They're calling it "Ruby's Walk Across America," but for this morning, let's just call it a stroll along Kelly Drive.

That's plenty for now for Ruby Gettinger, star of the Style Network's "Ruby," which is following her every step of a journey that began with her weighing nearly 500 pounds.

She's kicking off a multicity set of one-hour walks at 9 this morning at No. 1 Boathouse Row, where she'll be walking and talking with fans of the Comcast-owned cable network's most-watched show in a free event that's scheduled to last until 2 p.m.

Since the show premiered last November, she has heard from thousands of people, and some "have been taking road trips to Savannah [where she lives] to meet me," Gettinger said yesterday.

So she thought it was time she went out to meet them, hoping to encourage other overweight people to leave their homes and enjoy the outdoors, as she's learned to in the past year.

"I said, 'I would love to be able to go meet these people and hug their necks, the people who are on the journey with me . . . and tell them congratulations.' "

Since arriving in Philadelphia, Gettinger said, she'd been approached by people who told her how much her story had inspired their own weight loss.

"This one girl told me she's lost, like, 80 pounds," she said.

"Every time I hear a story, every time someone's rooting for me, it keeps me strong," she said.

Gettinger said she's not allowed to say exactly what she weighs now - they're saving a weigh-in for the finale of Season 2, which begins July 5 - but she's under 350 pounds for the first time in many years, and finally able to find clothes in her size (26/28).

Last month, she walked her first 5K in an event to raise money to fight breast cancer. *

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