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!


  1. Love your post today Cheryl! I have Ellen and Portia up on my vision board eating vegan cake on their wedding day. They are such an inspiration for so many reasons! I have also gotten many comments asking when I will be done with my vegan diet. I agree with you that being vegan is a shift of consciousness. It's not just about what you eat. It's about the way you look at the whole world. You no longer just assume things. You dig deeper to find out what is really going on. I find I have become much more spiritual in this process. The positive side effects of veganism are simply endless and continue to reveal themselves to me over and over.

  2. I really appreciate this post. Yes, going vegan involves changing what you eat, but its so much more. The other day we were at a friend's house and they forgot I was vegan. After handing me some carrot sticks and a bannanna, my friend said to me, "This diet you're on is really weird". I just laughed it off, but it made me wonder. Thanks for this!

  3. Thanks Melissa -- Yes, more spiritual, everything is more "mindful" and "in the moment" isn't it? It's nice to be waking up!

  4. Hi Making Friends! Thanks for reading -- I'm sorry about the banana and carrots -- I have gotten into the habit of eating a small meal before going socially into peoples' homes. You'd think it would be easy to just get a salad or a piece of bread, but that's not always the case. Better luck next time!

  5. Yes - a lifestyle indeed! Compassion towards ourselves, others. Thankfulness for a way to take care of our temples and serve God. Thank you for this post Cheryl.

    BTW, red quinoa rocks!

  6. What a beautiful post! Cheryl - I always look forward to reading your blog. :) Portia and Ellen are two of my favorite celebrities, so this made me very happy indeed. I loved every single thing you had to say about vegan living. Just beautiful. :)