James Argent says he gained ‘eight or nine stone’ during lockdown, weighing 27 stone at his heaviest.
In an interview with Naga Munchetty on BBC Radio 5 Live on Tuesday, The Only Way Is Essex star said he substituted others addictions with one for food, leading him to gain the life-threatening weight.
“I have previously suffered with addiction problems in terms of alcohol and drugs so I do believe I kind of substituted drink and drugs for food,” Argent said.
“But lockdown unfortunately heightened things and it got to the point where I had become the biggest I had ever been and in terms of health, it became extremely dangerous for me, so I thought I needed to do something about it.”
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After revealing that he thinks he gained about "eight or nine stone" over a year, due to "boredom, loneliness and isolation", Argent admitted that it was doctors and his family’s health history made him realise the impact of his weight gain on his life expectancy.
“I think your life expectancy, if you’re that much over weight, can take 10 plus years off of your life,” the reality star shared.
“Not just that, my mum and my dad both suffer with heart conditions, my dad’s got a pacemaker.”
“So all that extra weight I knew wasn’t going to be good for my heart and I just knew I had to do something about it.”
Argent, 33, is five weeks post surgery after getting a gastric sleeve, and says he feels better already.
“I’ve already lost three and a half stone, I’ve gone from 27 to 23 and a half stone,” he said.
“The team at Transform Hospital Group, the doctors and nurses... they’ve just been fully, fully supportive.”
“They’ve been on the phone to me all the time and I just feel like I’ve made the right decision and I feel better already.”
Munchetty asked Argent whether he had specifically booked an appointment about his weight or whether it was a routine appointment.
“No, I did specifically go and see my local GP [about the weight],” he admitted.
“This weight loss surgery, the gastric sleeve which I had, it wasn’t all of sudden this thing where I’d put on all of this weight and I thought ‘I want to do something drastic’.”
“I’ve been up and down with my weight for many, many years and it was always something I had kind of considered, but this just felt like the right time to do it and I’m glad I have.”
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