Kara Richardson Whitely knew that 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 that the only way out was up. She resolved to climb the mountain again - and 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.
"The author' story is immediately engaging, as she chronicles her initial Kilimanjaro triumph and her follow-up failure with wit, energy and color." (Kirkus)
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Made me want to hike Kilimanjaro too!
Somewhere in the middle. Certain aspects I loved but others left me wanting more for her.
This is Kara's story and it was read by the author which I gave a 5 star rating to because only she could bring the right emotion to the ups and downs in her life and even the little nuances that a narrator would not have been able to do. Kara did a fantastic job of narrating.
I have not, this is my first.
What I loved about this book is that Kara didn't wait until she'd lost all the weight or even some of it. She just went for it. The lesson in that is do it today. Don't say "I'll do it as soon as I....". Kara is unemployed and over 300 pounds and she did it. She found a way. Whatever your goal is, believe in yourself and just take that first step. I also liked that Kara was very honest about herself. I know she could not help but put herself down. Obviously that is how one gains so much weight. She recognizes it's not just pounds she needs to release but all that emotional baggage too.
I was hoping that she would have released more of that baggage, that would have been a more inspiring story. Having said that, I believe what she did is incredible and people in good shape that weigh far less would not even attempt. I hope that she will see that she is a beautiful person and if she believes that then the outside will follow if she continues to strive for her goal.
Her description of the climb was very interesting and frankly I am now dying to do this very same trip. I love the outdoors so I listen to many outdoor adventure stories. I run half marathons, hike, and camp. I love animals and doing new things. I've definitely added this trip to my bucket list. I hope I can be like Kara and get to the point of "let's just do this now" . There are some other trips on the horizon, we are taking our fist backpacking trip to Havasupai Falls in a month (Grand Canyon) and trying out our equipment. My first hike that is more than one day. But I will be looking in to a trip to Kilamanjaro very soon. Kara's description is what sold me.
A section of this book went in to the extreme bullying that Kara encountered her entire life. I think everyone should take notice and realize that their words even if not ill-intended can have a lifelong effect. I've run my share of half-marathons and encountered individuals that have much weight to lose. I struggle with how to show them I sincerely think they are awesome. I don't want to sound condescending but I want to encourage. Kara's account helped me to have a better perception.
I hope that she will continue on this positive path and her next book will be about her success in this next chapter of her life.
The audio was so slow and stilted
- Erica Fischer