Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

Portia de Rossi

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 1439177791

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


In this searing, unflinchingly honest New York Times bestseller, actress Portia de Rossi shares the truth of her long battle to overcome anorexia and bulimia while living in the public eye, and details the new happiness and health she has found in recent years—including her coming out and her marriage to Ellen DeGeneres.

Now in paperback, the New York Times bestselling memoir from Portia de Rossi explores the truth of her long battle to overcome anorexia and bulimia—“an unusually fresh and engrossing memoir of both Hollywood and modern womanhood” ( Los Angeles Times, 5 stars).

In this groundbreaking memoir, Portia de Rossi reveals the pain and illness that haunted her for decades, from the time she was a twelve-year-old girl working as a model in Australia, through her early rise to fame as a cast member of the hit television show Ally McBeal. All the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, putting her life in danger and concealing from herself and everyone around her the seriousness of her illness.

She describes the elaborate rituals around food that came to dominate hours of every day and explores the pivotal moments of her childhood that set her on the road to illness. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner, ever more in control of her body and the number of calories she consumed and spent.

From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love and marrying Ellen DeGeneres and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and women’s health issues. In this remarkable and landmark book, she has given the world a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.

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insecurity and awkwardness I felt standing on that staircase, pretending to be the fabulous Nelle Porter. Just hearing the words “outstanding addition” gave me a hole in my stomach that no amount of food seemed to fill. Go on, eat it, you fat piece of shit. You’re pathetic. You can’t even handle one day of work without bingeing. You have no self-control. You don’t deserve this job. Driving home from 7-Eleven with a bag full of food, I hated that my brother lived with me. Now I had to eat in the

concern that comes with pouring liquid into a narrow-rimmed glass on a moving vehicle that is subject to bouts of turbulence. She was judging me. She looked disgusted. She was worried for me. She had reason to be worried, I guess. I had spent a lot of the plane ride quietly crying, as I often do because I hate hovering between one place and another. “Neither here nor there” was an expression my grandmother would use to describe confusion and displacement, and it is a disturbing place to be. This

No, you can’t stay. Even if you come after I shoot L’Oréal, I need to keep going now this diet has started working for me. I need to eat at exactly six o’clock every night, and I can’t drink alcohol with you like we used to. I can’t go out to dinner anymore. I don’t get to take a night or two off where I can eat whatever I want. I’m about to look good for the first time in my life, and for the first time I know I’m never going to gain it back again. So I can’t take a few days off. If I eat and

door. They remained there and I realized that my kitchen scale and a calorie counter were probably what she was looking at. While it occurred to me that there was a slim chance she actually thought I was too thin, I had decided moments ago that she was just jealous. Who wouldn’t be? While I knew I wasn’t skinny, it was obvious that I had gained control over my weight, which is a huge feat worthy of jealousy. Everyone wants to be in control of their weight. “So. How was the L’Oréal shoot?”

while thrashing my head around. I was not a huge fan of Monster Magnet, but there was one song I played repeatedly in the car because it helped me expend energy while driving. I couldn’t get home fast enough. I turned onto Crescent Heights from Beverly and started thinking about a strategy to burn the excess calories. I would park, take the elevator to my apartment, drop Bean off, change into workout gear, and go next door to the gym. No. I would park, drop Bean off in the garden, run up the six

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