A 300-pound Woman Hiked Mount Kilimanjaro, Subject of Obesity Documentary, Big Fat Mountain

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Summit, N.J. woman reaches new heights -- Kilimanjaro -- in fitness and obesity battle. Amazing video footage from Big Fat Mountain documentary: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bigfatmountain/big-fat-mountain

A Summit, NJ woman takes her obesity battle uphill, to Mt. Kilimanjaro

300-pound Kara Richardson Whitely at Gilman's Peak, Mount Kilimanjaro

I used to be the kind of person who would look at adventure travel catalogs and say, 'I'll do that when I lose weight.' It all changed one New Year's Eve, when I wrote down what I wanted to do, as opposed to what I wanted to lose.

Kara Richardson Whitely has taken her uphill battle against obesity to great heights – Mount Kilimanjaro -- and is sharing her story with a documentary called Big Fat Mountain.

The 37-year-old Summit, N.J. woman hiked Africa’s highest peak in August while weighing 300 pounds and is now working on a documentary called Big Fat Mountain to inspire others to wellness. After all, two-thirds of Americans walk in her shoes as overweight or obese people.

*Professional HD footage and fantastic photos of the journey are available.*
**Learn more, see a 10-minute rough cut on Big Fat Mountain's Kickstarter Page** http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bigfatmountain/big-fat-mountain

The plus-size adventurer is inviting others to play a supporting role in Big Fat Mountain. She hosting a Kickstarter campaign until March 15 to share the project with the world and raise funds for its completion. Kickstarter is an online fundraising platform that allows artists to share their project with the world and invites people interested in a project to pledge as little as $1 toward its success. However, it is an all-or-nothing proposition. If she doesn’t reach her goal of $25,000 – she doesn’t get a dime of the pledged funds. If she makes her goal or exceeds it, there will be enough to finish the project.

This plus-size adventurer said she took on the Big Fat Mountain documentary to serve as a role model, encourage outdoors activities and to redefine fitness. She took on the Kilimanjaro hike to raise money for Global Alliance for Africa’s AIDS orphans programs and hopes others will also take steps to be active with their body and in their communities.

The biggest health problem in the nation is obesity. Whitely felt like she tried everything but wasn't making any progress on her own weight loss journey. She spent more than a decade above the 300-pound mark. If anything, her weight was holding her back from life.

"I used to be the kind of person who would look at adventure travel catalogs and say, 'I'll do that when I lose weight.' It all changed one New Year's Eve, when I wrote down what I wanted to do, as opposed to what I wanted to lose," Whitely said.

She decided to go ahead and start hiking. Flat trails led to molehills; molehills led to mountains - eventually the highest freestanding mountain in the world, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Whitely knows obesity may be her life-long challenge, but activity is keeping her blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels perfect. She worked for months with her trainer, Heather Worthy (http://www.worthyfitness.com), to develop the strength, stamina and spirit it would take to reach her goal of hiking Mount Kilimanaro last August.

Still, Mount Kilimanjaro– a grueling 7-day hike to 19,343 feet-- would even challenge the most fit. Porters and guides bet against her success on the mountain. Whitely tried to prove that anything can be achieved one step at a time.

Kara Richardson Whitely is a professional public speaker can talk about:

  •     How to start fitness while heavy
  •     How to combat feeling insecure at the gym
  •     How to work toward an adventure as huge as Mt Kilimanjaro one step at a time
  •              Her plans for her next adventure!

Kara, who has been featured in Self, Redbook, New Jersey Health & Beauty and American Hiker magazines, numerous television, radio and online outlets is media trained. Here are some clips:
NJN News
Self, Cheating on My Husband with Food
Big Fat Mountain Cast and Crew:
Executive Producer and Adventurer: Kara Richardson Whitely
Fellow Trekkers: Whitely’s cousin-in-law, Stacey Pratt of Boston, MA, and friends Sally Kidd and Tracey Ford of Washington, DC.
Director of Photography: Sharon Dennis, Reel World Productions, of Indian Rocks, FL.
Producer, assistant camera person: NYU Student Sydney Clover of New York, NY

About Kara Richardson Whitely:
Kara Richardson Whitely grew up nestled by mountains in South Burlington, VT but the only thing that went up was her weight. She now lives in Summit, NJ and is plus-size adventurer and an outdoors and fitness advocate. She was a journalist for a decade, having written for newspapers, as well as Self, Every Day with Rachael Ray and Runner's World magazines. She is now a content developer for Monaco Lange, a top branding agency in NYC. She is a professional public speaker, author of Fat Woman on the Mountain and is writing a second book, The Save the World Workout, about taking on an event for charity each month of 2009.


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