Beverly Hills, Calif. – The star of a new Style Network reality show, a Georgia woman who recently weighed in at 500 pounds, recalled how she was warned she would die if she didn’t lose weight.
Ruby Gettinger, a native of Savannah, Ga., described in detail her lifelong struggle with weight at the Television Critics Association summer tour here during a Tuesday panel on Ruby, which will premiere in the fall on Style.
“Just recently they told me I’m going to die if I don’t lose this weight, no matter what,” she said. “At first I was like, well, I’m always unhappy. Maybe it’s just meant for me to die, because I can’t do this.”
The show is about Gettinger’s efforts to work with a team of experts, including a trainer and nutritionist, to lose weight and end her battle with obesity.
The woman, clad in a bright red dress and with a Yorkshire terrier on her lap, talked about longing to do the things people of normal weight do -- from taking a bubble bath to riding on a roller coaster to going to a mall without being made fun of.
Even traveling on a plane worries Gettinger, who said she takes Imodium to make sure she doesn’t have to try to fit into a tiny airplane bathroom.
Gettinger also decried prejudice against obese people, talking about how strangers often laugh and make abusive remarks to her, and how her boyfriend broke off with her when she couldn’t lose weight.
“It’s an addiction,” she said of obesity. “It’s a disease.”
Gettinger, who was 500 pounds when the show started filming, has lost 63 pounds since beginning her diet in March. Her goal is to be 145 pounds.
At her heaviest ever, Gettinger said she tipped the scale at 700 pounds.
The show’s producers, Gay Rosenthal and Victoria Zielinski, and Gettinger, said they hope the show will be inspiring for other overweight people.
“These people, I want to give them hope,” Gettinger said. “Don’t give up.”
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