Ruby: Confessions of a Reality-Show Star

Ruby Gettinger got fame and lost half her size, then her addiction got the best of her.
6:56 | 01/04/13

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Ruby: Confessions of a Reality-Show Star
Overweight people in reality television, especially makeover shows, they go hand in hand at times w losing weights a the goal. But what you lost half your size and you still weighed 350 pounds? Here is amy robach. Oh, my god! John, congratulations. You have done it. Reporter: Ever dream of landing a reality show to make your weight loss dreams come true? Keep letting go, tony. Reporter: Surely having the resources handed to you would do the trick. Well, meet ruby gettinger. For her, this dream became a reality, literally. For four seasons, hundreds of thousands of viewers tuned in to her show each week as she went from this -- -- to this. Ruby wasn't just plus sized. She was morbidly obese. It's not a childhood dream when I think, "let me be the biggest woman in the world." Reporter: For her, shedding the pounds was not just to fit into a pair of jeans. I do not know how girls do it. Reporter: It was about riding a bike, swimming. Driving a car. There is no way that seat belt is going to fit. Are you crazy? Reporter: Even fitting into a bathtub was a struggle. When I get down into a bubble bath, I'm gonna be the happiest girl in the whole usa. Reporter: But her accomplishments did not stop at the scale as she was launched into superstardom. Please welcome reruby to the show. Reporter: Regis and kelly. Dr. Oz and even oprah all came calling, making ruby the face of obesity. How excited were you to get started? When it first started, I was scared. I'm sitting there thinking, "how will they ever understand what this is about?" Never knowing the impact that was gonna happen. Reporter: With the show came counselors, a nutrition plan, trainers. Time to work out, right? Reporter: Many trainers. All working toward one number -- 250 pounds. Reporter: But secretly, off camera, her goal was dramatically different. I will be honest with you. And I never, ever say this. But in my head, my goal was 128. I wanted to be so thin that someone would look at me and say, "are you anorexic?" Reporter: But after season one, she was 373. Almost 130 pounds less than where she began. With season 2 under way, she hit a new low -- 357. At the start of season 3, ruby was arguably one of the most documented stories of obesity in america, fighting the fat and winning. I could not believe that here I am. Was at 328. I can't imagine that life 'cause I don't even know what that feels like 'cause I've never been, you know, ever been under 300. Reporter: While the show brought on a celebrity high, the pressure to keep losing was bringing her down. 327.6. I don't like that scale. We started seeing some changes in ruby. Definitely in the fourth season. A lot more emotional stuff was coming out. She didn't know how to deal with it. I didn't realize this is such an addiction. Reporter: Tennie mccarty, a counselor on the show and author of "shades of hope," knows all too well. It's not what we're eating, but what's eating at us. Reporter: Compare food addiction to other addictions we all know about. Alcoholism, drug addiction, nicotine addiction, you can live the rest of your life and never have to use the substance again. Reporter: Food is everywhere, and you have to eat? Absolutely. Reporter: Ruby was spiraling out of control. I feel like it became about a number. I literally did not eat for four days because I knew I had to weigh. And then after I weigh, I would binge eat. Reporter: And those tools she was given to make working out convenient? When I was in a bad place, i didn't use them at all. I literally would get a wash cloth and dust them off. I didn't want people to think she's not using her equipment. Reporter: But the numbers wouldn't lie, so ruby found a way to deceive the show and the scale. I could figure out a way to lean to this way or that way. I could make 28 to 30 pounds difference. Reporter: A 30-pound difference? But what was crazy is that the number on the scale, guess who believed it? Reporter: You. That's the sickness. Almost getting excited later on in the day because people are bragging about the number, that I have convinced myself that is the number, too. Reporter: Quickly they were on to her tricks and tried everything they could to keep her motivated. The network would propose certain things, like they sent ruby's friend to a weight loss camp for a couple of weeks. Reporter: In the end, show producers lost patience with ruby's weight gain. Ruby was cancelled, leaving fan's wondering what happened. What did they say to you? Nothing. They said, "we love you." You know, "we're just not gonna continue the show." Reporter: What do you think is the reason? My personal belief is because I gained weight. Reporter: Do you blame yourself for the show? Oh, yes. Because I feel like you let so many people down. Shortly after the show was cancelled, ruby lost her brother, giving her more reasons to eat. I didn't want to come out of this room at all. I ate everything in the bed. I literally lived in bed. Reporter: Her weight continued to climb. She gained 50 pounds, now back up to almost 400. I woke up with, like -- this is it. I'm doin' this. I gotta finish this for me. Reporter: Desperate to lose the weight and with no money, she turned to her former trainers for help I went to shazi, and I said I'm really serious this time. I can't afford to pay." I said, "if you don't, i understand. I haven't been consistent." I said of course. I'm here for you no matter what. Reporter: Now back in the gym regularly, no cameras, no show, she is eating right. With the help of her 90-day challenge, she has worked her way back down to 360 pounds. Today, she won't share a goal weight in fear of giving the numbers power. Through this journey she discovered something real about reality. Did you want the easy fix? It's hard. If you do the easy fix, look what it does. It explodes in your face. The hard road is the best road. And just in the past two months, I have never worked out as hard as I have worked out, been so strict, been so consistent. Reporter: Hard work that might finally get her under 300 pounds.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":18136978,"title":"Ruby: Confessions of a Reality-Show Star","duration":"6:56","description":"Ruby Gettinger got fame and lost half her size, then her addiction got the best of her.","url":"/2020/video/ruby-confessions-reality-show-star-18136978","section":"2020","mediaType":"default"}