San Diego wakes up with Ruben Galvan, the energetic morning show personality who stars in daily “Where’s Ruben” segments on San Diego 6 – The CW. For nine years Galvan has entertained our city with a fierce dedication, and now he’s making time to get his groove back.
A master of self-deprecating charm, Galvan claimed he didn’t even recognize himself during our Style & Society photo shoot this week. Maybe that’s because he recently shed 70 pounds, or perhaps it’s his new-found passion for fashion, bow ties and gold bling included.
Despite Galvan’s impressive physical transformation, he remains grounded and true to himself. The Houston boy values his modest upbringing, is always looking for a bargain, and considers his current role in the media an opportunity to give back to the community he loves.
Get to know the new Ruben Galvan in this week’s Style Profile
You’re looking better than ever. Tell us about your transformation.
In the beginning of 2011, I knew that it was time. I was fed up. I wanted to bring the real Ruben back. I wanted to be happy. It was an 11 month journey for me. I’ve lost 70 pounds and I did it all the healthy way, by exercising and eating healthy. I work out at FIT downtown. I do at least one hour of cardio every day, along with 120 push-ups, leg lifts, crunches, and I lift weights. Also, I bought me a George Foreman Grill right away, because I don’t cook and I don’t do dishes! For six months I stopped going to the clubs and a lot of media events because I knew I would be tempted to eat and drink. It’s a lifestyle now. I’m down to 170 pounds, and I feel like this is a springboard to what’s next – bigger and better.
How has your weight loss inspired your fashion sense?
When I was overweight, it was holding me back in a lot of ways. For years, I wasn’t going to the mall or buying nice things for myself. I just refused to buy something in a size XL. I would be giving in. Now I can find nice clothes and even get better deals because they’re in my size.
Does your upbringing still affect your style today?
Oh yes. I have to make it clear that I didn’t grow up with money, but we were never without. My family wasn’t flashy, but they always knew that I liked fashion. It’s funny you know, I lost the weight, then I gained it, and now I’m back. I’m like Oprah! Because of the way I was raised, I have fun with style, but for me, it doesn’t have to be so stuffy.
Your first designer piece?
I remember being in college and passing by the Versace store in the Houston Galleria, and I saw some sandals that I just loved. Later on, my mom surprised me with them for my birthday. That was my first big designer thing. Did I ever buy anything else from Versace? No! But my mom wanted to make me happy, and I just thought it was so sweet.
Favorite high-end designers?
I love Tom Ford. He is so American Classic. I like the sharp, crisp look. Black and white, sophisticated but fun. I’m very into colorful socks from Ted Baker and masculine bracelets and accessories from David Yurman. I like Valentino, Carolina Herrera and Oscar de la Renta, even though I might not able to afford them. I think you can still achieve that look without spending all of that money.
Favorite affordable brands?
Oh, I am always looking for a bargain! Definitely Banana Republic, Zara, Uniqlo in New York and H&M, but mostly for accessories. The Village Hat Shop is one of my favorite local boutiques. I get all of my hats there.
Most recent style obsession?
Bow ties, for sure. I had never worn a bow tie before in my life, and now I have four. This is brand new for me. I was at Nordstrom a few weeks ago searching for bow ties that I could clip on, because I don’t know how to tie one yet! I’m also really into everything gold and black. You’ll see me in my Michael Kors gold watch and I got this bracelet at Banana Republic, with a charm of my Taurus sign.
Personal style icons?
I have to say Tom Ford again, because his work inspires me. It’s just like when someone looks at my work, I hope they’re inspired. I’ve also always admired Pierce Bronson – he has that clean, sharp style. For women, I love J Lo. I’ve interviewed her. She’s a beautiful woman, and her style really represents her personality. She can be ‘from the block’ and dress the part, but then she turns it around and wows the red carpet. And I feel like that is who I am. I can go play football and go to the beach, but at the same time, I can turn it on and get dressed up. I also have to say Johnny Depp, because you need to respect people who aren’t afraid to be themselves completely.
How did you break into the media biz?
During high school, I realized that I wanted to be on TV. I either wanted to act or to be a journalist. One day, when I was attending the University of Houston, I went to this park in Houston where I always used to run, and a TV reporter was there. So I went up to him and asked if he could give me some good tips, and he told me to come to the studio and shadow him. We are still good friends to this day.
Most daring thing you’ve worn on TV?
When I was still pretty new to the morning show, I think I totally shocked my bosses. I got the Charger Girls together and we were doing a live shot in Balboa Park. The night before, I went to Michaels and then I home-made a little cheerleader uniform. And remember, this is when I was still overweight. We danced and I kicked my legs up in the air on live television!
Do you style your own outfits for TV?
Oh yes. I’ve had friends try to recommend things for me to wear over the years. But I’m such a control freak! I just know what looks good on me and what feels good on me. But I do love looking at magazines and designer websites for inspiration, to see what’s new and hot for the next season.
What charity organizations are you involved with?
I am always happy to help give back. I’m worked with City of Hope, Make-A-Wish, Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego After-School All-Stars, Helen Woodworth Animal Shelter and many other great organizations. I’ve also recognized Ruben’s Star Student of the Month.
When you’re not working, shopping or giving back, where can we find you in San Diego?
Church on Sundays, kicking back with close friends, working out, and driving and jammin’ to music along the beach. I get my groove on at FLUXX and always catch the Miramar Air Show and Coronado Speed Festival during Fleet Week. Some of my favorite restaurants are O.B. Noodle House, Tractor Room, Po Pazzo, The Mission Restaurant, Tender Greens, Phil's BBQ, Cafe Coyote, Chili's and a weekly treat at McDonald's (vanilla ice cream cone with an extra swirl)! Oh, and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” is my secret addiction!
Watch Ruben Galvan in action on “Where’s Ruben” on the San Diego 6 – The CW morning show
Behind the Scenes: In our exclusive Style & Society photo shoot, Ruben Galvan styled himself in a bow tie by American Apparel, vest by H&M, blue shirt by Uniqlo, Levi’s jeans, Michael Kors watch, Ray Ban sunglasses, Banana Republic charm bracelet and black leather boots by Banana Republic. Photos by Jesse Arroyo
Did you Know: U-T San Diego launched a new Style & Society page this January. Do you want to be featured in the newspaper? Email all requests to Michelle Guerin via firstname.lastname@example.org