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After piling on weight during lockdown, James “Arg” Argent now weighs 27 stone and urgently requires gastric surgery to save his life. And no one is more concerned about the procedure than his on/off love Gemma Collins.
“She is still so concerned about him, even though they are no longer together,” a source close to Gemma told us. “The health risks of his size are enormous,” they added.
Last week, former TOWIE star Arg, 33, joined Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on Good Morning Britain to discuss his upcoming weight-loss surgery.
“I’ve been speaking regularly to the doctors and nurses at Transform Hospital Group. They’ve been giving me advice,” he said. “They’ve been saying, the size I am at the moment, it could be fatal. If I was to catch Covid, I could be a goner. It’s not just that, my mum and dad, they’ve had heart problems themselves, so it’s kind of in my family genes and stuff. I’ve got to tackle this now before it’s too late.”
Arg said he is unsure whether he will be having a gastric band or sleeve, but he has already received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as he is deemed vulnerable due to his weight.
Although Gemma, 40, and Arg aren’t romantically involved at the moment, the pair share a lot of history and heartbreak, including Gemma tragically miscarrying their baby during the first lockdown last year.
Our source says that, at the moment, they can’t make their romantic relationship work, explaining, “They are no longer together. They were arguing constantly and struggle to make each other happy.” But it’s clear the Diva Forever star still cares deeply for Arg and is worried for his health as he faces this huge operation.
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After Arg was quizzed by Piers and Susanna, he revealed he has had periods of binge-eating as well as starving himself, stressing that this surgery is the last resort. “I’ve been struggling with my weight since I was a teenager. Since I was young, half of one year I could be in good shape, training three times a day, then I’d be starving myself,” he confessed.
He added, “The other half of the year, I would be doing no exercise at all and I’d be binge-eating. I’ve found it impossible to have a healthy balance and a happy medium. I’m not saying I can’t lose weight without this type of surgery, but I’ve never been able to maintain it before.”
While Gemma and Arg were previously rumoured to have rekindled their romance after it was reported they were “inseparable during lockdown”, the star set the record straight by telling viewers he and Gemma are not together. “We’re not officially back together. It’s impossible to be in a relationship with anyone when I can’t meet anyone outside my house and stuff like that,” Arg told the presenting duo.
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Mark Wright admits it's 'tough' helping best friend James Argent lose weight ahead of lifesaving surgery
But he did hint that a happy ending could be on the cards.
“I suppose, on a positive note, she’s no longer blocked on my phone. We’re friends at the moment. Whatever happens between me and Gemma, we’ve been through a hell of a lot together and we’re always
going to be close,” he said.
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