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Ruby's Diary: Reflections on All I've Lost and Gained Hardcover – September 8, 2009

3.7 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow (September 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061924601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061924606
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,944,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Anyone who's lost more than 400 pounds without resorting to surgery, and going the so-called "old-fashioned" route of diet, exercise and willpower has to be. I didn't know that Ruby Gettinger was a reality television star before picking up this book. I don't have access to Style TV, nor do I watch an excessive amount of television. It was her cover (warm smile, confidence, with cute red dress with a Yorkshire Terrier in tow) that made me curious to find out more about Ruby.

After reading Ruby's book, I checked out the reviews on Amazon.com and was surprised to find some who criticized Ruby as "being atypical" and not a "true example" of overweight women. Some have called Ruby's observations "childlike," I think people confuse warmth, humor, openness, unpretentiousness for being "child-like." Others complain that she has the help of Style TV trainers and dieticians to help her lose the weight. Still, more critics argue that she isn't typical because she's has friends and is a social butterfly.

To this I say, so what. I love Ruby Gettinger. There should be more overweight people living life like Ruby in spite of the prejudices in this society. Although I found the letters from friends (which read like reference letters sometimes), and her Rubyisms (new words from two congealed ones) irritating, overall, her diary inspired me to love and appreciate myself.

But, for years, Ruby was surviving on public assistance, jobless (because people refused to hire her because she was overweight), and discriminated against. (Some spat at her, and in one memorable entry, she talks about a policeman who accused her of being a drug dealer, because he couldn't believe that she was popular.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Like everyone else who struggles with their weight, I've often wondered about the underlying causes of my never-ending struggle. That is precisely what Ruby is examining about herself, but in a very public way. As viewers of her show know already, Ruby is working her way down from a morbidly obese 700-pound woman to her ultimate goal of 150-something pounds. In the process, she's documenting her life for the cameras, along with the help of a therapist, a nutritionist, a physician who specializes in obesity, and a pair of enthusiastic personal trainers.

Okay, it sounds like a recipe for sure-fire weight loss... but none of those experts can lose the weight FOR Ruby. Like the rest of us, she struggles with every bite, with every workout, with every day. Only, because of her very large size, her problems are super-sized, too. Like, trying to take a plane trip from Georgia to California to see a friend and realizing that, even after suffering the indignity of needing two seats, she discovers she can't even use the bathroom on the plane due to her size (or, more accurately these days, due to the incredibly small size of plane bathrooms).

And what about clothes? As many of us know, "one size fits all" doesn't really exist. But when you're 700, 500, even 300 pounds (as Ruby is approaching this season), you know better. Pants? There aren't designers out there bending over backwards to outfit people that size. Fortunately, Ruby's designer friend was able to help her out and, after going over a decade without wearing them, he designed her a pair of pants.

That may sound trite to someone who's never struggled with their weight, or to someone who's only trying to lose 20 pounds or so. At first, that's how I reacted, too.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I wouldn't say that I have watched every episode of Ruby's show- but I have seen probably a handful (maybe four or five. I have enjoyed what I have seen of her show (all shows were watched before I received this book- many before I even knew about the book). However, I have to say that this book is a bit of a disappointment.

"Ruby's Diary" as a stand alone book would be hard to follow if I had not watched those few episodes. There is no context for some of the people. Often times there is no context for the point in time. I am not saying that there should be dates on the chapters, but most people who pick up a "diary" to read expect some sort of chronology to be explicit- which this book has none of. I assume it's chronological but I have no knowledge really of at what point in her ongoing journey she is while reading the text. Is she skipping around or is it day by day? The reader gets no real sense of time in this diary. There really needs to be more of a sense of time when reading specific "entries" in this diary.

Ruby also spends a lot of time explaining her own slang words. This is a huge turn off. A couple here and there to illustrate a point are fine but it is tedious to constantly have to be told what each "Rubyism" mean (and unfortunately the explanations are necessary- or at least they were for me). I think that if she felt like she needed to explain the word? Than perhaps she shouldn't have used it. I realize the point is to portray Ruby as a fun-loving individual (and from what I got from the TV show she definitely is) but this just went overboard.

The biggest disappointment however is that most of the diary entries are fluffy entries- with the personal testimonials being completely unnecessary filler.
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