Lessons from Ruby

Recently Netflix fed Ruby into my recommendations as I was looking for another TV series to distract myself with. I sometimes need a re-set to transition out of work mode into house-mode, and a 30-minute episode can do just that. I didn’t think a weight-loss program would intrigue me, but this one had a lot of heart, and while parts of it did feel scripted and staged and “dramatized,” overall the show felt more real than “reality” TV generally is.

Here are my takeaways from her journey:

#1 All goals are relative

When I put my big dream hat on the naysayer in me starts acting up. I look back at how much has happened the past year that I couldn’t quite visualize at the start. It was one step at a time. My dreams have a different measure of success from my dreams 5 or 10 years ago. For Ruby, walking one mile, being able to fit in a car, try on clothes in a retail store, having mobility is a huge dream. No goal is too large or too small to envision, and what matters is that they are meaningful to you.

#2 You don’t need a Hollywood intervention or win the lottery to change your life 

It appears that Ruby initiated this show, and she is the one who created a team around her. She didn’t apply to The Biggest Loser to lose weight in an artificial setting. She started this from her own home, while on disability, and with help from her real-life community. Now I have no idea if she was paid for the show itself or if she got sponsorships from the businesses featured, but the point is that it was her flipping the switch, not someone swooping in to make this change for her (well, aside from the doctor telling her she could die). She is not doing this in a vacuum either, the goal is a lifestyle change in her real life right now, not an intense isolated program outside of her normal environment.

#3 Surround yourself with supportive people

What I like about this show is that she is not losing weight in a vacuum. She has a team of experts helping her with nutrition and exercise and psychological support. She also lives in her regular home with roommates who don’t diet, but who are fully on board with her program. They spur her on, they keep watch over her, and they celebrate her achievements. Later in the show some enabling dynamics are revealed, but again, that is real life.

#4 Celebrate the small things as much as the big milestones

Ruby being able to walk 1 mile, to fit in a car, to go on a trip all made me realize how blessed I am to do each of those without a second thought. Small moments should be cause for big celebration. Our abilities are a blessing.

#5 Don’t judge

Ruby’s concerns about prejudice are universal. We all compare ourselves and judge those un-like us, merely just by one look at a person. We presume things about people who do things differently, look different, don’t act according to our conditioning. Anything strange/unusual is subject to ridicule. When really we ought to step back and examine why we are making those snap decisions.

#6 Achieving big goals takes time and effort and determination

Ruby’s weight loss occurred over months. For the times she celebrated another milestone, there were also days of frustration and annoyance. Tragedy happens and can throw you off course, and then you need to find ways to get back on the path and find new motivators.

#7 When the big goal takes longer than anticipated, remember how far you’e come already

We all reach plateaus at times. When big efforts turn into routine our body and lifestyle adjusts, the effects aren’t felt as vividly as at the beginning of the journey. We need to adjust our action plan and maybe seek for deeper answers. However, a plateau should never negate where we came from, and we should still honor the effort it took to get to our current place of being.

Plus Size Beauty was my favorite episode, just because it showed how much one young girl can be impacted by having believers in her life.

Have you been surprised or inspired by lessons from a TV show?

One thought on “Lessons from Ruby

  1. Birgitt says:

    Amazing! Thank you for sharing 🙂 A totally different series is HDTV’s Rehab Addict:

    Nicole Curtis is a realtor who also buys neglected old homes and restores them lovingly with period materials. The lady is a pro contractor and doesn’t shy away from any project and serious tool! Nikki knows architectural history and period details. Awesome!

    She is also a single mom and drop dead gorgeous.

    I am so inspired to go out and find/recycle materials for my future period bungalow. Checking out local salvage yards and architectural resale/antique stores. Going green, saving money and going on treasure hunting adventures! Thank you, Nikki!

    Thank you, Maike for Ruby’s story 🙂

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