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Kara knew she could reach the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. She had done it once before. That’s why, when she failed in a second attempt, it brought her so low. As she struggled with food addiction and looked for ways to cope with feelings of failure and shame, Kara's weight shot to more than 300 pounds. Deep in her personal gorge, Kara realized the only way out was up. She resolved to climb the mountain againand this time, she would reach the summit without waiting for her plus-sized status to disappear.
Gorge: My Journey Up Kilimanjaro at 300 Pounds is the raw story of Kara’s ascent from the depths of self-doubt to the top of the world. Her difficult but inspiring trek speaks to every woman who has struggled with her self-image or felt that food was controlling her life. Honest and unforgettable, Kara’s journey is one of intense passion, endurance, and self-acceptance. In Gorge, Kara shows that big women can do big things.
Don’t judge a girl by her blubber. Kara Richardson Whitely has hiked Mount Kilimanjaro three times while weighing as much as 300 pounds. Why three times? Because sometimes that’s what it takes to get over something. She finished Gorge, her inspiring and empowering book about the experience, while working with Cheryl Strayed in the French Alps. Kara, who is also a motivational public speaker, has written for Self, Everyday with Rachael Ray and Runner’s World magazines. She was recently featured on Oprah’s Lifeclass, an Outside magazine 127 Defining Moments finalist and has been written about in Redbook and American Hiker magazine. Kara lives in Summit, N.J. with her husband, Chris, and two daughters.