Since Saturday, I’ve been watching episodes of Ruby.  If you don’t know this show, it’s a reality TV show about a woman named Ruby Gettinger from Savannah, GA who once weighed more than 700 pounds.  The first season has her at 477 pounds and working to lose it. The second season, which was On Demand, showed her at 350 pounds.  I’m going in-between the two.

I get that some people would watch it because of the “train wreck” aspect that it could have had.  Ruby is serious when she says she’s  big girl in a little world.  However, it is edited with care and caution.  The producers are really careful not to be humiliating or harmful to her ego, which is refreshing.  Still, in watching the show there are a lot of little things about personality that come up.  She’s not just a big girl, she’s got a big personality.  Sometimes a big, bullying one at that.

I relate to Ruby in some ways. While I was never as large as she got, I couldn’t fit neatly into an airline seat.  I always felt the need (hell, still feel the need) to apologize to the person next to me for being a “thigh” buddy.  I’ve been mocked for my size — more by adults.  I’ve whined that things were hard, when it was just my body not being able to do what it once could due to the excess weight.  When she mentions feeling evil because she wants something else — something sweet or salty — I get it.  I know what that addiction feels like.

I watched an episode where her old boyfriend came back.  The discussion turned to how he would have married her if ONLY she had lost weight.  I didn’t cry, but I’ve been there.  I’ve been dumped because I was too heavy, not pretty enough.  If only the body matched the face…  At least Ruby wasn’t a dirty little secret.  That, I think, is more soul crushing. Like Ruby, I wanted someone to love me for me.  Unlike Ruby, I found that person.  Now when I battle weight, it’s all about me.  I already know that I’m loved for me.

The best part of the show for me, the part I think everyone should watch, is seeing that weight is NOT about food.  They show that there is a reason that she got to more than 700 pounds.  It addresses enabling behaviors, sabotage, and what’s going on in your mind.  I think watching her journey is important because it shows the push-pull difficulty of having to live in one very strict way to get the results you want or need.

I think Ruby has more to say to me about my own weight-loss journey.  I’ve been on it for 5 years.  I still haven’t conquered it.  I’m still thinking on it, but I can’t say I’m trying hard, working on it, or showing fidelity.  My beast for food is demanding more than I can have to have a BMI of less than 25.

I think I need to find out why I’m fighting any weight loss program and what it means to me ultimately.


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