Speaking Up

Sharing my story and hearing yours

Kara Richardson Whitely, author of Gorge

I spend a lot of time on the road. I share my story about my Kilimanjaro hikes and journey to wellness. Most recently, I visited Dartmouth College and University of Colorado at Boulder.

The thing that I love about speaking up is that it is very healing. In fact, while writing Gorge, the story of my third Kilimanjaro hike, was therapeutic; sharing my story in public speaking engagements is even more effective.

While I miss my family on the road and have to be extra careful about staying on a healthy-eating regimen while traveling, I know the more I talk about my experience with eating beyond a healthy, balanced way, the less shame my past can hold.

There are always people in the audience whose struggle with food and weight has been practically lifelong. I know we’re in it together to move forward on the path of health.

It’s also what I love about Weight Watchers meetings. We can share our experiences and not feel alone. We are a community that can hold each other through the hardest time. When even though we are otherwise strong and accomplished, we have been conquered by a cupcake.

When I really struggled with food, I felt completely alone and miserable. When I was at my heaviest, I would bow out of family gatherings. Out of photos — because I didn’t like the way I looked or felt. Out of feeling good about myself and my body.

When I speak, there is laughter and there is joy, even while talking about the hard stuff. But I’m sharing my story and I’m healthier because of it and there is a wonderful community who is there to listen and understand.

So how do you share your story? Do you speak up in meetings? Are you a voice on Connect? How will you make use of this wonderful community?

Follow Kara on Connect @gorgegirl15

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