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Use the form on the right to contact Kara.

For literary inquiries, please reach out to her agent, Kim Perel of Wendy Sherman Associates.

Summit, NJ


Kara Richardson Whitely is an author & speaker featured on Oprah's Lifeclass and Self, Redbook and American Hiker. Her book Gorge will be released in 2015.


Kara Richardson Whitely's blog of adventures and issues on the journey to wellness.


The Most Loving Ways to Start The Day

Kara Whitely

Photo on 3-8-17 at 3.55 PM.jpg

Today is Valentine's Day. I've worked with my kids to make sure they had enough little cards to share with their friends. They had cards and treats from me and my husband to start the day feeling sweet and special. I made sure that my husband started the day feeling especially loved with a special card and goodies.  

This morning, I've also made sure to be extra loving to myself. 

After I dropped off Anna at school, I headed directly to the gym for a nice little workout to start the day. I'm recovering from a massive cough and after three weeks of it, I finally I went to the doctor yesterday and got some medicine to help me conquer it). When I finished, I dropped off my application for the community garden. I came home and took a moment to myself and enjoyed a snack of banana and peanut butter (something I fell in love with when I first visited the Eating Recovery Center BETR residential program).  I ate it slowly while sitting at the counter. 

This, I thought, was love. Self love. The small things. The moments that make us feel taken care of even when we are the ones caring for ourselves. 

So Happy Valentine's Day. I wish you all the love you can muster.  today and every day, what are you doing to take care of yourself? To feel loved? 




Home Again

Kara Whitely

Wow, the Gorge book tour was a whirlwind! I met so many amazing people and saw some amazing places. 

I'm now home in Summit, setting up my speaking schedule for the fall and spring and writing my next book, Family Plot. 

The most beautiful outcome of exposing my issues with food via a memoir and speaking engagements is I found it so healing for me. The more I talk about it and am in the open about what I have struggled with and sometimes still do, the more honest and brave in my own life. The bravest thing I can do is live in the moment, to not sugar coat life. 

For example, many of you know my father died this spring, right before my book came out. I thought I was handling it rather well. The book release and tour kept me busy and happy but when I settled back home, I started to feel glum. This was made worse when it came time to sign the mortgage papers to settle his estate. There was about a week and a half where I was essentially paralyzed by grief. I sat at home and just fell an anchor of sadness that he was gone and knowing I would never fill the hole he left in my life. But I felt it and all its lousiness and I got through the other side. 

So sometimes victories aren't about mountains. Sometimes they're just getting through the day without annihilating a bag of tortilla chips. I have much to celebrate from going to family swim with my girls to planting my community garden before I went on tour so we have a summer bounty of intentionally nutritious and delicious fresh food. 

There are many journeys and adventures ahead but it's a beautiful thing to know you're just on track. Happy trails. 

Sleep While I Drive

Kara Whitely

I've spend 40 hours driving so far this month -- with about twice that to go. 

That's OK. I don't mind. In fact, being on book tour is beyond awesome. I get to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. But the most rewarding experience is meeting people who thank me for writing Gorge. They thank me for being brave to say what they would never tell anyone about their binge eating or compulsive overeating habits. 

When I started writing the proposal for Gorge, I thought of it as an adventure story -- a fat person taking on Mount Kilimanjaro. In fact, it had been called Big Fat Mountain. After several months of trying to get it right, my agent Kim Perel, called me to say it still seemed flat -- and too, well, light.  

I knew this was a tough conversation because I wanted to be done with the project (as most writers do),"While this is an adventure story, how about you try to think of it as an addiction memoir?"

That's when everything changed. I could put everything -- every dark secret, embarrassing moment on the table. That's when my story became Gorge.

At first, this was daunting. But then I realized,  my weight, from the number on the scale or my secret eating isn't a secret. This is the pain I carry with me with extra weight. 

 I wrote Gorge knowing that two-thirds of the United States struggles with food in some way. This is a memoir of the human experience of compulsive overeating -- in the context of an epic Kilimanjaro trek. It didn't matter what I put on the page. Some people would find healing in my words. Others might gain some understanding that the issue of obesity is far more than a matter of eating less and moving more. It is an all consuming condition.

Somehow we need to connect that gap. Hopefully Gorge will be the beginning of that bridge. 

Hope to meet you out on the road. I'm heading out to California next week and then hitting the Pacific Northwest and the Boston area.