Jean Bentley
July 13, 2009 AT 02:21 PM EDT

Since The Biggest Loser isn’t returning until the fall, I’ve had to look elsewhere for my feel-good weight-loss show fix. After watching last night’s Ruby on the Style Network (I know, I’m a season late to the party), I think I’ve found it. The show, about an obese woman from Savannah, Ga. on a quest to get healthy and drop a few hundred pounds, is a nice respite from the continuous competition-based series. It’s really refreshing to see someone trying to get healthy for her own sake, and not because she wants to beat someone out for a million dollars.

Last night’s episode featured a trainer showdown, the likes of which BL has never seen. Ruby, having become bored with her usual workout regime of treadmill, weights, repeat, saw a so-called ”fitness guru” recommended by her doctor to shake up her routine and suggest some exercises that would be less stressful on her bad knees. When she brought up the new ideas from the “guru” (they kept calling him that, and I kept thinking about that terrible Mike Myers movie), her trainers, Erin and Reese, freaked out. Erin even said, “There’s a special place in hell for him, I’m certain of it.” Yikes.

When the gang finally all sat down together, the “guru” said Erin had a big butt (in so many words) and she and Reese were totally wrong about the way they were working out Ruby; then they all got into a mini screaming match. On BL, the fights usually happen between contestants (and sometimes with their trainers), so it was interesting (and kind of exciting) to see professionals get so heated. I understand why Reese and Erin felt betrayed (and that butt comment — are we grown-ups or mean kids at recess?), but I think a different approach to Ruby’s training might be just what the gal needs to feel motivated again. And apparently Ruby thought so too, because she dumped her trainer duo at the end of the episode.

A nonsensical side plot focused on Ruby’s nephew unsuccessfully trying to get a spray tan. The professional results left him blotchy, but Ruby’s at-home treatment left him looking like an Oompa Loompa crossed with a young George Hamilton. I only feel this is worth mentioning for Ruby’s adorable reaction when she saw the results of her handiwork: “What in the helicopter did I do?”

Did Ruby’s charming demeanor instantly turn you into a regular watcher? Have you been keeping up with Ruby all along, or did you, like me, just catch on this season? Are you inspired by the charming southern belle and her solo quest, or do you like a little more competition in your weight loss shows?

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