James “Arg” Argent has revealed he has lost two and a half stone since having gastric sleeve surgery.
The Only Way Is Essex star, 33, previously revealed he reached 27 stone during lockdown and was told by healthcare professionals that catching Covid-19 at his weight could prove “fatal”.
Argent said he has been on a liquid-only diet since the operation but is “buzzing” at the changes he is seeing.
He told ITV’s Loose Women: “I’m so pleased, sitting here today, two and a half weeks after the operation, gradually weight is coming off each and every day.
“I’m going on long walks, I’m feeling happier, I’m feeling healthier, I’m starting to feel like my old self again.
“I think I definitely made the right decision. This is really going to be a positive new chapter for me. I’m buzzing.
“Since I started the pre-op diet, just before the surgery, as of today I’ve lost already 2.5 stone, which is a great start.
“I’m absolutely over the moon with that. I’m starting to recognise myself in the mirror again, the confidence is starting to come back, my looks are coming back.
“So I’m just really, really pleased. I don’t feel depressed, I just feel positive. Obviously there’s tough days, it’s a big operation and it’s a big life change for me. But I’m just so glad I went ahead.”
Argent admitted the recovery has been “pretty hard” and added: “There are some days that are tougher than others. Initially after the operation, you’re coming off the anaesthetic and it’s a shock to the system for a couple of days.
“Gradually each day gets easier and easier. The only battle at the moment, I suppose, is more mentally. I’ve been on nothing but liquids for two weeks.
“On to the third week now, I’ve slowly moved on to mushy food, like baby food, I’m kind of blending soft foods and eating.
“It’s difficult because I don’t really have any cravings at all for fast food or takeaways. I’d appreciate to have a chicken salad or a bit of fish and rice or something.
“It’s difficult being on liquids for a period of time. But I know I’ve only got another two weeks of mushy food, soft food, and then I’ll be moving on to solids, and then I’ll be able to get a nice chicken salad down my neck and it’ll be good.”
Argent said he has also been sober for a year and four months and told the panel: “It’s a great milestone. I’ve got plenty of support.
“I’m very aware that me having this gastric sleeve surgery, it’s going to help me a lot physically, but it’s not necessarily going to help me mentally.
“I’ve still got to really keep on top of my meetings, keep on top of therapy sessions, counselling, group stuff and I know that just because I’ve had this surgery I’ve still got a lot to do and I still need to put a lot of work and effort into my mental health, for sure.”
Argent said he is getting support from friends and family, as well as his former partner and co-star Lydia Bright, continuing: “We’re not together, obviously, but we’ve known each other since we were teenagers.
“So we’re always going to be extremely close friends. I’m glad I’ve got her back in my life as a friend, she’s a close support, her and her mum Debbie – Debbie’s amazing, she means the world to me.
“My mum’s been a great support, obviously, my dad, my sister, my nan, uncle… you name it, Mark Wright, Joey Essex, you name it. I’m so lucky to have so many people who care about me, so many people who support me… I’m truly blessed.”
The singer said he now has his eye on some other goals, revealing: “I do want to swim from Europe to Africa and I do want to swim the English Channel.
“If I can beat addiction, if I can beat an eating disorder, and I can work on that, then why not?”