SUMMIT, NJ - Kara Richardson Whitely will be the featured guest at a free, public event celebrating the release of her new memoir 'The Weight of Being: How I Satisfied My Hunger for Happiness' on September 21, from 7:30 - 9 p.m., at the Summit YMCA. Richardson Whitely is an author, motivational speaker, and Summit YMCA member, and 'Weigh of Being' chronicles her trials and tribulations with her self-image and weight.

Richardson Whitely hiked Mount Kilimanjaro three times while weighing as much as 300 pounds, which inspired her to write 'Gorge: My Journey Up Kilimanjaro at 300 Pounds'. She has written for Self, Everyday with Rachael Ray, Runner's WorldCourier News and The Star-Ledger. She was featured on Oprah's 'Lifeclass' and 'The Megyn Kelly Show', was one of Outside Magazine's 127 Defining Moments finalists, and has been written about in Redbook and American Hiker magazine. She lives in Summit with her husband, Chris, and two daughters.

Richard Whitely's ’s weight reached more than 300 pounds, which pushed her away from what she wanted to do -- including exercise. Her inspirational journey towards to a healthier life included a relationship with the Summit YMCA.

Sign Up for E-News

“I could not be more grateful for the place that the YMCA has in my heart, and in my family, and my life," said Richardson Whitely. "Everyone at the Y is interested in your well-being, your health and there’s a sense of community. I love the group exercise classes. I absolutely love TRX, spinning with Ginger, yoga on the weekends."

She added, "For me personally, I’m so proud to be a YMCA member! I see how much people care about this community, It’s way more than a place to work out; It’s a place where the directors know my kids and they know my story.”  Richardson Whitely Kara participates in the Summit YMCA community garden which she says has been a huge part of her own healing. She begins every spring growing things like lettuce, cauliflower, and kale.

Copies of 'The Weight of Being' will be available for sale and signing. Refreshments will be served.

The Summit YMCA is located at 67 Maple Street.