You don’t have to go far to hear about, or even see for yourself, the very pressing reality that is childhood obesity. The numbers are staggering – 17 percent of U.S. children, according to the CDC – and the results frightening – as this is the first generation of children not expected to live longer than their parents. Of the millions of children and families facing these daunting health concerns, three of them come forward and speak out in tonight’s “Too Fat for 15: The Obesity Crisis,” a first-ever town hall special on The Style Network.
The “Too Fat for 15” series is in its second season, following a group of young teens during their time at Wellspring Academy, a weight loss boarding school. From that series, three students (Tanisha, Carysn and Rachel) will join host and co-producer Alison Sweeney, from Biggest Loser, and Ruby Gettinger, from Style’s “Ruby,” for a lively one-hour conversation about how to inform both children and parents about creating healthier lifestyles at home.
“They knew I was passionate about childhood obesity,” Alison Sweeney told us about becoming involved with the show. Saying that she’s a fan of the series, she added that “It’s so inspiring and so important to get this information out there.” (more…)
Aside from a tough hike up Runyon Canyon in L.A. to prove her commitment to fitness and weight loss after an intervention of sorts from both her friends and trainer, this week’s episode focused on dating, and the insecurities it brings up for Ruby in terms of her weight, her tumultuous relationship with her ex, Denny, and perhaps surprising for some, her hair loss.
Ruby and her friends went to a fashion show for Evolution of Curves, a plus-size fashion line designed by a friend of Ruby’s, but she had her eye on something other than the clothes: a cute bartender, Ian.
With all the confidence in the world, Ruby starts chatting up the hot (smokin’ hot, if I do say so myself) guy, asking him about his tattoos, touching his arm, and batting her eyelashes like there was no tomorrow. Ruby was convinced that he would never be interested in her, but flirted her butt off anyway. To her surprise, however, they exchanged phone numbers, and he texted her almost immediately. Still convinced he probably only wanted to be friends, Ruby invited him to a concert anyway, where they had a fantastic time, and decided to do it again.
Ruby starts the episode with a weigh-in, which reveals 347 pounds. Ruby’s weight gain is an eye opener for both Ruby and her friends.
Ruby, Jeff and Georgia discuss her state of denial and lack of determination. It’s difficult for Ruby to hear and it seems just as difficult for Jeff and Georgia to say. For the first time, Jeff tells Ruby that she is truly sick and needs to hold herself more accountable for her actions. The truth hurts but Ruby said, “When Jeff told me I was sick, it killed me but it helped me… I’m really out of control.”
Ruby holds the first Women’s Fat Night in Los Angeles. The women discuss the audacity of men who believe it’s okay to ridicule and mock large women. One group participant tells of a man who approached her: “This guy came up to us and just felt the need to express to us that we were fat girls. (He said) if he was as big as us, he would put a bullet in his mouth.” The girls all come to the realization that most of them have one thing in common: childhood abuse. Georgia said, “It was the most productive Women’s Fat Night we have ever had. Ever.”
The first thing they do is go to the water park, Raging Waters. The visit starts out a bit rocky as Ruby has trouble fitting into (and getting out of) a raft. “It was very frustrating for me that I can’t get into the rafts by myself,” she said. “But at least I participated.”
Determined to prove herself, Ruby decides to take on the biggest ride at the park, a water slide at the top of nearly 150 steps. She reaches the top but is hesitant to slide down, afraid that she will hurt herself. Conquering her fears, Ruby slides down The High Extreme and afterwards exclaims, “It was the best ride of my life!”
Episode three begins with Ruby and her friends getting ready for the big garage sale. Ruby is convinced that the sale will bring in loads of money, while the rest of the crew is skeptical.
Since the discovery of the forgotten letters in episode two, Ruby’s depression is escalating and her trainers, Drew and Shazi, are having trouble getting her to the gym. In an effort to keep Ruby active, her trainers are turning the garage sale into a fitness endeavor.
Making each step count, Drew and Shazi accompany Ruby to post signs for the garage sale. The group held small weights in their hands and did lunges down the street.
Depression is ruining Ruby’s motivation to workout but she admits that it helps elevate her mood when she does. “I’m a lot happier,” she says, “I’m energetic… it changes your whole mood.”