For those of you who know me, the book that I am going to review is quite obvious. You know, or most of you do, that Portia de Rossi‘s book “Unbearable Lightness” has been the catalyst in helping me to realize that there is something very wrong with me and I need help and can even get it. I am not alone. Somebody shared the similar experiences as I am still experiencing and she got out of it even though it was a difficult struggle. But now she is free.

Portia explains her story very candid, very open. If you are easily triggered, you may not want to read “Unbearable Lightness” until you are really ready for recovery. If you are serious about recovery though, I recommend you reading this book because Portia shares not only what she went through and how draining her time with her eating disorder was.

But she also goes into the details of how terrible it was to keep her struggle a secret at the same time as being on a TV show, which required to have to fit into certain sizes (and we all know how unrealistic those are). She describes very well how strangling the pressure was.

Portia’s vivid portrayal of the erratic behavior we often have when we think we ate one calorie too many or we think we let ourselves go is incredible and so relatable that you almost feel you’re with her while it is going on.

Portia doesn’t gloss over the medical effects her behavior had on her body. For her, nothing too serious happened, but not everybody is exactly that lucky as we all know.

For me reading Unbearable Lightness was a wake-up call and it was the starting point of a long story to health. I read this book in one take.

I bawled throughout the entire experience of taking Portia’s struggle in. I’ve read it many times since because I just can relate to how so many things like how she gets up in the morning and the first thing she does is calculating how much she ate yesterday and figures out whether she has to punish herself today.

Also, her portrayal of her obsessive workouts super early in the morning, during lunch breaks and all of these insane behaviors we have when we are controlled by an eating disorder.

It is an incredible book with a very hopeful message at the end. I wouldn’t have gotten help, wouldn’t have believed that recovery is possible had I not read her book and I’ll be forever grateful to Portia for having written it.

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“Try your hand at this workbook and you will learn to love yourself for who you are, not for what you eat.”

I strongly believe in working with guides, otherwise I wouldn’t have written one myself. So, when Lauren Lazar Stern, an art therapist and licensed professional counselor, asked me if I’d be interested in writing a review of her book called “The Slender Trap“, I immediately and excitedly agreed.

The purpose of this book is “… to help you decide whether you are suffering from symptoms associated with an eating disorder or body image disturbance, to help you begin to look at and understand more about yourself and the way you live and feel, and to help you resolve some of the issues that are getting in the way of healthy functioning.”

This purpose was more than met.

While going through the workbook, I was impressed with the detailed and step-by-step approach of the different stages you go through once you are ready to admit that something is not quite right with your body image and/or your eating habits.

Lauren takes you from the early stages of finding out about different eating disorders all the way to finding a therapist that fits your needs.

Laure goes into detail on how genetics play a huge role in the way your body looks. She talks about exercise addiction, the diet trap, how relationships affect eating disorders, embracing the new you and so much more.

This book helps you to work through your issues in many ways, which keeps it interesting and super informative. There are detailed explanations, lots of pictures and ways for you to write, draw and express yourself and your feelings.

While going through the book you are always checking in with yourself, going deeper and deeper to figure out what you are trying to hide with your disordered eating.

After every chapter, you are encouraged to see how you feel. Hot or cold? Light or heavy?  Getting lots of feedback from Lauren herself helps you to process the new information and understand why you’re experiencing your feelings the way you do.

This book requires a lot of thought and action on your part and may seem a bit overwhleming at first. However, you don’t have to work through it in one setting.

You can pick the chapters that most interest you or that you feel speak to you and your current situation and ponder on them for a while. Take your time with the answers and be really honest.

Treating yourself to this book, giving yourself the right to take some time out of your busy schedule in order to work on your problems is a great first step towards health. However, this book does not replace having therapy, it rather complements weekly sessions.

While this book is focused on girls and women, I think that men can equally benefit from the information and the exercises.

Overall, it’s a great workbook and I can absolutely recommend it! I learned a lot about myself while doing the exercises and I can see myself going back to the myriad of facts and information many times in the future.

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