She speaks from the perspective of someone who has not just been there, but who came out the other side truly understanding what it was she had done, and why. It isn't clinical, but she documents her experience without the reader/listener feeling as if she is trying to make you feel sorry for her in any way. Very developed mature presentation of the facts of her circumstances, but you see into her psyche and emotions in a way that is so open that it is nearly intimate.
When she was alone in the hotel room, in agonizing physical pain, even understanding why it was she was hurting, and yet unable to stop herself from continuing the ritual OCD behavior that made up her disorder. The description was so real, so vivid and raw, that it touched my heart and was somewhat of an emotional experience.
Couldn't do better than the front of the book: A story of loss and gain.
I only read the book because I was curious about what kind of woman Ellen Degeneres had in her life. Ellen has helped me see life in a more positive way, and I had to ask myself what kind of woman her wife was, to back up such a powerful and inspiring person as she is. Well I expected a book on anorexia, and being a very overweight middle aged man, I did not think there would be anything that I would get from it on a personal level, other than to satisfy my curiosity about Portia's character . Well I was very wrong. Although the results were different, she got very skinny, and I got very fat, the basic attitudes about food and even some of the OCD behaviors were exactly what I had been through. Even some childhood experiences were similar. I'd basically been on a diet every day since first grade, and had become progressively fatter doing many of the same things Portia was doing. In fact, in all my life, the only time I was a normal weight was during high school when I worked out like a mad man and starved myself. But like Portia, I knew my behavior was not what others were doing, but it was 'working' and I patted myself on the back. Of course, as soon as I quit starving due to health issues that frightened me (similar to Portia again) I got even heavier. So long story short, I have been applying the advice she gives in the book about never dieting, never restricting foods. I also have adopted a plant based way of eating. And since I first read this in May '12, I've lost about 80 lbs. My health is returning, and I'm eating what I want when I want it, without starving or glutting, just listening to my body. I'd heard that advice before, but never in a way that actually sunk in or connected with me in any way. She says the book is for anyone who has been on a diet. I didn't believe that when I picked up the book originally. But I've now read the hard copy 3 times and listened to the audiobook. Every time I do, I pick up another insight into my own lifelong behavior and it helps me make further healthy adjustments in my attitude and actions. This is a must read if you have struggled with weight either way.
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