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Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi – Mini Book Review

I wasn’t overly familiar with Portia De Rossi (now DeGeneres) prior to reading this book. All I really knew was she acted on Arrested Development (which was brilliant) and single-handedly destroyed 1,001 lesbian stereotypes. However, no more than 10 pages into the book, I felt as though I knew her extremely well. It wasn’t because of the honest and frank details she shared through her writing; I knew her because she was the spitting image of so many of the women with whom I work.

The book is her personal account (there was no ghostwriter) of her life and struggles with an eating disorder and her sexuality. I would say over 80% of the book is focused on her issues with bulimia, anorexia, and compulsive exercise. She collapsed at her bottom, at a height of 5’8,” weighing 82 pounds. After this she was examined by doctors and told she had bone and liver deficiencies; she had been misdiagnosed with lupus.

You could be thinking, “Great, another book about an eating disorder. Just what we need!” I have read quite a few books and memoirs on the subject, not to mention my real life experiences, and I can easily say this memoir is at the top of my list for touching on the reality of these situations while being an extremely interesting (and at times intense) read. She wasn’t afraid to “go there,” but it wasn’t dramatic or trite. It was just the right amount of exposure.

I like that she doesn’t end the book in a “the birds are singing and the world is shinning” kind of way. Self-admittedly, she is still dealing with certain issues and healing. Overall, it is a great read.

Why Am I Reviewing This Book?

Obviously, a memoir isn’t the standard type of book I review on the site. There is an important reason I chose to review this particular one, put up the podcast I did this week, and the post about the blood tests.

Everyday, sometimes multiple times per day, I get an email begging for help. These emails that can sometimes be 2,000+ words are always layered with panic and anxiety, and the people who write them always seem to be running out of hope. The number one question I get at this time is, “When is the MRM going to be rereleased?” I do the best I can to answer these emails, but there is only so much time in a day. I used to refer people to the MRM and call it a day; I didn’t realize how many people were affected and helped by that book.

Recently, I have had an increasingly large influx of email. I highly doubt it’s just my ever growing and adoring fan base. Be it the state of our current industry or the pressures of the world—things are getting worse in the area of eating disorders. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take these issues seriously and hit them head on.

Because of all this, I am putting a higher priority on the rewrite. It will include even more detailed information and help (I hope) more than before. I am also setting up a separate email list for those who want information on this type of stuff specifically and for when the book comes out. It will be the best way to stay updated in general. If you are interested please sign up below. I am going to do what I can to try and get the book rewritten and edited by the new year. Stay tuned.

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