A little over a year ago, we had the chance to interview Ruby and were so impressed with her outlook and honesty that we could think of no better person to name as this year’s Fit Bottomed Girl of the Year. Ruby has been on a public journey to lose hundreds of pounds and find the lost memories of her childhood. Her reality TV series on The Style Network is in its second season, and she was recently on Oprah, talking about her struggle with food addiction (both admitting at first that she had it and then working through her emotional eating issues). Ruby’s love of life and her dedication to learning more about herself and committing to a healthy lifestyle is an attitude that we commend.
Ruby encompasses everything that FBG is about—that being a Fit Bottomed Girl is more about attitude and choices than a pant size and that eating right and being active can actually help you do new things and reach goals that you never thought you would, or could. Thankfully, when we asked Ruby if she would accept this second-annual award (see who won last year!), she said yes, rather hilariously. See below for our full interview with her, including her candid reaction to the nomination!
- FBG: What has changed since we last talked to you last August? Where are you in reaching your weight-loss goals?
- RG: I am closing in on the 300-pound mark. I have lost more than 400 pounds since my heaviest weight, and I am losing weight from the inside out! What I mean by that is I am searching inwardly, trying to get to the root of the problem and working to get sober when it comes to food! Whatever your addiction— food, alcohol or drugs—most of the battle is in your brain. I am tackling the root causes of my problem head-on, literally.
- FBG: Do strangers treat you differently now that you have lost weight?
- RG: I believe some people have more respect for me, not only because I am losing weight, but also because I am shedding light on the true obesity battle! Many people view someone who is overweight as lazy or as a glutton. I hope that my story helps show how their perceptions are just not true. I have had many people write to me to tell me that they hated or blamed a family member or friend for their obesity, but now realize that this is a true addiction and that the very people they are blaming are fighting something terrible that controls them. They need love and help—not ridicule—to find a way out.
- FBG: During the second season on your show and on Oprah, you admitted that you are addicted to food. How did admitting that help you? Was it hard to say and believe?
- RG: Admitting to myself and others that I was a food addict was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. It took everything in me to say that because I had told myself for years that I was fine. In the first step (of the 12-step program), it says, “You’re powerless over ______” and I just couldn’t get myself to say “food.” Before I was able to admit out loud, openly, “I have a food addiction,” I had to dig really deep inside. It was almost like a shocker. It may not be a shocker to everybody else because they’re looking at me going, “How could you not be addicted to food?” Accepting the reality of my food addiction allowed me to better understand my “beast” and to take the next step to defeating it.
- FBG: What would you tell others who suffer from food addiction or are troubled by emotional eating?
- RG: First of all, I would tell everyone, you are not alone. The biggest thing I’ve found out through this whole journey is that there are thousands of people facing my same struggle with food addiction and obesity. It is important to assemble a support system that can help you on your journey. Friends or an online social network with people facing similar challenges can make all the difference. Groups like Overeaters Anonymous are there to help. If you don’t want to go to the meetings in person, you can attend a meeting online. Meeting other overeaters can be an enormous source of strength and hope. And one last thing, visit your doctor. If I hadn’t been pushed by my mother to get checked, I would not be here today. I would be dead, because I had no idea that I had diabetes, and that alone would have killed me.
- FBG: How much do you work out now and what activities do you do? Would you say that you like exercise now?
- RG: I love my trainers Drew and Shazi! They do everything to make my workout fun! Shazi and I dance for 45 minutes straight. I use a NuStep bike because it is for people up to 700 pounds, and it is made not to hurt your knees. So, I set that bike to burn 400 calories, and I do not get off until it does! I also love boxing! I am walking outside or on the treadmill an hour, and I do several miles! I love working out and realize I must do this for the rest of my life for my health, joints, etc. Let’s face it, most of us don’t love the gym. But there are tons of physical activities that can be really fun.
- FBG: What does the future hold for Ruby?
- RG: I know the next major step in my journey is to finally find the lost memories of my childhood. I think they are the key to unlocking the mystery as to why my weight first spiraled out of control when I was in my early teens. I have about 60 more pounds to lose. At that point, I am planning to have surgery to cut away the excess skin left behind from my weight loss. I want to visit every state and meet and hug the people on my journey who are supporting me! I want to start an anti-child abuse campaign and bring to the forefront how things like physical abuse, verbal abuse, abandonment and bullying affect our children well into adulthood. This is where many of the addictions start!
- FBG: Would you accept our Fit Bottomed Girl of the Year award? Through your honesty and solid efforts in getting healthy, we think that you embody exactly what FBG is all about—living life to its fullest and being your best self through healthy eating and regularly activity that you love.
- RG: YES! Oh my gosh! I can’t believe “Bertha” is getting an award! LOL! Thank you so much! It means a lot to me to get this award! I accept it for everyone that is on this journey with me. For those struggling to get fit and healthy and, most importantly, searching for their truth! They are with me losing weight from the inside out! By searching deep inside ourselves, we can beat any addiction. And, once we beat it, we will all be fit mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually! Thank you Fit Bottomed Girls!!! You’ve made me hacky wacky!
- FBG: Any other thoughts or advice for our readers?
- RG: Do NOT wait until tomorrow because tomorrow will NEVER come. It may come 10 years later or come too late. Whether you are trying to lose weight or get in better shape or trying to break an addiction, start this very second; start YOUR dream right now! If you mess up, start over right then! Do not face your battle alone. Reach out for help. Share your struggle with friends, send an e-mail, chat online, call an 800 number, attend a support group. And if you know someone is suffering, reach out to help them. The hardest part of this journey for me was reaching out and doing this, but, because I am, it is saving me! YAY!
A big thank you and congrats to Ruby! As she said it best, we’re “hacky wacky” about it, too! For more tips and Ruby-isms, check this out!—Jenn