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nausicaa

Gwen Shamblin: Skinny for Jesus

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MsSaylor

Does anyone know what the actual diet is like what/how are you supposed to eat? Any specifics on the actual eating plan? I tried to watch some videos of her but didnt get very far. I get the basic idea that its supposed to be intuitive eating, you have to be hungry to be allowed to eat and then you can only eat a few bites or something. I dont see that working for very many people.   

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JermajestyDuggar

At one point in my life the holocaust comparison wouldn't have been a red flag for me. I would have understood her thinking to be honest. I think she was saying that people who survived the holocaust may have been those whose bodies run on less calories (are basically more efficient) than the average population. And us overweight people don't need as much food since our bodies are so efficient with every calorie. 

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nausicaa
22 minutes ago, MsSaylor said:

Does anyone know what the actual diet is like what/how are you supposed to eat? Any specifics on the actual eating plan? I tried to watch some videos of her but didnt get very far. I get the basic idea that its supposed to be intuitive eating, you have to be hungry to be allowed to eat and then you can only eat a few bites or something. I dont see that working for very many people.   

She doesn't restrict any specific kinds of foods (and apparently there is a lot of alcohol consumption). It's all about extreme portion control. You are supposed to wait for the "growl," so not eat until you are famished, and stop as soon as you are full, and not take one bite more. There is a lot of guilt around making sure you wait for the growl and don't eat before then.  

People who gain weight or who are not losing weight fast enough face a lot of pressure and condemnation. I don't get how it works either.

Looking at the church's many Facebook pages, I can honestly say I have never seen a church so obsessed with appearances. 

Edited by nausicaa

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JermajestyDuggar
11 minutes ago, nausicaa said:

I have never seen a church so obsessed with appearances. 

It reminds me of Chelsea Pomeroy. She and her sister seemed to be obsessed with appearance. Have you looked at that thread? Cray-say.

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calimojo

Years ago when this diet was just getting to be known a group of us a my job did it together.  Now, most of us were not overly religious people so we just glossed over that part, but the diet plan was interesting.  To this day,  I use some of the principal ideas that I remember.  One being that you need to pay attention to you body.  Learn what hunger really feels like.  Her position at that time was that many of us don't really even know what it feels like to be truly hungry because we eat based on the clock, or for other reasons.  Once you learn what it feels like to be hungry,  then use that as your cue to eat.  Don't eat just because the clock says it is lunch time, etc.   And if you wait to eat until you are hungry, the food really does taste better.

Another aspect was not to label foods as good or bad.  If I recall, back then anyway,  she didn't make a big deal out of eating  'healthy' foods.  Yes,  there was talk about healthier choices, but it was more like, wait til you are hungry, and then eat something you really want, and don't worry about what you are eating.  Her thought was that if you label foods as good or bad, you will be more tempted by the 'bad ' stuff.  And she also said that at first, if you give your self freedom to eat anything that eventually, our body will cue us to eat more healthily.  In other  words, we might start off only want to eat chocolate 24/7, but at some point in time, we will tire of that and if we pay attention, our bodies will cue us to chose better options.

The other thing I remember was the idea that the first bite is the best bite.  So, if you give in to a craving, remember nothing will taste as good as that first bite.  So,  with that in mind, stop eating that brownie once you realize the pleasure you are deriving from it has lessened after the first couple of bites. 

There were more things, but I have forgotten.  The things I do agree with are that many of us have lost touch with our bodily cues.  We rarely truly experience being hungry, and we eat so quickly that we ignore cues that the hunger has abated.  Many people think that they are full only if they are 'stuffed', and they have missed earlier cues of being satiated.  And, I agree that foods are not good or bad.  If you crave something, eat it, but I use the 'first bite is the best' idea all the time.  And for me it is true.  If decide to have dessert, I don't have to finish it.  In fact, I am usually quite happy with just 3-4 bites.  If I eat a full serving of dessert, I tend to feel sluggish and uncomfortable. 

 

In the basics, I think the idea of eating only when hungry, learning to recognize when you  have eaten enough to be satiated, and realizing that just a few bites may be all you need to satisfy a craving, is pretty harmless for most of us.  My only exception to that is that if I don't eat breakfast,  My own body seems to shut down  my sensation of hunger, and I could literally go all day  until 6 or 7 pm until I am hungry.  This slows down my metabolism, and leads to me making impulsive food decisions later in the day so I do eat breakfast, mid morning whether I feel hungry or not.   But other than that I do not tend to eat unless I am hungry.  Some days I am hungry every few hours, and other days, I may not be hungry for 8 hours.

 

I also remember she used to be anti-exercise.  I seem to remember she thought exercise could become a false idol.

Keep in mind my memory of the diet is from around 1996, so it might not be super accurate.

Oh and in my group of friends we all did lose weight, but just like around 5-10 pounds at the most.  I think the concept of learning to eat when you're hungry and stopping when you are starting to feel full, is fine for most people. But I don't think this advice is unique to this diet.  I never picked up on the guilt thing, but then again, I have never felt guilty about eating.  I reserve my guilt for things like being impatient, being too judgmental, saying something hurtful.  My relationship with food has always been pretty healthy, even if some of my food choices are not always the healthiest.

Oh and learning more about this Gwen person is fascinating.  She appears to be bat shit crazy with a unhealthy dose of narcissism. 

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neurogirl

People who are suffering/have suffered from eating disorders becoming dietitians/nutritionists is a well-worn path at this time, and something the recovery community urges people to consider VERY CAREFULLY. If a person is not TOTALLY recovered (truly recovered, which usually has a very different definition between active ED-sufferers and mental health professionals) and in the profession for non-ED reasons, damage can be done to themselves/others. Gwen seems to have that vibe going on- she almost certainly suffers from an ED herself, and has fostered unhealthy attitudes and practices in others. That being said, apart from the ED she also seems seriously deluded. Or as @calimojo said, "bat shit crazy with an unhealthy dose of narcissism."

Also, here is a blog named "Gwen Shamblin's Hair: a Posture of Protest" that says Gwen's hair is trying to avoid to sitting atop Gwen's head in protest of her perversion of the Gospel! Confusing (to me) oppositions to Gwen's theology were updated as of last year. 

http://gwenshamblinshair.com/about/

And below, another entry about Gwen Shamblin describing that she is so in touch with the Holy Spirit that she doesn't need an alarm clock :crazy:

From https://mycropht.wordpress.com/2007/01/30/gwen-shamblin-me/

Spoiler

I first participated in Weigh Down somewhere between 1997 and 1999. (Years bleed together after awhile.) I bought the book and read it and loved the idea behind it. Surely Jesus would love it if I were skinny! While parts of the book seemed a little bit insane, I overlooked the Crazy in favour of the nuggets of weight loss wisdom. One piece of Crazy has stuck with me for years, however. In the book, Shamblin claims that she is so in touch with The Holy Spirit that she needs never to set an alarm clock. Jesus wakes her up whenever she needs to be out of bed. Hallelujah.

And one more short article about Remnant Fellowship being a cult: http://www.womenofgrace.com/blog/?p=29464

 

Oh and this is FASCINATING. Gwen has 6 granddaughters and 1 grandson. ALL the granddaughters (3 from son and 3 from daughter) are G names. ALL OF THEM. Grace, Gweneth, Gloria, Gabriele, Garland, and Gates (and Charles).

 

Edited by neurogirl
keep adding on

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luv2laugh

I also think she could have an eating disorder and she's feeling like it's justified in the Bible so she's preaching it to others. It's really dangerous. It's not healthy to be featuring testimony after testimony of people losing hundreds of pounds. Once in awhile, OK, but she has made this into an obsession. It's surprising she is so obsessed with this when she speaks against idol worship.

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adidas

She reminds me of someone but I can’t quite put my finger on who it is. Ugh. Annoying!

Interesting that there don’t seem to be any photos at all of her husband. 

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calimojo

She is like a cross between Dolly Parton and all of the other Big Hair country singers from the 1960's  forward, and Tammy Faye Baker.  She also looks much older than her stated age. 

 

She also seems to have a very strident and authoritarian personality.  Many accounts I have just read on the net, talk about how she must never be questioned or criticized.  So while Dolly and even Tammy Faye are/ were generally viewed as fairly nice and kind people, this chick doesn't seem to be quite as 'sweet'.  She seems to be very arrogant in her view that she is absolutely right.

 

And, really, if you put a teased up, sky high blonde Wig on  Joel Osteen, added in some slap, I think he could pass for her.

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adidas

I figured out who she reminds me of. Sherry Rovirosa (but Sherry’s hair and makeup are a LOT nicer). 

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Meh
acheronbeach
11 hours ago, JMarie said:

Holy Aqua Net!  I would have been so jealous of her in high school.  I never could get that kind of volume, even with a perm.  But high school was thirty years ago for me, and I've moved on to tamer hair.

LOL don't be. That's 100% not just her own hair. 

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jerkit

Waiting until you’re hungry to eat is sound advice. But there’s a difference between hungry and growling, aching stomach hungry. Also, has she never had a scheduling issue where if she didn’t eat when she wasn’t particularly hungry but had the time, then she wouldn’t get to eat for several hours? No set lunch break at work or school? No meetings? 

 

I also have never understood the “first bite is most pleasurable” rule. I ate some leftover pie from thanksgiving last night and goddamn. Every bite was just as pleasurable as the first.

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Satisfied
church_of_dog

I get the concept of “don’t eat until you’re hungry” but it doesn’t work well for me.  First there’s that breakfast-metabolism-energy thing @calimojo said, that’s important.  Plus, time issues as @jerkit said — and schedule aside, if I eat lunch “late” then I’m not hungry for dinner until later than usual, which is a big no-no in my world.  I need to sleep on a not-full stomach (partly for reflux-related issues, but mostly for comfort and sound sleep).  And I go to bed early and am always working on making it earlier.  If I don’t eat a meal close to the “right” time, I just skip that meal or consider it combined with the next one.  Pushing the schedule back to later in the day just doesn’t work for me.

I do agree with the “stop when you’re full” credo, but since it takes a while for our bodies to register fullness, that means either eating very slowly (which some programs advise) or stopping BEFORE you actually feel full.  Portion control (actual, not Lori’s version) solves all this by just serving yourself a healthy portion to start with, and having a “no seconds” rule for yourself — which I think is fine as long as one has enough wiggle room and exceptions to not feel deprived by it.

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Lurky

Crash dieting is super-unhealthy, too.   Better to lose weight over 2 or 3 years, in a sustainable way, than some ludicrous goal like 30lb a WEEK!   Not only are crash dieters more likely to put on the weight again, because they're not making sustainable lifestyle changes, it also causes stress to the body and especially the heart.   So a fatter person who has gone from sedentary to more active, without losing much weight, is healthier than someone who started in the same place and lost a large amount in a short time. 

IIRC doctors recommend aiming at losing 1 a week, with the caveat of measuring over months rather than weeks, as for example, the menstrual cycle will change body weight.  I've read that daily weighing also encourages unhealthy patterns (and is also pretty pointless, as, for example, drinking a glass of water will add a pound), and the best thing to do, if one feels the need to be counting things, is measure things like steps, and increasing the exercise (using stairs, not lifts, getting up every hour of sitting, walking to the next bus stop etc etc)

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kpmom

The picture of her daughter standing next to her very tall husband worries me.

Something about her face, her mouth in particular, reminds me of the way Karen Carpenter looked towards the end of her life.

She has had 5 pregnancies, so maybe she's not as bad off as I'm thinking, but she just doesn't look healthy in that picture.

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CTRLZero
14 hours ago, Anonymousguest said:

I'd say from the hair she is definitely as close to Jesus as you can get, lol!

LOL, my first thought was, her hair needs its own zip code!  The photos of Gwen and her daughter remind me of photos from the book "Starvation Heights."  I hope no one perishes from her wackiness.

Who knew there would be a ministry centered around food (or lack thereof).  Remember John Shrader and his unsuccessful juice cleansings - he should meet Gwen, she'd whip him into shape.

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onemama
18 minutes ago, church_of_dog said:

Portion control (actual, not Lori’s version) solves all this by just serving yourself a healthy portion to start with, and having a “no seconds” rule for yourself — which I think is fine as long as one has enough wiggle room and exceptions to not feel deprived by it.

This is one of the key rules of the NoSdiet, which works well for me.  Since making it a priority to eat an early and reasonable dinner, with no seconds, I sleep better and can get up better too.  I still struggle with the other two rules, off and on, especially during this season. The sweets!!!!!!  And there's no way I'm having three bites of cake, especially a good chocolate cake, and stopping at that.

My main issue with this weigh-down/remnant cult is the spiritualization of something as practical as learning to eat well. Looking at both Gwen and her daughter, I'm not sure they've mastered it. To me, they still seem to be controlled by food, how little of it they and everyone else eats.  The daughter looks very unhealthy and Gwen seems very ditzy in her more recent youtube videos.

For some people, the rule of only eating when they are hungry and stopping when satisfied works well. Others need more structure. I know I do, and I can't make my diet a moral or spiritual issue.  I rebell, and I suspect it has a lot to do with the way my parents tried to control our intake of sugar.  It was made into an obedience issue. If caught eating candy, cookies or chocolate without permission, we were punished, sometimes very severely. Once, my brother was punished with a whole month without desserts for eating some candy that a classmate passed out on his birthday. Guess what month that was? DECEMBER!  No sweets for Christmas.... 30 years later, I still remember. 

The daughter, Elizabeth, right? said that most preacher's kids can't wait to get away, but she just wanted to stay because her mom is the real deal. She's right about many teen and adult children leaving, but many, especially those whose parents' business is lucrative, stay on. The Copelands, the Meyers, the Beveres... 

There's something almost ghastly about those family pictures, especially where they're wearing black. And with all her talk about authority and obedience, where's Gwen's authority? :evil-laugh:  Methinks Lori should get herself down to Nashville and teach Mrs. Shamblin a thing or two about submission....

 

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calimojo

@onemama you are right,  it is clear that Gwen, Her daughter and her followers are still controlled by food and have made the worship of thinness a form of idolatry. 

If you go to the website of the Remnant church there are multiple pages of photos from weddings with tons of pictures of beautiful wedding feasts and gorgeous wedding cakes.  Seemed very odd to me for a church that is founded on Weigh Down principles to have such a collection of beautifully photographed food and cakes. 

 

Please know in my description of the diet, I was talking about years ago, and we didn't pay attention to the religious side of it.  To me, though eating when hungry is a decent concept particularly when you have options to eat whenever you feel the need.  As  a person who worked 12 hour shifts most of my life, I totally get that you don't always get a choice as to when to eat.  On a busy day,  if you had 5 spare minutes, you need to shove that peanut butter sandwich down your throat asap  because you might not get to eat again for 10  more hours. 

But,  I tend to use the 'eat when hungry' thing for myself personally, when I am away from work.  As I no longer have young kids to feed, and when well, my husband is pretty self sufficient,  I can set my own schedule for eating most of the time.  ON weekends, it isn't unusual for me to have a mid morning large breakfast, and then not eat again until about  7pm.  Or sometimes I find myself hungry fairly soon after eating breakfast, as my metabolism is been turned on.  So  I might eat a robust breakfast, and 2 hours later, I am starving so I eat again, and then I am often not hungry again the rest of the day.  I am not denying or ignoring hunger pains,  I just am not honestly hungry.  Nothing will even sound good to me to eat, not even my faves like french fries, or pizza. 

 

Eating  when hungry has made me much more aware of stress eating, and eating out of boredom or routine.  We used to always have popcorn at night while watching TV.  Most of the time, I wasn't hungry, but it was just sort of our routine.  Now, I only eat popped corn that I make on top of the stove,  No microwave stuff, and I love to put generous amounts of butter and salt on it.  But I only eat it when I am really hungry or craving it, and I have to tell you,  It tastes wonderful. 

Like I said, lots of more reasonable diet plans have the same concept.  Learn to recognize your bodies cues.  If you have to eat based on a schedule, learn to recognize feeling full.  If you can be more flexible, let your body tell you when it needs nourishment. 

And, one thing that is really important to realize, if you have been yo yo dieting or crashing dieting off and on for years,  It might take a long time to figure out your body's cues.  Before starting another diet, I would recommend a period of non-dieting for a few months.  Just eat as normally as you can, avoid extremes in binging or restricting, and let your body normalize.  You may even gain some weight, especially if you were really restricting your calories to the point where it slowed down  your metabolism.  It is almost as if your body has to gain trust in you again, not to starve it.  Once you get to what your normal is again, then you can make minor changes, nothing extreme and gradually adopt healthier eating.  And  except in extreme situations where a persons health is at severe risk,  make the goal healthier eating instead of weight loss. 

 

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Red Hair, Black Dress

At some point after founding her cult church. GS says God lead her to incorporate some of the Jewish feasts into the Remnant Fellowship cult -- Passover is huge with them. The stated services are Saturday (their "sabbath") and Wed.  I don't think they fall into the Messianic realm though like the Boykins.

I looked at some of the wedding albums and 3 things struck me:

1) The brides/grooms are young. barely in their 20s young, some look to be 18-19 .  Young marriages are definitely encouraged.

2) The weddings seem very elaborate -- many bridesmaids and groomsmen, fancy, expensive looking  wedding dresses, tons of flowers, huge wedding feasts. How do these people afford all this?  The TN church members all seem to live in Brentwood -- a pricey suburb of Nashville. -- so they must be making bank financially as debt is a sin,  FYI the Jewish tradition of the chair dance seems to have be incorporated in the reception "fun".  FYI #2 Gwen is dressed as elaborately (or more so) as the bride for all of the ceremonies.  She must be on the short side because in every photo of her I've seen she's wearing high platforms (looks to be over an inch) and very high heels, usually stiletto.

3) The 2nd generation of church members are inter-marrying at an alarmingly fast rate, especially the children of the "Church Leaders" identified on the website. Brothers and sisters of one family marrying brothers and sisters of another family. In Southern parlance you'll have a batch of double first cousins when they all begin having children.  Eventually, unless they recruit an awful lot of new people, the dating pool is going to shrink to people marrying their cousins.

The more I look at this group and the people involved, the weirder and more cult-like it seems.  It's a never ending rabbit hole.

 

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BiblebeltCath

 

I remember when Weigh Down was all the rage, among both religious and non-religious people. I never knew all the background though.

17 hours ago, nausicaa said:

And have you noticed that EVERY video is just blatant worship of Gwen (not Jesus, not the church, just Gwen)? This woman is insane. I can't believe people don't see right through this. 

That's what stood out to me in the video that nausicaa posted. Gwen may be talking about God, but everyone else is talking about her. It was really obvious when her son-in-law said any praise of their family reflects upward, and I thought he was referring to God. But then next sentence made it clear he meant Gwen. And her daughter said all she has to do is teach her children about what Gwen has done, and Gwen's example. It was really eerie.

In the story Gwen told about her daughter getting snubbed in school, she told her to look for the lonely and hurting and befriend them. In the same situation I might tell my child to look for someone else sitting alone, but targeting the lonely and vulnerable is a classic cult technique. And sure enough, they said a lot of those friends did join the church.

I'm officially heading down the rabbit hole. This is really weird!

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refugee
20 hours ago, luv2laugh said:

said that everyone in Gwen's church, Remnant Fellowship, was usually recruited from her Weigh Down Ministry Program. She's taken many of her church members that have lost HUNDREDS of pounds onto the Today show, Tyra Banks, etc. Members of her church appear to speak of Gwen in a way that resembles how North Korean citizens speak of Kim Jong Un.

I wonder if she promotes an ultra-low-fat regimen? I’ve read that healthy fat intake is very important in proper brain function. Meaning malnourished unthinking followers are probably easier to control.

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nausicaa

@Red Hair, Black Dress The wedding page blows my mind as well. There isn't a single wedding up there that costs less than $40k, and most look like they'd be upwards of 50k. And holy bridal parties Batman! (Those dresses are consistently gorgeous though.) Where on earth are they getting all this money?

 

14 hours ago, adidas said:

She reminds me of someone but I can’t quite put my finger on who it is. Ugh. Annoying!

Interesting that there don’t seem to be any photos at all of her husband. 

I can't put my finger on it either, but I know that Kristen Wiig would kill it playing her in an SNL sketch.

Word on the street is that her husband is a larger man. So I'm assuming he's kept in some locked room with shrouded windows. Can't be having middle aged spread seeing the light of day.

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Leftitinmysnood

I really looked into Gwen about a year ago when a friend called me and asked, "Hey, did you hear who joined a cult?" Apparently a former acquaintance joined the Remnant and attends "church" every Sunday via live stream. We figure it's only a matter of time until she moves to Tennessee because she has never been good at accepting reality over the fantasy she has in her head.  Like marrying a completely dysfunctional guy so she could hurry up and birth a multitude to homeschool in picturesque stay-at-home serenity. He couldn't hold onto a job or his pants, and she couldn't fix him, try as she might. They now raise their multitude on opposite weeks. She'd probably fit in with the Southern genteel domestic goddess crowd, though. She sounds exactly like Madeleine Bassett in Jeeves and Wooster. 

I look at joining cults like the Remnant and the one we were in through the lens of utopianism. Trying to make a "like-minded," insular, self sufficient community so you don't have to interact with the undesierables and everyone working for the same goal guarantees results, right? And the only one who comes out ahead is the leader who only used to system for control in the first place. It took me a long time to connect my dad's fascination with failed utopian communities with our becoming fundy, in part because he clearly understood the flaws of the system. But I think deep down he wanted that ideal, too.

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Nikedagain?
20 hours ago, PennySycamore said:

Gwen looks like she needs to eat some good gravy.

Gwen definitely could benefit from some weenie gravy and stat!

I remember her from the late 90s. I worked for the county early intervention agency and a supervisor was leading a "Gwen Group".  The "Gwen Groupies" were a bunch of bitches. They played the VHS videos a lot and her voice was very very grating. 

Also, any time I see the sashes/formal wear combo I'm  reminded of Gerhardt Hapsburg from 30 Rock...

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FloraKitty35

That woman looks like she has an eating disorder.  She also looks like someone (her hair and fashion sense) a drag queen would consider a style icon.

Edited by FloraKitty35

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