TOWIE's James 'Arg' Argent will 'die' without gastric surgery after hitting 26 stone

James 'Arg' Argent out on the town
(Image credit: Getty)

He's struggled with his weight for years and now James 'Arg' Argent has confessed he needs gastric surgery to save his life, after ballooning to 26 stone.

Having battled drink and drug addictions in the past, the reality TV personality has swapped one vice for another and now binges on takeaways and fast food.

And such indulgences means the TOWIE star now weighs 26 stone and is unable to tie his own shoe laces. And it's left him feeling seriously concerned about his future and weighing up whether to have surgery to save his life.

Arg, 33, told The Sun the only way he'll survive is by having gastric surgery. "I don't want to die," he confessed. "An op is the only way I can lose weight."

Arg has since shed 13 stone and looks unrecognisable in life-saving weight loss snaps.

Not only is Arg's weight damaging his body, it's causing a toll on his mental health too. "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," he confessed.

The loveable star famously slimmed down to 14 stone in 2015, thanks to a gruelling training regime. But Arg said he struggles to maintain his weight and often finds himself going from one extreme to another.

"I'll either starve and work out three times a day and be really skinny, or do no exercise and eat takeaways every day," he admitted. "I can't maintain my weight - I need help."

A photo posted by on

And that "help" is a gastric operation, which Arg is said to have done "a lot of research" into and is now in the process of finding one that is right for him.

He'll choose from a gastric bypass - in which staples are used to make the stomach smaller - or a sleeve gastrectomy - where part of the stomach is completely removed. Both of which cost over £10,000.

"Nobody is trying to stop me from having an op. Everyone knows it's the only way I can lose weight," Arg revealed.

A photo posted by on

Arg had previously denied his friend Mark Wright's offers to help when the fitness star tried to get Arg into rehab in 2019. Mark even reached out to a counsellor after watching his friend hit "rock bottom" following two near-fatal overdoses.

Opening up about trying to help his best friend, Mark said, "I called up [the counsellor] and said what could I do? I've taken every step. He just said to me sometimes you let them hit rock bottom and know they need help.

"You can't do anything else. I asked, 'What if he dies?' It's the risk you have to take."

You've got this, Arg!

Celebrity writer

Georgia is a Celebrity and Royal Writer working across GoodTo and Woman & Home, and the Director and Founder of communications company Farq Media. Prior to this she was Online Editor at New! Magazine – managing all of their digital content and social media accounts. Where she interviewed all of the hottest reality TV stars and spent far too much time commuting to London. She trained at Nottingham Trent University – where she achieved First Class Honours in Print Journalism whilst juggling copious amounts of work experience, freelance writing, blogging and having far too much fun with the dance society.