Kayce and I have been talking about how we can make this blog amazingly valuable to our community, and one of our ideas was to interview women in our Weigh Down Lifestyle Community about their journeys. So, we’ve decided to have a “Weigh Down Lifestyle Stories” portion of our blog!
Our hope is that you can read or watch (or both!) these stories, relate to other women, and maybe learn a thing or two! So, without further ado, our first interviewee is…Stephanie McGruder!
Welcome here Stephanie;
I’m so excited to interview you today on how you’re transforming your life through the Weigh Down Lifestyle. So thank you for being here.
Why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about who you are and how you grew up. What was your home life like?
Really, it wasn’t good. Let’s just put it that way. It was horrible so it’s not something that I really talk much about. I was very abused as a child and I ate my emotions. I mean… I would get spanked and I hardened my butt so I wouldn’t cry so that my mother didn’t have the satisfaction of hearing me crying. All my siblings would be crying and she would continue to spank me, and I just held my own! I was like, I’m not going to cry for you lady! So that’s the kind of upbringing that I went through on a very regular basis.
I will say though, that I have forgiven my Mom and she’s really a lovely old lady. So God does restore, and my Mom feels horrible for what happened. She didn’t know any better because her Mom did some similar things to her. So I was determined I wasn’t going to do that with my kids and I was going to raise them differently. AND I did it! They’re all raised now.
Way to go Stephanie! Way to transform your life. I’m so super proud of you!
So tell us, what kind of foods did you have growing up in your home?
Lots of starch because I’m a family of adopted ten, so they had to feed ten mouths. It was awesome mind you; she cooked everything from scratch, but it was a lot of starch for a filler. So I learned to love macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and all of that because that’s all I knew. So yeah, my Mom was a great cook but it was hard. I mean, we did grow our own garden, but gardens were only once a year right? It’s not throughout the year, so we had fresh vegetables in abundance for some months and then we had carrots and celery sticks in our lunch the rest of the year.
So you did have wholesome food, just a lot of starch.
As you grew up and got older, what kind of diets did you try? Tell us a little bit about what started your weight loss journey?
Oh my gosh. When I was 12 years old, I was 200 pounds so my weight problem started early. I mean, I got success in some things I did, but it wasn’t long lasting. You’ve probably heard of the HCG diet, well I did that and I lost and that’s fairly recent. That was 13 years ago and I lost 124 pounds.
But I gained all of it back except for about 20 pounds. So that was a big weight loss for me. I also did Gwen Shamblin’s program, the one I talked to you about, and she was the Weigh Down Workshop. I did that and I got 80 pounds off at that season in my life.
I do TOPS now, so Take Off Pounds Sensibly. I’m still gonna do that. I was going to drop it and the Holy Spirit said “no” because what I’m doing with you in the Weigh Down Lifestyle is going to help lots of women. With TOPS, if you get success, you’ll be the queen of the year if you lose the most in your state, so I believe I could potentially be that person. I have done the division winners twice and they pay for wherever the recognition is happening, they pay your way. That’s happened to me twice. I got this 13 years ago when I did the HCG diet and I was the division winner that year, so I had a chaperone take me to Nova Scotia, Canada and I got recognized.
You’ve done multiple diets and we call that yo-yo dieting, because with yo-yo dieting you lose a lot of weight and then you gain it all back, like you did, plus often adding on more pounds. There are diets that work, but there’s diets that don’t work and they’re just not sustainable for the long haul.
What was the hardest part about all those diets you tried?
Well, the HCG is a 500 calorie diet right, everyday, so I had to just be disciplined for eight or nine months. I did that and it cost me a lot of money. I mean it cost me a LOT of money! But I’ve been desperate with the Lord about my weight my whole life! I have begged him to find things that work so I think it’s just counting calories.
I don’t like counting calories and that’s a lot of what people do. A lot of people that I talk to even today count calories, and I’m free from it, but they don’t want to hear it. So the Holy Spirit’s saying to me – don’t even talk about it. They’re going to come to you and ask you about what you’re doing now.
That’s the conclusion that I finally came to, because I’m so excited I want to tell everybody about the Weigh Down Lifestyle. I want to tell people that I see them counting calories, not saying you have this big weight problem, but I have the answer so you don’t have to count calories any longer. But they don’t want to hear it so God’s going to have to open the door for me to talk to them about it.
Yes I agree with you. God has to speak to each one of us individually. We so love all of your excitement and your enthusiasm, because the Weigh Down Lifestyle is working for you, like it is for so many women!
So how has the Weigh Down Lifestyle been different for you than all the previous diets you’ve done?
Well for one, I hear Ruth in my head a lot! (LOL) I hear “You go Girl!” or “You Chose,” or “Choose Your Hard,” or “Pick this or choose between Good, Better and Best..” I mean I hear you all the time in my head and I think that’s a lot of it, because you’re constantly dialoguing in our heads. You go Live so often and I’m almost guaranteed that in a 48-hour period I’ll see you, and that helps me!
Now I’m going to get emotional, but that helps me stay on track! AND I’m not in this journey alone and you have proven that by going on vacation, and yet you still go Live often so that I can hear you. I mean, it doesn’t all come to me right now, but I catch myself saying the things you say to others. So I think that’s the biggest thing…I hear you in my head all the dang time!
And it is so worth $27 per month. Wow… It is so worth that money because…I want to pay for a year, honestly. I actually joined and told my husband, I’m going to try it for three months and I can quit. And now it’s like, “Honey, we need $300 because I don’t like thinking about it and I want to join for a year.
I just know that my eating – oh my gosh – the food is amazing! AND I hate cooking, mind you, and I don’t cook a lot, but what I have tried has been amazing. And the spelt flour, I haven’t had it in my house before. That’s the first bag that I’ve owned, so I am so excited to make the muffins and all of that now. My snacks though, I’m never hungry. Let’s be honest – I am never hungry the way this program works, and at 300 pounds – I was always hungry on a diet!
So that’s a great thing to have said! You know that on all those diets you were hungry, and now on the Weigh Down Lifestyle you’re not hungry. That’s fabulous! Wow!
We also know that you’ve had so many non-scale victories and on-scale victories, so why don’t you tell us about some of your non-scale victories first.
Well I don’t drink pop any longer, since June 15th, and that was every day! I had to have my Pepsi! The other thing that I did was the apple cider vinegar and I still can do it, but the Holy Spirit is saying let it go because it started to be a crutch. So today I had just lemon water instead. He didn’t say I couldn’t have it, He just said let it go for a few days because we don’t want any crutches either because that’s hard too.
So the non-scale victories… I’m walking without canes! I mean literally, all the time, I don’t think to bring them any longer! I went to dinner with my husband, as you know through the Facebook group, and I can now eat half a meal and be full, which everybody around me including my husband is like, really – are you sure? [Laughter]
I mean I eat a lot. I mean I don’t eat my ice cream, that was the most thing I ever wanted before. If you were ever going to get me something for my birthday, you would have to get me ice cream, that’s what I would tell everyone. Now it’s like, I have five half gallons of ice cream in my freezer, because my husband is a twig – he’s a size 29 so he can eat whatever he wants when he wants. But it’s not healthy, so I am starting to cook a little bit more and putting it out for him to see if he’ll eat it for health, but I guess those are the three biggest non-scale victories. There’s a lot – literally there are a lot!
Well that’s awesome! So since you joined the Weigh Down Lifestyle, and I don’t know the exact date that you joined, but…
What is your on-scale victory since you joined the Weigh Down Lifestyle?
June 15th is when I started and as of today, I’ve lost 26 pounds, from the lowest I’ve ever been it’s 53 pounds.
Way to go girlfriend!
It’s working! I mean I just actually went to the store and found a summer top for $2.40 and I’m like, you know, I’m not that size right now, but for only $2.40, and I’m going to Mexico March 5th – I’ll fit into that because I’m in 2x now and I just transferred to that in the last couple of weeks so I’ll get in this and I’m going to be rocking some 1x in Mexico!
Way to go Stephanie. We just love your enthusiasm. it’s absolutely fabulous and contagious. You’re amazing and you’re such an inspiring person in our community and we love that about you.
I have one more question for you because we know that you’ve had so many non-scale and on-scale victories. You’re walking without a cane for goodness sakes! That is amazing. You’re not going to your ice cream and that is a huge non-scale victory.
You’re hearing the kind voice in your head versus the mean voice, and you know that we just love you! You are a beautiful example of living a happy, healthy lifestyle. That’s what you’re doing now!
So my last question for you is this: You know that in the Weigh Down Lifestyle we invite God to the table; we invite God into the journey so this is different than a lot of other diets that we know of.
What does it mean for you in your life to invite God into your weight loss journey?
I’ve invited God forever. I’ve been begging him though, that’s the difference. I don’t have to beg now. I just have to say thank you. That’s all I have to do because He is making a difference. I told God that I’m going to be 60 in two years and eight months or whatever it is. I said at 60, whatever size I am, I’m not dealing with it. I’m not going to do anything, and God was like – okay, let me show you how you’re going to be able to do that through the Weigh Down Lifestyle. It is supernatural. I’m just sad that you didn’t show up in my life 25 years ago. I would have been able to do more with my kids, but guess what – I’m doing grandbabies now. So they’re reaping the benefit of this Weigh Down Lifestyle.
That’s awesome because you know that in the Weigh Down Lifestyle, we have FIRED our diets! We don’t eliminate food groups and we don’t count anything. No calories, no carbs, no points, no fiber, no macros. We live a happy, healthy lifestyle with God in the Journey; we invite God to the table and when we actually surrender our weight loss journey to God, then we can finally find freedom with food and enjoy our delicious tasting food choices. We learn to nourish our bodies and treat our bodies like a temple rather than a trash can. We give our bodies the nutrients that make us healthy and strong so that we can live out our purpose and the life God has for us.
I’m just saying, you’re going to see me in front of the church one day talking about what the Weigh Down Lifestyle has done for me. My voice, I can go farther than your voice. I can reach a whole lot of women that you don’t and they’ve never heard of you, so your Weigh Down Lifestyle could blow up, just saying, as far as membership, and you better be getting ready to hire because God’s about ready to do something supernatural with what you have given to us women.
You’re just such an inspiration for the Weigh Down Lifestyle, and I just want to say thank you once again for taking the time to do this interview, Stephanie. Remember, you are a Beautiful Woman Chosen For Greatness and we BELIEVE in You!
I had so much fun interviewing Stephanie, and for those of you who know her in the community, you know that she is so supportive and amazing! Let me know what you learned or what resonated with you from the interview in the comments below!
P.S. – If you’re here searching for how to lose weight without being on a diet, here’s a few links you can check out:
Food Freedom Workshop – learn how to invite God into your weight loss journey and lose weight without being on a diet!
10 Day Weigh Down Plan – this is our premium plan for weight loss, where women have literally lost 10+ pounds in 10 days! It is amazing!