Style Network’s ‘Ruby’: Big Girl with a Big Heart Seeks Big Weight Loss

My mother’s name is Ruby but I didn’t let this fact deter me from watching Style Network’s Ruby (Sundays  8 p.m. Eastern) about morbidly obese Savannah resident Ruby Gettinger for whom weight loss is a matter of life or death.

I know, you are having a “seen that already” grossed out feeling as you think about the last time you tuned into the Discovery Health Channel (soon to be the OWN channel as in Oprah owns the bitch) where you watched some poor pitiful blob of humanity lying in a hospital bed or sitting in wheelchair telling the camera that he/she can’t understand how he/she gained so much weight. On this same program, you watch some ghastly medical procedure in which the pounds/mounds of fat are excised from the aforementioned body as you wince in virtual pain and disgust. Next scene: The patient is in recovery  — smaller, personally satisfied, but with more than a few pounds of unwanted flesh requiring additional, now plastic, surgery. You are left wanting to file this entire experience under: TMI – Too Much Information and/or “I just threw up in my mouth”. No, this ain’t Ruby.

And Ruby is also not one of those The Biggest Loser-type shows with its buff bootcamp instructors and oversized, whiny contestants who lose an inconceiveable number of pounds each week and for whom the pot at the end of the rainbow is not filled with some three-alarm turkey chili (Stop staring. Hey, it’s cold today) but $250,000.  Now there’s a weight loss incentive for your big ass.

No, Ruby is none of those things.  It’s a wonderfully sweet docu-drama about a cool chick, a beautiful sassy charming redhead who just happens to weigh nearly 500 lbs.  Full of life and eager to find love – starting with herself and then moving on to a significant other — my girl likes rides on the back of motorcycles, get herself a good pedicure, and spend time with close and loving friends. The only thing truly keeping her from having the her best life now, as the Big O would say, is two or three hundred unwanted pounds.

Her desires are surprisingly small for those of us for whom finding a suitable chair in a waiting area is not even a thought.  Among her wishes is to be able to take a bubble bath and to sit on a boyfriend’s lap.

Oh by the way, she had a boyfriend, a very handsome trainer, Denny, with whom she was involved with for several years and who returns after a six-year absence. We meet him in episode 2 during which he states that he would marry Ruby if she lost the weight. By this time, Ruby has lost over 50 lbs. with the help of a personal trainer, an obesity specialist and pre-packaged nutritious meals. At the end of their whirlwind day together, which includes a ride on the back of his motorcycle and a walk on the beach where Denny confronts a group of people who openly ridicule Ruby, she comes to the conclusion that she is so over dude and will never be with a man who makes losing weight a precondition to the continuance of their relationship.  You go girl!!

Least you be fooled, Ruby, although fairly well-adjusted in most areas, has some inner demons that have yet to be revealed and it’s those demons that may be the root cause of her “eating addiction”. During a session with a psychologist, it is revealed that the 30 year-old has no memory of her childhood. I mean none.  Her earliest memories it seems to begin around age 13. It’s frightening to think what terrible incidents she is trying to hide under those layers of adipose. Damn.  As a former fattie and an abuse survivor, I can so relate.

I must say I love Team Ruby, which include her longtime friends Georgia, Jeff, her roommate, and her nephew/roommate, Jim, as much as I adore the big gal herself. Realizing that they have been part of the problem, Jeff, Georgia and Jim are now wanting to be an active part of the solution.

Sign me up for Team Ruby. I may not be able to get onto the playing field with her but I will be rooting on the sidelines for her success.


At the conclusion of the what may be the first of many seasons of Ruby, our heroine lost 104 lbs., went camping for the first time and visited one of her childhood homes with the hopes of restoring her lost memories.   I’m going to miss the ole gal.  She always serve to put a smile on my face.


Attention Ruby fans, it was announced at the Television Critics Association (TCA) conference that our big girl will be back for a second season.  And it seems that she is getting smaller every day for it was reported that she has lost 150 lbs. (source)

One thought on “Style Network’s ‘Ruby’: Big Girl with a Big Heart Seeks Big Weight Loss

  1. Ruby – I saw you on Oprah’s show today and I want to tell you my story. I promise I’ll be brief. Forty years ago I was 27 yrs. old and was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. In the intervening years I have had both shoulders. both hips and both knees replaced. Add in a few wrist and hand operations and an ankle fusion and you can imagine how many scars I have. I prefer to call them my battle scars. After all, I ‘earned’ them and without the operation that caused them I’d
    be a real mess!
    You’ve come so far . . . don’t let a few scars upset all of the progress you’ve made.

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