Guest Author - Angela Baum
Ruby, Style Network’s popular reality show starring Ruby Gettinger, recently kicked off its fourth season. Filmed in her hometown, Savannah, Georgia, the series revolves around Ruby’s journey of weight loss. What makes her story so remarkable is that she is losing weight without surgery or drastic fad diets. Her journey began at a peak weight of over 700 pounds when she made the decision to change her life through sensible diet and exercise. The series actually began with Ruby weighing in at around 500 pounds, after she had already lost a significant amount of weight.
Throughout the previous seasons of Ruby we were introduced to a bubbly, sweet, and charming Southern gal, but the photographs that showed Ruby at her heaviest really brought home just how serious her weight issues have been. As the seasons progressed, we learned of her former flame, Denny, and their somewhat unconventional relationship; watched her switch doctors and trainers when she was not satisfied with the results; and enjoyed the beautiful friendships she shared with her best friends, Georgia and Jeff. Through all the smiles and laughs we wondered if there was some kind of pain buried deep beneath the surface, and each episode catapulted us further toward an understanding that there is certainly something behind this woman’s tremendous weight gain.
Part of what makes Ruby’s story so intriguing is that she brings us along as she tries to solve the mystery that is her life. You see, Ruby cannot remember most of her childhood. Years of her life are literally unknown to her, and part of her journey of weight loss is gaining back her memories. Season four promises further insight into just why Ruby has blocked out her past. Every episode gives us a little nugget of possibility such as the sad letters Ruby discovered that she had written when she was a teenager. The story line hints that Ruby was molested as a child, but if this is the case it has not been revealed as of yet.
Another appealing aspect of the series is that Ruby is real. There is no sense of her ever playing up to the cameras to create a show. What you see is what you get. Ruby is down to earth, and she makes us laugh and cry. We giggle at her silly “Rubyisms” (words she made up, such as hacky for happy, natty for nasty, or fanie for family), and we ached with her when she suffered through the passing of her beloved dog and her father. Every new episode adds another piece to Ruby’s puzzle, and despite a recent 60-pound weight regain, we do not give up on her. More importantly, Ruby does not give up on herself. She makes it clear she is fighting for her life. This is a message we all need to hear no matter what challenge we are facing. Ruby is also incredibly inspirational to anyone who, like her, is trying to lose weight or make any kind of significant change in their life.
New episodes of Ruby air Sunday nights at 7:00 p.m. CST on the Style Network.