Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Discussion
Unbearable Lightness

One word for this book: Intense

This book was absolutely jaw-dropping and crazy to read. It is by Portia De Rossi, (soon to be known as Portia DeGeneres) and describes her life growing up as a model, her quest to become an actor, her anguish over being gay, and her struggle with anorexia and bulimia. I originally downloaded this book as a sample and was going to read it at some point....then I saw her interview on Oprah and I immediately downloaded the entire book the next day. Once I started reading it, I was hooked.

I felt admiration for Portia for writing this book. I think writing this book was an incredible act of bravery on her part and it amazed me how candid she was about all of the struggles that she experienced with all of the topics she discussed (she did not hold back). If anything I think this book could really help a lot of people - it will make you really stop and think about how you choose to live your life and what you value. Do you value having perfectly flawless abs or going out and enjoying Mexican food and margaritas with your best friend?

To hear her discuss her disgust with every single part of her body - it was seriously astonishing to read. One thing that really struck me was her discussion about her obsession with having thin thighs. She wanted thin thighs so badly that she didn't care that the rest of her body was emaciated in order to get them. It really makes you ask yourself if you have unrealistic expectations or negative feelings about your body. This book made me think really hard about the reasons behind my fitness goals and what will really, truly make me happy in life. Also, when I think of all the people that I value in my life, the reason I value them is not because they have perfect bodies or a perfect trait in any way. 

A long time ago I read a topic on the Operation Beautiful website that said "the thin ideal vs. the healthy ideal." I have been trying to think for months about what to write about that topic. I think Portia discussed this in a round about way in her book. She kept saying how over and over her body would return to a weight of 130 pounds. It took massive heroics of extreme exercise and deprivation (300 calories a day!) to be below that. In her mind, "thin ideal" was far below 130 pounds, but her body kept trying to tell her that her "healthy ideal" was 130 pounds. What is your "thin ideal" and what is your "healthy ideal"?

This book really does get the message across that life is way too short to obsess about achieving some unrealistic image of perfection. Live life, love your friends and family, do things that make you happy, and be healthy!

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

That is exactly why I don't weigh myself! I really have no idea how much I weigh. I know when I'm in shape and healthy and to me, that matters more than a number on a scale :)