Monday, November 24, 2008

Ruby, Tim Gunn, and weird dreams

Last night, I was home alone, a rare event that I celebrated by making a big bowl of air-popped popcorn and watching a bunch of cheesy reality television shows that my husband might not be as enthusiastic to see as I was. After Jennette's review of "Ruby" on the Style network, I had watched the introduction online and gotten caught up in Ruby's story. Last night I watched two more episodes of the show. In one, Ruby gets frustrated with eating her prepackaged meals while her friends eat pizza in front of her. In another, a self-centered little man comes back from Ruby's past after she has lost the first fifty pounds and says she needs to "give him the chance she never gave him" to take charge of her fitness routine and dangles the promise of marriage in front of her if she loses the weight.

I have to say that after watching these three episodes, I feel very frustrated with Ruby's friends and her doctors. Her "obesity expert" doesn't have any chairs in his waiting room that are large enough for a patient Ruby's size. Her doctors put her on a prepackaged meal plan and tell her that if she goes off her diet, she will die. Her friends consistently seem to eat huge helpings of greasy food in front of her while Ruby is left with her diet food. Georgia, who seems to be the best of the bunch, does not have a chair Ruby can use in her dining room, even though meals together as a group seem to be a regular ritual. This means that each week, Ruby has to sit alone in the living room while everyone else sits at the table. Her friends combine their stunning lack of empathy with a tendency to lecture her through mouthfuls of pizza. Though Ruby acts childish at times, I don't think that a grown woman should be treated like a child by her doctors and friends. I would have liked to see Ruby's routine set up in a way that would empower her. Instead, she has a bunch of rules that she has to follow "or die." She seems to handle it all with good humor, which is the only reason the show is at all watchable.

Our DVR also had several unwatched episodes of "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style," so I thought I'd catch up on my fashion tips. The DVR makes watching reality television so much more pleasant. You can skim through the dozens of commercials and watch a half-hour show in twenty minutes or less. I watched Tim and Greta transform a really tall, beautiful girl and a pretty petite woman with more than 280 items of clothing in her closet. None of them had any figure flaws that seemed familiar to me. Being too tall and thin is not a figure problem I have, nor is having so many gorgeous clothes that I don't know what I have, let alone what to wear. I still enjoyed myself thoroughly watching these women find more confident in themselves and realize how beautiful they are.

I had weirdly vivid dreams which, like many of my dreams, start to vaporize when I try to remember them in detail. I woke up with the sense that part of the reason that I always seem to regain the weight when I get to my goal is because I don't know how to dress a thinner body. I always felt pressure wear things that were too skimpy and revealing, which made me feel awkward and self-conscious. It's as if I got the body I had when I was a teenager, so I started acting like a teenager again. When I regained the weight, I felt less conspicious so, even though I hated it, somehow more comfortable. If I ever get back there again, I'm going to take Tim's list of essentials and dress like a sensible person. Then I'm going to walk like the tall woman did: Head high, shoulders back, feeling confident. Maybe I'll even start that last part now.


  1. Interesting insight about dressing like a teenager when you're the size you WERE as a teenager -- yeah, I can see so well how that would happen. We all need a Tim and Greta to come and work with us, but in the absence of that, Tim's list of essentials and advice still work.

    Love you lots and hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  2. Ruby's show is very interesting. Nice recap of what has been going on!


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07