The Pioneer of Faith-based Weight Loss
Over 30 years ago, Gwen Shamblin Lara sat in a small humble retail setting in Memphis, TN leading local weight loss classes to desperate, overweight people on how to lose their weight permanently. With her background as a Registered Dietitian, a master’s degree in food and nutrition, and a University instructor of Foods and Nutrition for five years, Gwen saw very early on that current modern-day solutions to weight loss were not yielding results and simply put, Americans were becoming increasingly overweight.
With a deep love for God and profound compassion for the hurting human soul, Gwen was driven to find wisdom and answers from the Heavens that would lead people to permanent weight loss and improved health. The answers came in the writings of “The Weigh Down Workshop”—revolutionary information that would soon take on the world by storm. The audio cassettes and local classes provided the practical “how to” steps and sound nutritional guidance on how to eat like a “thin eater” by utilizing God-given internal hunger signals. Participants were also taught how to eat “regular foods” and not diet foods, and most importantly— how to fill up the hurting heart and emotions with the love of God instead of the love of food. GWen was soon referred to as the Pioneer of faith-based weight loss.
Unprecedented Weight Loss Results
The results of these original small classes were unmatched by any weight loss program. Not only were participants achieving untold weight loss success after years of trying all of the well known mainstream diets, they were keeping their weight off…permanently. Whether 10 or 200+ pounds, participants were losing all of their unwanted pounds and keeping it off! Additionally, those who had struggled with depression, anger and anxiety were experiencing profound joy, peace of mind and renewed HOPE. Participants even reported that the Biblical principles of Weigh Down were improving their relationships at home, bringing healing to once rocky marriages and uniting parents with their once prodigal children.
By 1992, word had begun to spread about Weigh Down and unbeknownst to Gwen, this local grassroots revival of weight loss and healing would soon become an unstoppable phenomenon, eventually catapulting Weigh Down to international status and Gwen becoming a household name with her revolutionary approach to weight loss.
Weigh Down Goes Worldwide
The program was packaged for seminar use, thousands around the world began to sign up, and the media began to pay attention. The growth was explosive. By the late 1990s,
Weigh Down was internationally known and Gwen and The Weigh Down Workshop were featured on such shows as 20/20, Larry King Live, and The View, as well as magazines including Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day.
In 1997, Gwen responded to the nation’s request to offer the Weigh Down Workshop class in book format, and The Weigh Down Diet was published by Doubleday, Inc. The book quickly became a million-seller as people discovered the secrets to losing weight quickly and permanently, while finding a new and genuine relationship with God—simply by putting the Biblically-based and nutritionally sound principles of Weigh Down into practice.
God’s Work Continues…
After the rise of Weigh Down, Gwen did not slow down at all but rather continued to work around the clock on behalf of those seeking freedom from all vices by teaching them how to find genuine connection with God. She has produced more Bible studies, online classes, travels as the producer and keynote speaker for “Weigh Down on Tour” events and penned many other books including Weigh Down Works, Rise Above, The Tablet, The Legend to the Treasure, The History of the One True God, The History of the Love of God, The Breakthrough Series and two devotionals—The True Vine Devotional and The Exodus Devotional: Laying Down Your Stronghold.
Gwen’s deep love for children and childlike heart prompted the writings of Feeding Children Physically and Spiritually, A to Zion Children’s Book, In the Beginning, The Garden of Eden, and the Children’s Treasure Devotional Workbook.
In 1999, Gwen founded Remnant Fellowship Church in Brentwood, TN and regularly teaches for the Sabbath services, which are webcast to over 150 locations around the world. She also established and oversees the 35+ ministries for the church including the prison ministry, clothing consignment, home renovation, counseling services, wedding committee, jobs committee…to name just a few.
The staff at Weigh Down and the Remnant Fellowship Church highly esteem Gwen and how God chose to use her for such a time as this in history. Her love for God is real and her gift for understanding and unveiling the practical application of truth in Scripture has changed all of our lives for the better. Ask any one of us and we will tell you that she was, without a doubt, the most selfless, kind-hearted, genuine and loving person we’ve ever known—and we all very much considered her a dear friend.
A Note from Gwen…
The longer I live, the more I am sure that all of the facts that surround a person are of no value without this…there is nothing worth knowing or imitating more about someone than their deep love for God and for others. May the words of this website encourage you to imitate those who imitate Jesus Christ. I value my time with the seekers, the humble, the prisoners, the children and the gentle. I know there is more to go to have the characteristics of Christ.
I sincerely want to thank my husband, Joe Lara, and my children, Michael and his wife Elle, Elizabeth and her husband Brandon. They could be working anywhere and doing anything, but they have chosen humbly to work every day with me and with this ministry. We all now live within a few houses of each other, which has turned out to be an incredible blessing for me. With our family now surrounded by eight little ones, my life is full of sleepovers, walks in our garden, going to the movies and showing them my love for God and for them. I am thankful for them and for all the Weigh Down participants along with my close staff. It is a wonderful life!