In The Weight of Being, author Kara Richardson Whitely reveals her struggle with trying to lose weight, having a binge-eating disorder, and the shame she feels about her size. Following along in her journey, readers will learn about the frustration she felt with each failed dieting attempt, the fears she had about passing on bad food habits to her children, and the despair she felt when her weight began to prevent her from participating in family activities she once enjoyed—all of which ultimately led her to making a life-changing decision.
I read most of this book in one sitting, stopping only when my eyes felt too heavy with the need to sleep. I was completely wrapped up in Kara’s story, wanting to know more as each chapter came to an end. I felt a great deal of empathy for her frustrations, particularly when things left her feeling overwhelmed or inadequate in some way—something I think every woman can relate to, whether they struggle with weight or other issues.
Whitely’s conversational writing style was enjoyable to read, and I think it’s one of the main reasons I felt so compelled to keep reading as long as I could. It sort of felt like I was participating in an actual conversation, rather than reading a book… if that makes any sense. I appreciated her candor in telling her story, as well. In an era where many people want to present themselves as close to perfect as possible, it’s refreshing to see someone willing to be real for a change!
Simply put, this memoir is inspirational, and definitely a book worth reading.
About the Book
A brutally honest story about being fat in America–and one woman’s experience with radical weight loss after a lifetime of fat shaming
Kara Richardson Whitely thought she could do anything. After all, she climbed Mount Kilimanjaro-three times! But now she’s off the mountain and back home again, and there’s one thing she just can’t manage to do: lose weight.
In many ways, Kara is living the life of everywoman, except that she’s not everywoman because she weighs 300 pounds and is tormented by binge eating disorder. Her weight is a constant source of conflict and shame, as the people from every corner of her life, from her coworkers to the neighbors down the street, judge Kara for the size of her body. When it becomes just too much to tolerate, Kara turns to therapy and weight-loss surgery, a choice that transforms her body-and her life.
Kara’s story is one of living as a fat woman in America, where fat prejudice is rampant despite our nation’s pandemic of obesity. In this fresh, raw memoir, Kara reveals this epic contradiction, and offers a revealing comparison of life before and after radical weight loss.
About the Author
KARA RICHARDSON WHITELY has hiked Mount Kilimanjaro three times while weighing as much as 300 pounds. Kara, 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 and Good Morning America, and in The New York Times, Redbook, Weight Watchers, and Backpacker magazines. She lives in Summit, New Jersey, with her husband and three children.