Thursday, November 11, 2010
Portia de Rossi's Story in "People"
As a vegan, today when I read the article in "People" magazine about Portia de Rossi's health story I was very interested and excited. It's an upsetting story, albeit with a happy ending, but some of the things she said really resonated.
Body image issues in our society are all too prevalent and manifest, at their worst, in destructive behaviors such as eating disorders or self-harming. In Portia's case, who weighed 82 lbs. at one point, extreme calorie restriction, binging and purging were the culprits. The article excerpts Portia's newly published book, Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain, where she explains her journey back to health.
"People" goes on to say, "Now a vegan, she eats three meals a day plus snacks ("I don't deny myself anything") and never steps on the scale". Recent photos of Portia show her to be slender but healthy and strong, and most notably, happy and at peace.
But the quote which resonated the most for me was Portia's, "I will never have a relapse because I will never, ever, ever, ever go on a diet. You can print all of those"
I love this because I have also never considered veganism to be a diet, though I know some non-vegans do. From comments about my 15 lb. weight loss over 9 months ("When are you going to stop this diet?") this is clearly the perception of some. But veganism is not a "diet". It is a paradigm shift -- a different way of looking at food and the world. Personally, once non-essential elements of my body were shed, the weight loss slowed and ceased and I am now at what I suppose is my ideal and healthy weight.
I've never been one for moderation or willpower, so I fortunately never fell prey to the issues Portia faced. I have always loved eating a lot of delicious food and I still do. Now, in my forties with a slower metabolism, it is so nice to be able to continue to eat as much as I want, whatever I want, with no ill effect!
Portia's story is a cautionary tale, and I'm so glad the happy ending involves something I know to be a healthy, common sense choice -- being vegan!