James Argent has revealed doctors warned him he could die if he caught coronavirus, after his weight crept up to 27 stone in lockdown.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday, the former TOWIE star, 33, said he will have life-saving gastric surgery in the near future as he described doctors’ stark warning as ‘very worrying’.
The reality star has received his first dose of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine last month after he was placed in the ‘high-risk category’ because of his weight.
Health: James Argent has spoken out about his plans to have life-saving gastric surgery in the near future after his weight has crept up to 27 stone
Talking to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, James said: ‘It has been worrying. It’s been difficult putting on so much weight and obviously the fact I’ve got so big.
‘It kind of shows I haven’t been in the greatest of places. But I’m sitting here this morning, I’m feeling super positive… I’ve got life-changing surgery, which is going to be taking place in the near future, it’s all booked up. I really feel like I’m making positive steps and I can’t wait to get back to my very best.’
James went on to explain how doctors have warned him he is in danger territory due to his weight and how if he was to catch Covid, it could be fatal.
Weight battle: ‘It has been worrying. It’s been difficult putting on so much weight and obviously the fact I’ve got so big,’ James said. Pictured February 23
Making a change: The former TOWIE star, 33, vowed to ‘tackle this now before it’s too late’ as he appeared on Good Morning Britain on Tuesday morning
Danger territory: Arg explained how being obese has major health implications and that if he caught coronavirus ‘I could be a goner’
He also revealed how being obese has ‘serious implications on my heart’- something which is of concern to him because both of his parents suffer from heart problems.
‘I’ve been speaking regularly to the doctors and nurses at Transform Hospital Group. They’ve been giving me advice,’ he said.
‘They’ve basically been saying, the size I am at the moment, it could be fatal. If I was to catch Covid, I could be a goner.
Priority group: The reality star received his first vaccine of the Oxford AstraZaneca vaccine earlier this month after he was placed in the ‘high-risk category’ because of his weight
‘It’s not just that, my mum and dad, they’ve had heart problems themselves, so it’s kind of in my family hereditary, in my genes and stuff. I’ve got to tackle this now before it’s too late.’
James has said he is still undecided as to which type of gastric surgery he will have, but says once he has chosen it will happen in the ‘near future’.
‘It’s a really, really serious operation,’ he said.
Serious operation: James has said he is still undecided as to which type of gastric surgery he will have, but says once he has chosen it will happen in the ‘near future
‘At the moment I haven’t decided specifically which one it’s going to be, there’s options of a sleeve, bypass, I need to still do a bit more research, speak to a few more people.
‘But the surgery is going to happen, it’s going to happen in the near future. I really hope it’s going to work for me, it’s going to be life changing.’
James revealed his weight has been something he has been struggling with since he was a teenager and has found it ‘impossible’ to maintain a healthy weight.
Battle: James revealed his weight has been something he has been struggling with since he was a teenager and has found it ‘impossible’ to maintain a healthy weight
His journey: He said: ‘I’m not saying I can’t lose the weight without this type of surgery, but I’ve never been able to maintain it before’
He said: ‘I’m not saying I can’t lose the weight without this type of surgery, but I’ve never been able to maintain it before.
‘So I just believe that going for it this time, I’ve made a decision, I’ve spoken to all my friends, family, everyone’s had their opinions and you know nine times out of 10, they’ve said it’s not funny anymore, go for it. That’s why I’ve made the decision.
‘It’s not like I’ve put weight on in lockdown and I’m doing something drastic to get it off, this is something that I’ve had this underlying issue in terms of weight and eating disorder since I was a teenager.’
During the interview James reflected on how he hasn’t gone through life ‘plain sailing’.
Arg has battled drink and drug addiction since finding fame on TOWIE. In 2014 he was suspended from the show after he failed a routine drugs test.
The TV star spent three months in a facility in Thailand over the festive season in 2016 in a bid to curb his addiction and revealed he checked himself in to a programme in order to get the ‘ongoing support’ he needed.
In August 2019, Arg returned to rehab following a split from Gemma Collins in a bid to tackle his demons.
James recently 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 hours alone comfort eating.
He said: ‘I have been through an awful lot. Some people go through life quite plain sailing, other people find life a bit more difficult and stuff.
‘I’ve certainly gone through it. I do believe that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’m really excited, first and foremost the most important thing for me is health and that’s what I’m concentrating on fully at the moment.’
Arg added: ‘I’m inspired by Tyson Fury. He’s a heavyweight champion of the world, he’s had similar problems and demons to me in terms of drugs, in terms of drink, in terms of weight. He was morbidly obese.
‘If he can turn it around and come back and become a world champion and get his life in order.
‘I’m not saying I’m going to go on and become a world champion but if I can have 10% of the comeback he has then that would be the dream for me.’
Watch Good Morning Britain weekdays on ITV from 6am and catch up on the ITV Hub.
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.