A Positively Inspiring Chat with Ruby
If you don’t recognize the name Ruby Gettinger you may not be alone, but after watching just one episode of Ruby on the Style Network (Sundays, 8 p.m. ET) you’ll feel like you’ve known her for years. Unlike other weight-centric reality shows that feature competition, round-the-clock workouts and elimination ceremonies, Ruby follows its namesake star on her quest to shed hundreds of pounds on her own. NeverSayDiet chatted with Ruby, who talked about her journey so far, how she manages to keep a positive outlook and why she feels so connected to the people who watch her show.
NeverSayDiet: Season 1 of Ruby is now out on DVD. What made you decide to document your weight-loss journey on national television when there is so much scrutiny about people’s weight in day-to-day life?
Ruby: On my show I wanted to be the guinea pig. I want to know why there are so many people out there suffering from obesity. There is such a big market out there, and people are making millions of dollars from diet products, but people are still getting bigger. There’s a big disconnect somewhere. I say that I’m on a journey and people are following along with my show.
NSD: You’ve lost over 100 pounds since your journey began. How were you able to drop the weight and how are you continuing to lose the pounds?
Ruby: The thing that worked for me was the Ourlife Health program. I had to go cold turkey and eat nothing but healthy food. I was mad and I was pouting. It took me six months; it was like a rehab program for eating. But the hard way is the only way to achieve your goals.
Food journaling really helped me, too. We have the Internet now and can find the calories for everything. Turn the package over and find out the serving size because it will shock you. If you keep up with it you’re not going to fail. Even people that aren’t dieting will start [looking at serving size] because you’re cautious about what you’re eating.
I’m restricted to 1,700 calories a day and some restaurant meals are a week’s worth of calories! Even [restaurant] salads are bad. People think, “Oh, salads are good for me,” but some are 1,500 calories by the time you add everything in it. If I’m going to eat that many calories just give me some chocolate!
NSD: In Season 2 of Ruby we’ll get to see you leave your hometown of Savannah, GA, and meet people from all over the country. What has it been like connecting with your fans?
Ruby: I love connecting with the fans face to face. I get to hug their necks and kiss their faces. It’s unbelievable how sweet everyone is. I never knew how lonely some people are. They don’t have anyone to walk with. A lot of people made themselves shut-ins because people didn’t accept them. They are now finding other people to be accountable to and it’s changing their lives.
People are so sweet and it’s just amazing. Even thin people who used to think, “Why doesn’t she just go on a diet?” are saying they understand my journey and are learning that it’s not that easy.
NSD: Why do you think fans feel so connected with you?
Ruby: I think people share their stories with me because I share with them. I am so open with my journey. People walk in my shoes. They hear me and they can relate to me and I can relate to them. We share our stories together.
When I started this thing it was about trying to find out the truth. People are now actually making changes with me. People email me or send me videos and tell me the addictions they’re dealing with. People tell me they’re losing 50 pounds, 80 pounds and sharing it with me.
NSD: Any stories in particular that have impacted you?
Ruby: In Philadelphia a young girl told me she wanted to commit suicide. She said she saw the show and decided not to do it, because she wanted to be happy like me. I told her, “Whatever you have to do [to lose weight], you have to do it.” This is what happens to kids, because they’re getting so verbally abused at school they can’t handle it.
Somewhere down the road of life someone always tells us something negative. We might not remember when, but someone tells you can’t do something and you think they’re right, but it’s bull. You can cross over it.
NSD: You’re such a positive person despite your struggle. How do you manage to keep a smile on your face even on the hardest days?
Ruby: I’ve always been a happy person. Even at 716 pounds I was happy. I love life and I love to laugh. When I start feeling down or feel like I can’t make it, I tell myself, “No. You’re not going to do this.” Sometimes I scream at myself, “Shut up!” because if I go [to a negative place] I’m never going to get to my destination.
Whatever your passion is and whatever burns inside your soul that is your purpose and your destiny. You have to do it or you’ll never be happy. Do whatever it takes to get it. It’s not worth living your life if you’re not doing what you’re passionate about.
Ruby airs on the Style Network Sunday nights at 8 p.m.