Actress Brittany Daniel is one of Ruby's closest pals. Recently mystyle sat down with her to discuss their history together—plus the nature of Ruby's greatest struggles and strengths.
How did you meet Ruby?I met Ruby while she was living in Los Angeles about 10 years ago. She was working at Billy Blank's gym as a receptionist. I remember the first time she greeted me as I was signing up for a Tae Bo class—I heard her sweet southern drawl and saw her big warm smile and I felt at home.
I would say I am Ruby's West Coast best friend; Georgia is Ruby's East Coast best friend. If Ruby could have only one best friend, I would say Georgia is her all-time best friend, because they have known each other since high school. (And because she might kick my butt if I try to dispute this issue. Ruby would just love that!)
Do you have any insight as to why Ruby is overweight?My guess isn’t clinical, it's more emotionally driven. I sometimes wonder if Ruby got to be overweight as a way to protect her extremely sensitive and caring heart. The weight was a wall to protect herself. I have never met a woman who feels as deeply as Ruby—everything affects her to her core. The weight kept people away that could hurt her. That way only the special people, who could see past the weight, would be let into her heart. But this is just something I wonder about.
Does Ruby's weight bother you or trouble you at all?
Ruby's weight scares me because all that excess weight causes such a strain on her heart. It also bothers me that as best friends I can't invite Ruby to do the things I love, like travel to other countries, jog on the beach and dance for hours.
What is it about Ruby that you love so much?I love so many things about Ruby, but the one that stands out the most is Ruby's heart. Her ability to make everyone she meets feel welcome and loved. She truly has the biggest heart of any one I know.
How does she inspire you?Ruby inspires me to believe that anything is possible in life. I have never met a bigger cheerleader; she makes you feel like you can reach any dream you have. And she will root you on until you get there.
What lesson could others gain from knowing her?Ruby teaches everyone she meets how to love with all your heart.
What have you noticed about Ruby during the filming of the show?I have noticed that Ruby is even stronger than I thought. Her will to lose this weight is very inspiring.
What have you noticed about yourself and others during the filming of the show?I noticed that when Ruby has a tendency to shut down from me a bit, like when confronted about a subject she isn’t comfortable with, that I too pull back and don’t push the issue. I really want to make sure I am more fearless with Ruby (to be a true friend, and not be afraid of rocking the boat). Sometimes we need to push our friends to be their best, just like Ruby does for all her friends. I want to be that for her, even if it gets uncomfortable at times.
What is your greatest hope for Ruby?My greatest hope for Ruby is to find a way to manage her addiction with food, lose the weight, get her health back on track, have a forum to inspire and motivate other overweight women—which will in turn keep her focused on her newfound health—and travel to Santorini, Greece (which is home to the most beautiful sunsets on earth).