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TCA Press Tour: Style Network's 'Ruby'

July 8, 2008 |  6:22 pm


Ruby300 A Savannah, Ga., woman stole the hearts of TV critics Tuesday with her simple wish list: She craves to sink into a bubble bath, ride a roller coaster and sit on her man's lap.

Ruby Gettinger has never done these things because she weighs nearly 500 pounds and has been obese her entire life, at one point reaching 700 pounds. Now, she has her own show, "Ruby," for the Style Network, which will document her struggle to permanently lose weight.

Her goal is no joke: Ruby hopes to someday weigh 145 pounds. At times in her life, she's been able to lose 100 to 150 pounds, only to gain most of it back. So far, since production began March 1, she's lost 63 pounds.

This time, it feels different for Ruby, though, because her doctor has told her that her life is at risk, and she's fighting to live and is for the first time also being treated by a therapist.

"I was always a happy person," Ruby said during the press conference.  "I had my friends, my family, just always been happy. When the health thing came up, I told myself, I've got to do this. I’ve got to live. . . . I see myself big but never like this. And for the first time when I saw myself on video, I couldn’t believe it."

The nine-episode series premieres in November and will follow her story, regardless of whether she is able to lose more weight.

"In this case, the effort is the courageous thing and continuing to try," said producer Victoria Zielinski.
Although Ruby comes across as a charming open book, she does have one area of her life she won't expose.

"My friends always say that I tell my weight but won’t tell my age," she said looking uncomfortable when a reporter asked her age. "Southern people will call me an old lady if I tell my age. Can we just say 30?"

-- Maria Elena Fernandez

Photo: Ruby Gettinger, courtesy of the Style Network