Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

In a matter of 26 hours this weekend — with sleep and family time also thrown into the mix — I read Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia de Rossi in its entirety.

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After seeing her on Oprah last week, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by Portia de Rossi’s story. I knew that she had been very, very thin when she was on Ally McBeal, and I remember being surprised when she came out as a lesbian, but I never knew that such a tumultuous internal battle plagued her for years. I always thought she was so pulled together and glamorous…when in reality, she was just playing the role of a confident actress while she was slowly killing herself as she whittled her way down to 82 lbs. and feared that the truth of her sexuality would ruin her career and her family.

The book mostly chronicles Portia’s journey to rock bottom and is an honest and insightful look into the mind of an anorexic. I have never had an eating disorder, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find a woman who hasn’t, at some point, wanted to lose weight or become more fit — Unbearable Lightness really illustrates how a lifetime of dieting and the pressures of Hollywood (or any career) can slowly and frighteningly warp from a diet into an eating disorder.

Anyone else planning on reading this one?


  1. I wasn’t planning on it before, but after reading your thoughts, am adding it to my list. Off to see if it’s available on audiobook (commuters’ best friend)!

  2. Reading it right now, started Friday, almost done with it. It has me intrigued, and I’m reading it much faster than I usually do. I’ve also never had an eating disorder but have struggled with body image issues since I was a teen. I’m impressed with her candor, and am looking forward to learning how she got to where she is now.

  3. I wanted to read this as well so it’s good to know that you found it inspiring! Thanks for the tip :)

  4. It’s good to know that you found it inspiring! Thanks for the thoughts on the book, I wasn’t sure if I was going to read it or not! I will now!

  5. She was fascinating on Oprah. I never knew her illness was that intense. The photo of her at 80-something pounds was so sad! Adding it to my reading list for sure.

  6. I’ve been hearing a lot about her book, and it is definitely now on my reading list…

  7. I’m definitely with everyone else – been looking for a new book and I’m definitely downloading this to my kindle soon!

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