Ruby's Diary by Ruby Gettinger with Sheryl Berk is the story of Ruby and her personal weight-loss journey. At her heaviest, Ruby weighed 716 pounds, but her friends and family didn't realize how large the problem had become because Ruby never let her weight curb her sparkling personality. After being weighed on a scale used to weigh boxes, Ruby became determined to lose weight. She lost about 200 lbs. and then lost her motivation. Later she decided to try to beat "the Beast" again, but this time she enlisted the help of some friends to videotape her struggles. These videotapes eventually led to her own TV show on the Style Network, Ruby, where viewers are shown Ruby making healthy food choices, exercising, and ultimately trying to overcome her obesity. At the time of the book's printing Ruby was down to 333 lbs. and well on her way to reaching her goal of 150 lbs.
I enjoyed this book because it was a very personal reflection, written by Ruby, of her weight loss battle. She has a genuine love for people and a desire to help others like herself, and this aspect of her personality shone through. The book is filled with "Rubyisms", little words that Ruby uses in place of others ("hacky" is a mix of happy and wacky, "helicopter" is used in place of hell). It contains letters from friends wishing Ruby well, as well as a sample diet plan from her doctor and encouragment from Ruby's personal trainers. I love that Ruby refuses to undergo stomach stapling to help her to lose weight. She is insistent on losing the weight the old-fashioned way, and actually conquering her demons along the way. Ruby has almost no memories of her life before the age of 10, and some wonder if a traumatic event around this time caused Ruby to overeat. By losing weight this way, Ruby is able to deal with things emotionally, as well as her struggles with food.
My only complaint is that there were not more entries from Ruby's diary. I realize that a diary is a personal thing, but I would have liked to have read more about her daily struggles and triumphs and less from her friends and family. Although the letters from the friends and family were intended to allow the readers to get more of a feel for Ruby's personality and struggles, I would have preferred more from her point of view.
Ultimately this was an inspiring book for anyone trying to lose weight or to overcome their personal addictions and demons. Ruby's story truly inspires hope in those around her, because if Ruby can do it, so can we! Thank-you to Deanna at HarperCollins Canada for this review copy! You can read the beginning of this inspirational book here.