James ‘Arg’ Argent has revealed he’s set to undergo life-saving stomach surgery as a last resort to lose weight.
The former TOWIE star, 33, said doctors have warned him he could die if he doesn’t slim down after his weight ballooned to 26 stone during lockdown leaving him unable to even do simple tasks such as tie his own shoe laces.
In a candid interview James confessed that while he’s now marking a year of sobriety after overcoming his drug addiction, his weight has left him too embarrassed to leave the house and he spends his hours alone comfort eating.
Final option: James ‘Arg’ Argent, 33, has revealed he’s set to undergo life-saving stomach surgery as a last resort to lose weight
James told The Sun that despite losing some weight after getting clean and sober last year, the pounds piled on after the gyms closed during lockdown, and he spent his spare time alone eating takeaways.
He said: ‘I don’t want to die. An op is the only way I can lose weight.
‘I see pictures of myself and it’s too upsetting. The other day I had to ask my manager to put my shoes on for me because I just couldn’t do it — my belly is too big. I can’t do up my own shoe laces.’
‘I don’t want to die, it’s as simple as that. I’ve been told by doctors that I am morbidly obese and need to lose weight, but I have an eating disorder, so I can’t do it.’
Transformed: In 2015 the star was the slimmest he’d ever been after losing four stone, but has since seen his weight creep back up (left in 2015 and right in 2020)
James said he’s now agonising over which form of stomach surgery to have, is torn between two operations which cost around £10,000 each.
The star he’s deciding between a gastric bypass, which sees part of the stomach stapled to make it smaller, and sleeve gastrectomy, which is a more permanent procedure which sees a large section of the stomach removed.
Both operations will dramatic reduced the amount of food James can eat, meaning he will lose weight, and the star said hes due to decide in the coming weeks which procedure he’ll have.
James has faced a much-publicised battle with his weight which has drastically fluctuated since he rose to fame in 2010.
In 2015 the star was the slimmest he’d ever been, after losing four stone and transforming his physique.
But since then James’ weight has crept back up, and the star confessed he’s now too ashamed to leave his home during the day, and waits until its dark to go out in the hope he won’t be recognised.
He said that even his close friend Mark Wright has been moved to tears with concern about his size, and finally convinced him to face it by stepping on the scales.
Tough: James blamed his weight gain on the COVID-19 pandemic which closed gyms and swimming pools (pictured in 2018)
James admitted both he and Mark were stunned to see he weighed nearly 27 stone, and warned him he needed to take his size seriously as it was having a serious effect on his health.
The reality star blamed his weight gain on the COVID-19 pandemic which closed gyms and swimming pools.
This comes despite the star saying in October he had made some progress with his weight loss by losing five stone.
On the mend: In October James appeared to be on his way to recovery after revealing he’d lost five stone (pictured right in October and left in July 2020)
Last year James entered a rehab facility in Thailand to kick his drug addiction, and the star detailed how he used to hide his habit in his £1.3 million Essex home.
He then hit rock bottom when his family desperately attempted to get into his house after a three-day drug binge, with his addiction ending his relationships with Gemma Collins and Lydia Bright, as well as stalling his TV career.
Despite this James said he’s now celebrating a year of sobriety free of drugs and alcohol, and is now planning to document his weight loss journey with a TV documentary.
The star he’s come to terms with the fact that he can never drink alcohol again and will have to substantially limit his food intake following the weight loss surgery.
Struggling: The star said that while he recently marked one year of sobriety after overcoming his drug addiction, lockdown has given him hours to binge on fast food
Arg and Gemma ended their relationship in July after she revealed a string of abusive messages, purportedly sent to her by the TV personality prior to their split.
It’s understood James had made derogatory remarks about her weight after she suggested that he had bought another woman dinner.
In the unabridged statement of financial position, James’ accounts show that in 2019 he reported having £63,867 in cash at the bank.
However under the section for 2020 the section was left without a number a dash was used to fill the space.
The report also showed that James’ company – James Argent Limited – reported a difference and loss of £23,910 in its final assets for the two years.
Challenge: James split from Gemma Collins in July after allegedly making derogatory comments about her weight (pictured in 2019)
GASTRIC SURGERY – WHAT IS IT?
A laparoscopic gastric bypass involves creating a small pouch in the stomach that restricts food intake and reduces nutrient absorption.
The pouch also limits food from coming into contact with the upper or lower intestine, further preventing absorption.
The operation involves five-to-six incisions in the abdomen.
Surgeons then staple the top portion of the stomach to separate it from the bottom, creating a pouch.
A small section of the small intestine is then attached to the pouch, allowing food to bypass to the lower stomach.
Sleeve gastrectomy staples off a portion of the stomach and removes the excess – effectively turning it from a pouch into a sleeve.
As no part of the stomach is bypassed, nutrients are absorbed in the usual way.
However, the restrictions on the amount of food patients are able to eat means patients will still need to take supplements.
The results are excellent, achieving up to 70 percent excess weight loss, just shy of the standard set by the gastric bypass.
As well as weight loss, sleeve gastrectomy has also been proven to bring about remission of diabetes.