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Gorge: My Journey Up Kilimanjaro at 300 Pounds Paperback – April 7, 2015

4.3 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In Gorge, Kara Richardson Whitely takes us where few have dared to go before: thrillingly up to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and profoundly down to the darkest depths of food addiction. Kara is fearlessly honest and powerfully intelligent. I was moved and inspired by every page of this beautiful book."—Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

"Gorge reminds us of just how strong the human spirit is, and how resilience and determination can, in fact, triumph over despair."—Ann Hood, author of Comfort: A Journey Through Grief

"Kara Richardson Whitely wasn’t about to let her weight stop her from conquering the roof of Africa. Her triumph as a plus-sized hiker is as inspiring as it is refreshing."—Backpacker Magazine

"This detailed account of [Kara Richardson Whitely's] travails will give confidence not only to hesitant would-be mountaineers but to those, like her, whose biggest hurdle is 'to learn to be O.K. with who I was.'"—The New York Times

About the Author

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, was one of Outside magazine's 127 Defining Moments finalists, and has been written about in Redbook and American Hiker magazine. She lives in Summit, New Jersey, with her husband, Chris, and two daughters.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (April 7, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580055591
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580055598
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,911 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gorge is a truly inspirational, honest account of Kara’s life, struggles with weight and journey to the top of Kilimanjaro at over 300 lbs. Often humorously self-deprecatory she doesn’t hold back in detailing her journey. If you’re struggling with your weight and it’s inhibiting you from living life, working out, getting moving; this is the book for you. Though you don't have to be overweight to appreciate Gorge- I feel it is for anyone looking to be inspired. For the sake of transparency, I am pictured on the cover with Kara and participated in her third trek up Kilimanjaro. I feel that Kara’s account of my personal journey and background was both fair and honest. Kara is one of the most inspiring and kindest people I know. Her resilience and determination is contagious. It’s impossible to read this book and not be inspired to put yourself out there and live life to the fullest.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The follow up to her first book. This was a tough read. She was very honest about herself and sometimes it was more than I could take in one sitting, but it was an important read for anyone who wants to overcome something and not make excuses. She is very straight forward. A good book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a book for all of us who struggle with chronic disease. By digging so deep in her emotional life, she enables us to do the same. Once again Kara has written a masterful book and once again once I picked it up, I could not put it down. Our health today is wrapped around the choices we make with what we eat as well as the emotions we hold within. This journey is sometimes as hard as the climb up the mountain, but after reading this book this will enable many to take that next step that leads to wellness, not just physical wellness, but emotional wellness also. Both are needed today to reach the top of the mountain and conquer the huge problem of chronic disease, which is both emotional and physical. This book puts us on the path. Well done, Kara, well done indeed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this memoir and can relate to the author in a lot of ways as I have struggled with weight loss my whole life. I loved Kara's courage and insight as she climbs the mountain not only reaching the top,but doing it while carrying a huge emotional and physical load.
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Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a weight loss before and after story this is not the book for you.

If you've ever told yourself, if I just loose 5lbs, 10lbs, 20lbs, 50lbs, +, I'll be happy, I'll do that thing I always wanted to do, then this is the book for you. This is an incredibly honest story of Kara's journey with food addition and her third (and successful) trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Like all people, Kara has dreams - to hike - to get to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro and this memoir is about her journey to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. So many people like to criticize people who are overweight without realizing that food addiction is as real as cocaine addiction. Kara knows she's a food addict - her weight is painfully honest to her and to everyone else. She writes about what that struggle is like for her and it's a struggle I can relate to on so many levels. It's not a gussied up book promising a weight loss solution. It's just a telling of her dream and not letting her weight get in the way of living.

You want her to become magically thin when she reaches the summit, but we all know that's not how this kind of reality works. It's a struggle each and every day.
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By terrin22 on October 22, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased both of her books together and read her first book first. As I got into this one, it seemed repetitious, covering much of the same material, so I got a little bored, and was not able to finish it. I will try to go back to it later. I liked that she is not afraid to confront reality---it's hard to keep weight off, as I well know!! And, I appreciate her ability to share her most embarrassing low moments.
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Format: Paperback
Thank you to Seal Press for the ARC for me to review. I was really looking forward to reading through Kara’s account of conquering Kilimanjaro as this is a lady that has climbed Kilimanjaro previously, then attempted a second ascent but failed, then was resolved to attempt it for the third time a remarkable lady by any standards especially when you take into account that she climbed Kilimanjaro weighing 300 pounds. A Remarkable achievement.
This is not just primarily an account of climbing Kilimanjaro but a real insight to the author’s deep and private life and is a warts and all account of her struggles with the addiction of food the associated problems that this brings. Kara is not looking for a shoulder to cry on here far from it more telling the reader that who-ever you are whatever you are going through you should never give up your dreams. Kara’s passion in life that comes through is to be an adventurer and Kilimanjaro has been a magnet that has pulled Kara back more than once.
The book moves through her private struggles with her addiction and through to her preparations and then the ascent of Kilimanjaro itself. Kara’s resilience and motivation are plain to see as you read through her account and is inspirational for anyone struggling with food addiction.
Having climbed Kilimanjaro in the past I know what that mountain can do to you, and it does pull you back. I just wish I shared Kara’s journey up Kili with her as she is a brave remarkable woman.
This is a book that should be read by anyone struggling and it will motivate you.
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