How Gemma Collins stepped in to save James Argent

She's been there for him as he battles his weight troubles

James Argent and Gemma Collins

by Katie Holloway |
Updated on

In an emotional interview, James ‘Arg’ Argent recently revealed that he plans to have gastric surgery in order to help him lose 12 stone. The reality star – who weighs around 26st – has been told he urgently needs to slim down for the sake of his health.

“I don’t want to die, it’s as simple as that,” the 33 year old said last week. “I’ve been told by doctors that I am morbidly obese and need to lose weight. But I have an eating disorder, so I can’t do it. I’ll either starve and work out three times a day and be really skinny, or do no exercise and eat takeaways every day. I can’t maintain my weight – I need help.”

And a source close to the reality star tells heat that his on/off girlfriend Gemma Collins was the one to intervene.

James Argent and Gemma Collins

“Gem is terrified of losing anyone close to her right now. With her father so unwell [he contracted COVID], then Arg saying he could die because of his weight, it has pushed her over the edge,” our source explains.

“Gem immediately reached out to Mark Wright and a few other TOWIE friends of Arg, as well as his family, to see what they can do about the situation. She will always love Arg and wants to help him as much as she can, even though they’ve had such a rocky relationship and are no longer officially together.”

CHECK OUT James Argent's weight loss journey


James Argent weight loss journey - slider

James Argent - 20101 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2010

Arg is an OG TOWIE star and when the series first aired back in 2010 he was in a relationship with Lydia Bright.

James Argent - 20142 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2014

James was suspended from the reality show that threw him into the limelight following allegations that he failed a drug test.

James Argent - 20153 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2015

The reality star decided to switch up his lifestyle and enter rehab; he even spent Christmas Day at The Priory (the same rehab facility Katie Price spent time in during September 2018). A few months later the reality star revealed on This Morning that it was "the best decision" he has ever made.

James argent 20164 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2016 (March)

In 2016 after gaining weight, Arg attended two weight loss retreats; one in Norfolk and the other in Ibiza. After his fitness overhaul the TOWIE star dropped from 19st 1lb to 16st. He also went from 48 to 40 inches around his waist.

james argent 20165 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2016 (July)

Arg told The Sunthat waking up at 6am helped him feel like a "new man". He explained: "I am not going to lie - it has been incredibly tough and, yes, I have had the odd lapse."But I am thrilled to have lost three-stone and I do genuinely feel like a new man."

james argent 20166 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2016 (October)

At the end of 2016, Arg confessed on Instagram that he was "gutted at how unfit" he was. However he ended his post on a positive and insisted: "I'll get there and maintain it this time!"

James Argent - 20177 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2017

In 2017 Arg flew out to a rehab facility in Thailand. He spent 10 weeks out there and manages to lose another stone. Arg's friend Jack Tweed revealed all the fitness activities he had been doing during his time abroad."He said he's been doing loads of stuff like Muay Thai boxing, jungle trekking, abseiling down waterfalls and zip lining."He's been eating really healthy food and he's lost over a stone. Arg is in a really good place at the moment and I hope he keeps it up, for his sake and his family's sake," he told new! magazine.

James Argent - 20188 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2018

The on-off TOWIE couple (Arg and Gemma) split in July 2018 but then reunited the following month. After getting back together, Arg decided to take a break from the ITVBe show and seek treatment. A source told The Sun: "James was under a dark cloud recently and has made the brave decision to enter back into a programme to help him get back on track."He has been attending regular therapy and secondary care at an outpatient treatment facility in London."

James Argent - 20199 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2019

Despite struggling with his weight, Arg posted a video of the GC snoring and apparently fat-shamed her. It resulted in him being dumped but the pair reunited and managed to move on from the incident.

James Argent - 201910 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2019

In April, weight loss professional Steven Miller revealed he was concerned about James Argent's weight and even warned he could be on 'death row'.

James Argent - 201911 of 16

James Argent - 2019

Following the warning the reality star revealed he was taking up boxing to kick start his weight loss. He then vowed on This Morning to take control of his weight after Dr Ranj revealed he was significantly obese, long term he needed to lose 10 stone and drop 17 inches off his waist.

James Argent - 201912 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2019

Despite being dumped by the GC earlier on in the year after fat-shaming her, he then appeared to make more mean comments about her figure on her TV show. Fans urged Gemma to split from her boyfriend following his 'disgusting' insults.

James Argent - 201913 of 16
CREDIT: Getty Images

James Argent - 2019

In August as Arg prepared to swim the English Channel for Stand Up To Cancer it came to light that in the past two years he has gained ten stone.

James Argent - 201914 of 16
CREDIT: Instagram / real_arg

James Argent - 2019

Although they didn't swim the entire English Channel, the Stand Up To Cancer team got pretty far before the weather conditions made them cut their journey short. Following his stint, Arg revealed he was heading back to the gym before teasing bigger things are on the horizon in 2020.He wrote on Instagram: "I'm going to have the biggest comeback of 2020!!! "After a few years of absence I'm now officially a member of @davidlloydchigwellofficial My 1st swim ud83cudfca‍♂ufe0f since attempting the epic challenge of the #EnglishChannel Its good to be back! ud83dude4cud83cudffd❤ufe0f".

James Argent - 202015 of 16
CREDIT: Instagram /real_arg

James Argent - 2020

At the beginning of 2020 it was reported that Arg flew out to Thailand and entered rehab following allegations of a 'second overdose'.

James Argent - 202016 of 16
CREDIT: Instagram / real_arg

James Argent - 2020

While flogging curries on Instagram, Arg showed off his impressive five-stone weight loss.

While Arg has revealed he is proud to be 13 months sober after a near fatal drug overdose in 2019, his battle is now with his weight, and he is deciding between having a gastric bypass or a gastric sleeve to help save his life. He has said, “Nobody is trying to stop me from having it done. Everyone knows it’s the only way I can lose weight. It had come to a point where my life was on the line and I knew I could possibly die. I’m lucky I’ve got the right support around me. Some people get clean straight away, others take years of relapsing and recovery, and others don’t make it and die.”

While pals like Mark – who Arg called his inspiration last week – have been praised for throwing their support behind Arg, we’re told those close to him are hoping Gemma will now take a step back. As although it’s clear she cares for him and wants to help him get better, their chequered history shows that Gemma and Arg can certainly clash.

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“Everyone is concerned about Arg right now, but those closest to him feel as though he is doing the right thing and going about it the right way,” our insider tells us. “He’s admitted how serious the issue is and he’s trying to do something about it. They don’t want anything to get in the way of that or distract him, and his relationship with Gemma was nothing but drama from the beginning.

“In some ways, they feel that, although it’s not her fault, Arg can feel triggered by Gemma – especially when it comes to career jealousy. When he would compare his success to Gem’s, he would feel insecure and start comfort eating. And then after one of their jealous fights, he would often turn to food. They think he’ll be in a much healthier headspace if she’s not around.”

Read more in the latest issue of heat magazine - OUT NOW.

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