FORMER Towie star James Argent has big plans for his post-gastric surgery life, including swimming to Africa.
The 33-year-old appeared on Loose Women to update them on how his recovery was going two weeks after having life-saving gastric band surgery.
James Argent wants to swim from Europe to Africa after having gastric band surgeryCredit: itv
Arg, told the women he was “feeling happier” and was losing weight “each and every day”.
But he also made some surprising admissions about his future which included taking on some major physical challenges.
“I do have huge aspirations, I don’t want to make you all laugh, but I do want to swim from Europe to Africa,” he admitted to a shocked Loose Women panel.
“And I do want to swim the English Channel. If I can beat addiction, if I can beat an eating disorder… they why not? Anything’s achievable.”
The Towie star had the life-saving surgery after becoming addicted to junk food in lockdownCredit: ITV
James also confessed he would like to swim the English Channel one dayCredit: ITV
He made the admission on Loose Women who all promised to ‘cheer him on’Credit: ITV
The most common Europe to Africa swim is the 14.4km (8.9miles) Strait of Gibraltar swim from Tarifa in Spain to Morrocco and can be done in about five hours.
The English Channel is more arduous at 21 miles in treacherous waters and can take up to 27 hours to complete.
James also opened up about being ready for love, not just financially but also mentally.
“I’m fortunate enough, I’ve worked hard over the last 11 years, I have a lovely family home in Essex, but I’m the only one living in it,” he explained.
Arg had been training for the Africa swim before he decided to have surgeryCredit: CLICK NEWS AND MEDIA
“Yeah, I would love to meet someone. I would love to start a family. I feel that not only am I in a place I can look after myself now, I’m also in a place where I truly feel I could look after and take care of a lady and take care of a child.
“So that would be the dream for me.”
He filled in the women on his daily progress saying: “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.”
Arg giving the thumbs up from his hospital bed just two days after undergoing the gastric surgery
James added: “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.”
James’ appearance on Loose Women comes days after he gave a thumbs up from his hospital bed after getting life-saving gastric band surgery.
He shocked fans when he ballooned to nearly 27st during lockdown, and admitted he swapped a drink and drug addiction for junk food when Covid closed gyms and pools.
Before the surgery, James lost 2.5st thanks to a personalised workout regimeCredit: Louis Wood News Group Newspaper Ltd
After undergoing the life-changing procedure earlier this month, Arg shared a beaming hospital photo on Instagram and triumphantly told his followers it was the “first day of the rest of my life”.
He penned: “Today Is the First Day of the Rest of My Life
“My weight loss journey has STARTED, I’ve had my gastric sleeve surgery with the incredible team at @wearetransform.
“I’ve struggled with my weight for years but I’m finally ready both physically & mentally to do something about it,” he continued.
Arg said his ex Lydia Bright has been helping him on his journeyCredit: Getty Images – Getty
“The next few months are going to be tough but I’m determined to reclaim my life! NEW CHAPTER ”.
After sharing his journey, Arg was inundated with messages of support from friends and fellow Towie stars including the show’s narrator Denise Van Outen, his ex girlfriend Lydia Bright and her mum Debbie Bright and Eamonn Holmes.
He told the Loose Women: “Lydia’s been amazing. 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.”
He also credited her mum Debbie Bright with being a huge helpCredit: Rex
The Sun exclusively revealed that Arg had gastric surgery to help him lose 11st and save his life – though he feared he might not even survive the op.
The TV star initially vowed last year to go under the knife for the weight loss procedure.
Speaking exclusively to The Sun just two days after his op — which will reduce the amount he can eat — Arg said: “This is the biggest operation I’ve ever had in my life, so I was scared.
James also revealed he wants to settle down and start a familyCredit: Instagram
“I did say to the surgeon, ‘Is there a chance I might not wake up?’ He said there was a small chance.”
Now he hopes to slim down to 16st after having half his stomach removed last week during the £10,000 operation by Transform Hospital Group at a top clinic in Birmingham.
Arg said it was touch and go as to whether the surgery would go ahead, as he struggled to stick to a pre-op diet of 1,000 calories a day and his body mass index hit almost 50 — whereas a healthy figure is 18 to 25.
He added: “I was supposed to stick to 1,000 calories a day for three weeks and my BMI had to be below 50 but I was 49.7 and 26st 11lb.
“I did struggle. There were a few times I found it too hard and couldn’t stick to it. I was almost too big to have the operation, which is scary.”
But the hour-and-a-half op was successful and Arg said: “I’ve already got a bit of a glow back in my face so I’m happy with that, and I feel like I’m already losing weight, which is good.”