As a result of Lifetime’s Little Women: LA, Christy McGinty is on her way to becoming a household name. Her brashness and honesty has made her a fan favorite and a focus of much of the show’s drama. In the show’s premiere episode, Christy was introduced with the quote, “if you don’t like me, I have no time for you,” and she’s remained true to her word. As longtime friendships have become strained, she’s fearlessly moved forward in her search for her own happiness. One of my favorite parts of this season has been Christy and boyfriend (then fiancé, now husband) Todd’s adventures as small-statured people in a world made for taller people. Christy McGinty and I spoke via phone about the show’s Season 1 finale, which features her wedding. While I was expecting Christy’s sitcom-ready humor, I was also granted a more serious look into Christy’s life that was both poignant and brutally honest.
Christy, Are you surprised at the amount of attention the show has gotten?
Not at all. Not at all, and I know that sounds really stuck-up and conceited, but we’re a group of friends, we have this amazing dynamic, we understand what it takes to get the word out and educate people. It’s amazing, after the first episode I thought, “This is going to go far. Definitely.”
Does it feel weird to see yourself on TV?
I’ve been an actress since I was 19. [Laughs] I love the camera, I really do. I feel very comfortable around it. When I see myself on camera, I criticize myself. I say, ”Oh man, I need to lose 20 pounds, I need to lose weight.” I think that’s where I get aggravated.
Tell us about your weight-loss journey. Is being a healthy role model for your children important to you?
I’ve always been really careful about what we eat in my household. I don’t carry sugar in my household. My son gets hyper and my dad has diabetes, so I learned at a young age to bake and cook with alternative sweeteners like Stevia. But I tend to eat junk when the kids are not around. If they’re visiting their dad, I tell Todd, “Let’s go to Jack in the Box.” Or, “Let’s go get some ice cream.” Or if I make my kids Mac and Cheese — that’s my downfall. I loooove mac and cheese — I tend to sneak a bowl or two.
How much weight have you lost?
I’m a bad, bad girl. At one point I had lost 10 mounds, and then I gained five back, so I’m a major yo-yoer. But Todd, he’s amazing. He’s lost 30 pounds and kept it off. And I’m so proud of him! He’s my role model and I need to get my butt to the gym more often.
The Season 1 finale will cover your wedding to Todd. What will we see?
I haven’t seen it yet, but it should cover the flowers and the dress and everything. And my whole family: my mom, my sister, my niece, doing my makeup. My daughter, she’s my junior bridesmaid. And my son, he’s my junior groomsman.
DanceWatcher, one of your fans, wondered if there are any plans to include your kids in the show. Will they be a part of Season 2?
I hope so. My son can totally do it now, but my daughter is the one is still questionable. I am divorced; we have 50-50% legal custody and physical custody. And my ex-husband did not want the kids on camera.
In the bachelorette party episode, it appeared that you and Traci found common ground and seemed to reconnect. Is your friendship on the mend?
Look, I never had a problem with her. She is the one who had the problems. Which is weird, because she’s a Christian and as a Christian she’s supposed to forgive and forget. I don’t really know what rubbed her wrong. I understand that I am a recovering alcoholic. I will have 5 years [of sobriety] this January. I think she likes to play the martyr and so if she wants to blame me for her insecurities or misery, that’s up to her. I wish her well with her wedding and I live my life one day at a time.
Little Women: LA fan, Kimberly Holden, asked if it’s difficult for you because many of the group’s outings involve alcohol. Is this a temptation to your sobriety?
It’s not a temptation. I love the motto: “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” I’m also allergic to peanuts and I treat my alcohol allergy like I treat my peanut allergy. If I take one drink, I die. If I eat one peanut, I die.
I found him. [Laughs] I was looking at Facebook within the Little People community and I saw his cute little face. So I checked out his likes. We like the same music, we have the same goals, we like to do the same things, we like the same things. And I thought we were compatible and I wondered if her was single, so I friended him and he friended me back, I was at work and when he friended me back, I sent him a message that said, “Yo!” and he said, “Yo yourself!” and that’s when it started.
How are you always able to take a light-hearted look at life’s challenges?
There are two ways you can live life. You can be miserable and wish that you’re not a little person and always be resentful of your parents or yourself or have low self-esteem, or you can live life and love life and embrace who you are and educate the world. If people look at you funny, or laugh at you, you can say, “Hey, that’s not okay. I’m a person. I’m a little person. I’m a dwarf. I have dwarfism.”
Where does your confidence come from?
It comes from my parents, 100%. They are average-sized and they had stools around the house. There was no excise not to get on the stool and work around the house. They treated me like I’m five feet-tall, or my mom’s size — 5’1”. They didn’t ever allow an excuse why I couldn’t do something. They always said, “You’re going to do it, and this is how you’re going to do it. If you can’t do it that way, figure out a different way to do it.” So I did.
Look, I’ve been to hell and back. I had a horrid marriage. I overcame being an alcoholic. I put myself through rehab. I got myself the help. I decided when to stop, right then and there. I have great, great people that I surround myself with. I have a fantastic sponsor. I have a 12-step program that I live my life around. My children are wonderful human beings. My parents are great people. And Todd is amazing. I just try to surround myself with really great people. If I have to be around people who are negative, I bear with it and I keep this positive outlook. I can’t say I’m perfect in any way, shape or form. If someone says something that’s off, there are points when I break down and I’ve seen it on TV when I blow up. When someone threatens me or threatens my family or my sobriety or says something negative about my children, then we have a problem.
When Terra claimed that you broke your sobriety, it really affected your friendship. How is your relationship now?
Cordial. Does that sound OK? I just don’t get her, I really don’t. She’s not a mom, for one thing. She has this music career that she’s really trying to boost up. We’re on totally different pages, we’re not just on different pages, we’re in different books. I’m really focusing on my own empire, I’m really trying to create my own empire, and if this show gives me a foot into build that, then I think that’s an amazing blessing.
Watch Christy and Todd walk down the aisle in Christy’s dream wedding Tuesday, July 22 at 10pmEP/PT.