Gwen Shamblin Lara was born and raised in Memphis. She grew up with a medical background, is a registered dietician and received her Master’s Degree in Food and Nutrition from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Gwen was an Instructor of Foods and Nutrition at the University of Memphis for five years, and she worked with the city's Health Department for an additional five years, helping specifically in the areas of overweight, obesity, pregnancy, and child health. She has appeared on countless TV programs, consulted thousands of individuals and participated on various speaking panels as a health expert.
Word quickly began to spread about Weigh Down, and the growth was explosive. By the late 1990s, Weigh Down was internationally known. Gwen Shamblin Lara was featured on such shows as 20/20, Larry King Live, and The View, as well as in such magazines as Good Housekeeping and Woman's Day. In 1997, Gwen responded to the nation's request to offer the Weigh Down principles in book format, and The Weigh Down Diet was published by Doubleday, Inc. The book swiftly became a million-seller as people discovered the secrets to losing weight quickly and permanently while finding a new relationship with God.
The dream of helping people turn away from the love of food and toward a love of God has turned into a ministry and continues even stronger today. Through Weigh Down Workshop classes, Weigh Down Radio, You Can Overcome TV Shows, books and audios, hundreds of people are helped daily as they break away from the pain of obesity and other addictive substance or destructive behaviors. Gwen also has such a heart for children and has helped thousands. In 1999, Gwen founded the Remnant Fellowship Churches. She is continually producing/authoring new materials, which are used to help hurting families of every nationality discover the love of God that can set them free.
Gwen is married to Joe Lara, and between the two of them there are three children, and 7 grandchildren—they are surrounded by little ones! Joe, the children and their spouses are all very supportive and work alongside her at Weigh Down.