Monday, December 7, 2009

"Ruby's Diary: Reflections of all I've Lost and Gained" by Ruby Gettinger

If you've been watching "Ruby" on The Style Network, most of this book will be very familiar to you. It's still worth reading, though, as it gives a bit more insight into the mind of someone struggling with weight.

Ruby Gettinger, for those not familiar with her or the show, has almost always been on the "larger" size. At her heaviest, she was over 700 pounds. It never kept her from going out and living her life, though; she just couldn't do a lot of things that most of us take for granted. She's always had a lot of friends and has even had a boyfriend (Denny) but she wanted more out of life. It took a doctor's visit to really wake her up - he told her that if she didn't start trying to lose the weight, she'd most likely be dead within a few years. She had high blood pressure, diabetes, and other assorted weight-related health problems. She decided she was seriously going to diet this time. She asked her friends to start filming her, mostly so they could somehow show people what the struggle is like. Along came someone who thought it would make a great reality show, and now they're starting the 3rd season on Style.

What I like about Ruby is that she IS real. Yes, she has a team of experts helping her on this journey, and yes, I'm sure a lot of it is being paid for by the good people at the network. But only Ruby can be the one to actually lose the weight, and as she has shown on the show and here in the book, that doesn't always happen. There are days were she doesn't want to eat the prepared meals (she talks about how much she misses her spaghetti!) nor does she want to exercise. She tries to "be good" when she's on a trip, and she thinks she's done a good job, too. However, when she weighs in next, she learns that she's gained a couple pounds. When she goes over what she ate, the nutritionist points out all the "wrong" foods she's eaten, and it's not what you think. Calories DO count, people, regardless of where they come from!

Some of the prejudice she's encountered during her life are just awful. Sadly, I sometimes saw myself in that bunch of idiots - I think we all feel that way towards someone at some point in our life. Maybe we do it to feel better about ourselves, or maybe we're just going along with what is accepted behavior (slamming fat people is still OK with most, no matter whether it really is or not). The book made me realize that I need to really stop and get to know someone before I judge them. Trust me, not easy to do. And also trust me when I say that if I find reason to think you're an idiot, I'll go ahead and think it! LOL!

Ruby is truly a wonderful person, and someone I would like to meet someday. She's been doing a lot of touring with this book and with the show, so who knows? Anyone who's ever gone on a diet and "blown it", anyone who's struggled to lose weight, anyone really could pick up this book and appreciate Ruby's story.

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