Ruby Gettinger, a Sunday school teacher in Georgia who weighed 700 pounds, battles her obesity — and leans on God — on national television.
In the show your doctor says you're a metabolic time bomb, threatened with diabetes, kidney failure, sleep apnea, and premature death because you may stop breathing while asleep.
When he said this, the first thing I told myself was, "Maybe I am meant to die." I have been happy. I haven't really suffered, because I have been loved. I thought, I cannot beat this. It took me two or three weeks to tell myself, "I am not going to give up. God has a bigger purpose for you than death. You can do this; you can conquer this." I still believe this, that I will conquer this condition once and for all, for me and for everyone else.
What is the link between God and your journey to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle?
At first I felt defeated. And then my faith said, "no." I felt God telling me that this change is possible, but that I [was] going to have to go down the hardest road of my life. Before it was quick fixes: now I need to find out why. What got me here and why? What strengthens me is that God sees our addictions and does not judge.
How is your diet and new lifestyle a spiritual journey?
Because I could never do this without God and the prayers of my family and friends. I have to get control spiritually of what has taken control of me. Only God truly knows my heart, soul, and mind. He is the only one who truly can direct me on my journey.
How do you get your body to go with your spirit?
My spirit wants this change so much; it is about discipline. I am finding out for the first time how to make the body and spirit meet — the hardest thing to do. Like Paul says in Romans 7:25b: "Christ acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different" (The Message). The very thing I want in life is the very thing I stop myself from having because I can't get control of it; I have to find a way for the spirit to lead the body. This is the why of the television show.
What would you share with fellow believers who are challenged with weight problems?
Do not give up no matter what. Trust God and believe again in the impossible. And no matter how many times you have failed, start over and try again. Live your life! Go out and enjoy times with your family and friends. Have people pray with you. Do not stay alone and do not keep your addiction to yourself, because that is when it becomes bigger and controls you. No matter what, there are people out there who care.