Ruby Gettinger Lost 400 lbs—and Took Charge of Her Diabetes

The star of her own hit former reality series, Ruby, on the Style Network, describes how to persevere through the challenges posed by a big weight loss and take control of type 2 diabetes.

Linda Childers

Switch up workouts.
“If I did the same exercise routine every day, I would have given up a long time ago,” Ruby admits. “One day I’ll ride my bike, and the next alternate that with another activity, like playing badminton or tennis.” Varying your workouts may be key in managing diabetes: When people with type 2 diabetes alternated resistance training with aerobic exercise, they achieved better blood sugar control than folks who simply did one form of exercise, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Start with small goals.
Says Ruby, “When I first started losing weight, I could barely walk for five minutes without being out of breath. I started exercising by taking baby steps: Walking around my living room, then walking to the mailbox and then to the stop sign on my street.” Today, Ruby can walk three miles. A realistic, incremental road to better fitness like Ruby’s is proven to work: In a study presented at an American College of Sports Medicine meeting, sedentary adults who were told to increase their daily steps by 2,500 were more likely to stick with it than those who were asked to walk 10,000 steps.

Got off track? Keep going.
In early 2011, Ruby regained 60 pounds after dealing with her father’s death and five months later, losing Lucy, her 9-year-old Yorkshire terrier. “The best thing I can do is start over. Let things go, and start over immediately,” says Ruby, who’s intent on reaching her goal weight of about 150 pounds.
Success secret: If you suffer a relapse—which is perfectly normal whenever you try to change any behavior—remember you don’t need to start from square one. You already have the knowledge and tools in place to succeed. It’s just a matter of putting them to work again!

April 2013