my own choices were made based on my understanding of what was expected of me from family, friends, and my Christian beliefs. From simple decisions such as, how I vote to whom I accept into my social circles. As a child, and even into my adult years, I found ways to dislike myself and learned ways to be accepted. All it takes is just being you, nothing more and nothing less.

    The book, "Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain," was well written and made you feel as if you were in Ms. de Rossi's shoes as she went through her life experiences. I appreciated how she shared her experiences, yet didn't impose her life decisions on her readers. She spoke sensibly and straight to the point. She explained her confusion and her lack of acceptance very clearly. She also shared how love and support from friends and family helped to find her inner strength to succeed.

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

    Allows those of us unable to comprehend being anorexic/bulemic a glimpse inside

    I have wanted this book since it was released and it was worth waiting for. I am only now able to even begin to understand what goes through the mind if these girls as they grow into beautiful (or would be beautiful if they weren't so horrifically skeletal-looking) women. Being on the other end of the weight continuum is not my idea of perfect but now I see I'm happier to be slightly on this end than the other. Keep your chin up high Portia! Behind every great woman is...a great woman!

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  • Posted April 15, 2011

    surprisingly insightful

    pros: unabashed recollections from a first person point of view. cons: run on sentances that can become pretty confusing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2011

    highly recommended

    as someone who has battled eating diorders for 6 years, i recommend this book. this is the first book i've read that accurately describes the disordered thinking behind all of the rituals associated with food and exercise. she also captured the fluctuation in weight that not many people think about with anorexia. once an anorexic starts eating more normally it's easy to pack on the pounds quickly which makes it even more scary. i hope to one day be able to eat like a "normal" person without the guilt.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    Wow.

    This book was a page turner.

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  • Posted January 29, 2011

    Loved it!

    Couldn't put it down!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2011

    A great read and frightening reminder of the past

    I think this is a must read for women of all ages. The only reason I didn't give this book a full 5 stars is because the writing felt elementary in places, however, it did succeed in getting the message and emotions across the page. I completely disagree with the anonymous reviewer that said that this would encourage people who already have the disease. I have thankfully overcome my own eating disorder, and this book is a frightening reminder of what I did to my body as well. I thankfully did not go as far as Portia did, and overcame the disease without rehab. In the past, I never fully admitted to battling with anorexia, but after reading this, it is hard to not to admit it now. And while I was thankfully never a bulimic, my thoughts were very similar to her feelings and rituals while battling the disease, both pre- and post-rehab. This book is a very good insight to those that have never had the disease and may be a help to those that are battling or in helping those help others that have the disease.

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  • Posted January 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wow, what honesty.

    I was surprised by this book, I picked it up to hate it and loved it instead. What a struggle she went through, I cannot even begin to think some of the things she thought. Weighing food, keeping track of every bite, eating less then 300 calories a day and still exercising like a demon. The thinking she did about food is scary, I never think about food like that there isn't enough time in the day. Her life was obsessed with not eating, but always thinking about food. She would starve herself and then binge an purge. She went from 87-165 pounds during her struggle. I enjoyed the last bit of the book about eating like a normal person and keeping her weight the way she wanted it. I agree with that, don't obsess and feel better about everything. Life will not always be easy, but making the best of it is what makes it worth living. I thank her for letting us see her craziness, it makes me feel good knowing that others have problems and being perfect isn't possible, even for Hollywood.

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  • Posted January 2, 2011

    Good read!

    Thought this was a great read from the lense of someone who actually went through a terrible ordeal! Very vivid and puts you right in her place. Helps to relate to those who may be going through the same thing and gives tips on how to talk to the person or help them find help.

    Thought that it was great! Photos were also a great dose of reality!

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  • Posted December 28, 2010

    biography

    I really enjoyed this book.

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