Photo Credit: Oxygen
For three seasons, viewers have tuned in to watch reality TV darling Ruby Gettinger tackle her weight issues with intensity and grace. Originally 716 pounds, the Southern belle has allowed cameras to document her daily struggles, her fears and successes. The result has been a wildly inspiring Style network show and blog – and a weight loss of more than 300 pounds. NeverSayDiet sat down with Ruby for an exclusive interview, to get the scoop on her recent weight gain, what to expect in the new season, and…Spanx!
What initially prompted you to want to seriously lose weight?
I remember watching these women on the Oprah show who were very overweight, saying they never went out of their house. They were shut-ins. At the time, I was 716 pounds. I wasn’t going to let anyone stop me from living my life…but weight was the only thing in my life that I couldn’t get control over. I’ve been struggling with it since age 13. Life was passing me by. I wanted to know why I was struggling. So I went on a journey to find out.
What are some things you can now enjoy that, while heavier, you couldn’t?
I can walk three miles – before, I had to take a break to breathe after five minutes. I’m able to sit in a car. I can wear pants instead of big tent dresses. I can go into a restaurant and sit in a chair with arms: Never before could I do that! I can fly in a plane and use the bathroom. I can ride a bicycle. I can walk around and keep up with my friends. It’s a new life for me.
You recently regained 60 pounds. Why you think you relapsed?
I got to a point I’d never been before – wearing jeans, boots, cute tops. It was a life I’d never had and I started eating more food as a way to cope with the stress. It was healthy food, but if you overeat healthy food, you can still gain weight. I felt such shame when I started gaining weight, but my [fans] helped me – on my blog or on Facebook, they still tell me “You can do it!”
Have you ever uncovered what caused you to gain in the first place?
I have no memories before the age of 13. My therapists believe something really dramatic happened to me…[but] I have no idea if there was abuse. When I started the journey, therapists said, ‘As you lose this weight, memories will come back to you.’ Then, I started having nightmares. They’re all the same – somebody is trying to kill me, but nobody else sees it. I think the dreams are trying to tell me something.
How has your body image evolved throughout this journey?
For the first time, I’m letting go of my security blanket - the old Ruby who knew she was huge but was so used to the body, she didn’t see it. And I have other issues: For instance, I feel like I’m always going to be scarred by the weight. First it was the fat, now it’s the flab [excess skin]. If I have that removed, I’ll have scars from the surgery, but I’ll just look at them as battle scars. To me, they'll always say: 'Ruby, you beat this.'
Can you give us any hints about the new season?
This is my crossover moment: Little Ruby will connect with Big Ruby. This is the first time my friends have ever been so honest with me, and I really hated them for a week. But now we’re fine, they probably saved my life by being so honest. [Ex-boyfriend] Denny and I go to couples therapy. I go on my first date ever with a guy in LA. And there’s a big kiss moment, but I can’t say who it’s with! Oh, and I show myself in Spanx. I didn’t know how amazing those things are. I put those Spanx on and it was the best thing that ever happened it me!
The fourth season of Ruby premieres on Style Sunday, March 6, at 8 PM ET/PT.
What do you think about Ruby's weight loss journey so far? Chime in below!