Ruby Gettinger Talks Losing 400 Pounds And Her Favorite Oprah Moments

by | July 17, 2009 at 6:08 PM | Interviews

The second season of ‘Ruby‘ on the Style network, is already off to a great start – and the first episodes have already seen many happy ups and tearful downs.

We talked to the wonderful Ruby Gettinger as she was on the road to an event. She talked to us about what it’s been like to lose over 400 pounds, her fateful meeting with Oprah, and the difficulties she still encounters with people on the street.

You’ve lost so much weight. What’s been the hardest part of your journey?
The hardest part was changing my palate. It’s something you really have to work out. Especially when I have set backs. But even though my palate is changing – thank God – I’m like craving chocolate. It’s the hardest part for me. But it’s amazing because I never go back to it. It’s hard with the exercising, and walk, I have to keep motivating myself.

How much have you lost so far?
I’m waiting for the finale to tell everybody! But I’ll give you a hint. For the first time, I’m under 350, thank God! I’ve lost over 80 inches.

That’s amazing! Congratulations.
Yes, I couldn’t believe it. I look at (her friend) Georgia, and I go ‘Georgia, I’ve lost you!’

What do you substitute the old bad foods with?
I was a snack eater, that’s all I would ever do – candy and potato chips for dinner. Now, I have such a variation of foods. I eat the air popcorn, which is like 100 calories, or I eat a pretzel. Before I was eating like 3,000 calories a day without knowing.

Any unseen consequences of losing so much weight?
The only thing I can tell you is – when you lose the weight it takes you a while to really see yourself. To see yourself small like everybody else does. I know I have more weight to lose, but I can’t worry about that right now.

When you dream, are you the person that you are now or before?
Well, when I dream I always dream of myself small, I never saw myself big. And that was so weird to me. Now, I only see myself – i finally saw the difference when I saw the clips show – that shows scenes that were never before shown. I was brushing my teeth in front of the mirror, and it was the first time I had seen myself how I was. I was like ‘Oh my God.’ It’s almost like I’ve seen a different person. It feels weird. I really was able to see for the first time how much weight I’ve lost. I felt so much better. I was so happy. When you look in the mirror – you look at yourself every day – when I was bigger I didn’t see myself as big. Now, the same thing, losing weight, it’s hard to see myself how I really am.

What are some things you can do now that you weren’t able to do before?
I’m able to do things like get behind the wheel of a car or ride a bike for the first time. I’m able to do things like that  – it’s a dream that I thought would never come true.

Take us through the types of exercising that you do.
The best exercise there is – right now I’m boxing. I’m walking like three to four times a week. I try to walk a mile or when I’m on a bike, I ride it 25 minutes outside, where I’m sweating enough. I’m also dancing, not hard dancing, but easy dancing. I’m doing a lot of different things I enjoy, because if you do things that you enjoy it keeps you motivated.

What do you dance to?
I dance with a friend of mine, she teaches Cheerleading, she does this little Cheerleading thing with me. We make like a team. We’ll play Britney Spears, and we dance. It doesn’t even feel like a workout, but after you do it, you’re sweating.

Take us through a typical day of eating.
What I usually do is I get up in the morning and I eat Oatmeal. I’ve just learned how to make egg white omelet, with tomatoes and spinach. For lunch I have fresh stuff, for dinner on weekends sometimes on my own, I eat things like fish, any kind of fish I love. And that’s so weird, because in the old days I wouldn’t even put fish in my mouth! I eat spinach, asparagus, grilled chicken.

What was that like, getting used to eating new things?
I’ve been on millions on diets – but what happens is I did like a rehab in the first season. The stuff I was eating I was just like ‘This is so gross, this is disgusting.’ There was no salt, no sweets. It took me six months to change my palate! It was like an alcoholic going through rehab.

How did you get to the point you were at before – weight wise?
It’s so weird, I’ve said this before. I had clothes made for me. I hadn’t weighed myself, I hadn’t gone to the doctor. I was gaining weight and I had these big pants and shirt that I had made for me, so I was growing into them and I didn’t even realize it. It’s like an anorexic, where they look at themselves in the mirror, they see themselves as big. I was looking in the mirror and I would see myself as big but not as big as I was.

What was the first time you weighed yourself like?
The first time I went and weighed myself, they had to use a special weight. They took me down to the trains where they weigh special boxers. I saw that scale that said 760 pounds. I was like ‘Oh my Lord.’ I could not believe I weighed that much. I was overweight, I couldn’t beat the beast. Then I saw these women on the Oprah show, crying, about how they never went out and live their lives, and about how people would make fun of them. I would think, what is going on? Why are so many people getting bigger? Is it an epidemic?

You were on Oprah twice. What was that like?
Yeah, she is so sweet! I loved her. When we were talking then, she wanted to help me and to bring awareness to the issue. She knows how bad it is. We all struggle, and there even people who are small who are constantly working not to gain weight. I told her this, there is a market making millions of dollars doing this but we’re all getting bigger. So there’s a disconnect there.

Would you have a hard time going out in the street before the weight loss?
There was one time I was walking at the mall. The only place that could weigh me was using the scale at GNC. So I go in there, and there’s this man stands up in the food court and he goes ‘Oh my God!’ and his friends started laughing. I was in shock that someone would do something so obvious like that. And I didn’t know what to do.

Did you confront him?
I went right up to his table, and I just looked at him. He just sat and looked at me, and his whole table looked away. I think I was in shock still, though. But he couldn’t even face me. I could not allow that one person stop me from living my life. And that’s just one thing. On the street I get the same. I remember one time I was crazy in love with Denny, who is my ex-boyfriend. He has an issue with weight and he was probably embarrassed to be seen with me, but he was seen with me anyways. But one time someone yelled out something like ‘Fat astronaut!” I won’t say the actual word, but you know what I mean? And I was mortified because i was with him. People can be so cruel and I can’t understand it.

You are also helping people through the show. What’s that been like?
It’s amazing, so many people are on this journey with me. I get stopped in the street, they tell me how they lost 50, 80 pounds, they walk for the first time, or I get these emails even from young kids telling me they are anorexic and getting help. Or kids telling me that they are doing drugs and they lost their scholarship because of it. And that they need help. Also girls who cut themselves – I would get videos from these girls who say ‘Ruby, I have a problem, I cut myself, I am in so much pain, I would rather cut myself than think about it.’ I didn’t even know how bad it was. It was hitting a lot of different types of additions. Some people have it harder than me.

What can we look forward to in the new season?
I lose two people – very close to me, my dad. If you lost a parent that’s the hardest thing ever to go through. He was my hero and I loved him so much. How I get over the setbacks. There will be a lot of good changes and surprising changes. You’ll see me on a bike and on a kayak!  My first marathon also. I was so excited about doing that. Also my friends told me to go see a gynecologist, which I call the Christmas Doctor (laughing). I’m so glad they did. It’s so hard for any woman to go, but especially for someone my size. But it can save your life to do it. I made up my mind I gotta do this from now on. Also people come into my life that they did not like the first time. You’ll see that person come back into my life. I also go to a weight loss camp from Christmas.

Watch ‘Ruby’ on Style, Sundays at 8/7c

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