James Argent continued to work on his healthy lifestyle on Wednesday as he took a stroll in his native Essex. The former TOWIE star has been both open and honest regarding his years-long battle with binge eating, having once tipped the scales at 27stone before having a gastric sleeve fitted last year.
The 34-year-old, who has lost an astonishing 14stone, exhibited his slim frame in a classic Fila tracksuit as he embraced the light exercise. The reality star teamed the Italy track jacket and coordinating bottoms with Adidas trainers. It looked as though James had been running some errands as he carried his laptop in one hand, his phone in the other.
The outing comes after James revealed he was shocked when he was placed in an eating disorder unit during his first trip to rehab in 2014 after going to treat drug addiction. The TV personality, who is now happily sober, has revealed that staff at a rehab centre were the first one to identify his issues with food, and tried to teach him coping strategies such as mindful eating.
‘When I actually went to rehab for the first time, I went there initially for my problems with drink and drugs or whatever, and after a few days I got put in the eating disorder unit,’ James explained of his unexpected diagnosis.
James said he has continued with the techniques he was taught, revealing: ‘They tried to teach me to do mindful eating instead of shoving it down, put your phone away, relax, chew your food plenty of times, let the meal last 20 minutes, don’t rush your food so that’s what I’m trying to do now.
But he added that his binge eating struggles felt like a lot to deal with alongside his issues with alcohol and drugs. ‘You start to go a bit mad, cos you’re like, “Oh how many problems have I got, how many issues can one man possibly have,”‘ he said.
‘With a lot of addicts, you’re not specifically addicted, like for example for alcoholics if alcohol is taken away, they can get addicted to something else whether it be food, love, gambling, so it’s not necessarily the specific drug or alcohol, sex or gambling, it can be addiction as a whole.’
‘For me, when I took away the drink and the drugs that led me back to food, it can be a vicious cycle.’
‘I do actually still get hungry, people think do you still get hungry anymore but I do,’ he pointed out. ‘I just have to be careful that I don’t shove it in too quickly or take too big mouthfuls, I need to eat, they say it’s 20/20/20, so you have on your fork you have food the size of a 20 pence piece, 20 chews and then you wait 20 seconds until you go again.’
‘And I’ll be honest with you, I can’t do a great deal in one hit but I try and eat little and often so I embarrass my friends. Basically anyone I go out for dinner with, I embarrass because I go for dinner, order what I fancy or want.’
‘But I can’t just go to nice restaurants and order a nice meal and then only have a few bites and that’s it, I always get doggy bags, every single time what I don’t manage to get through I take it home with me.’
James has said that his drink and drug abuse has in the past had ‘terrible effects’ on his loved ones even leading some to seek therapy to cope. He explained how his mother and best friends would worry that he would die due to his addiction at a time when they had distanced themselves in order to not enable him.
James said his family are happy he is ‘doing well’ in his sobriety, as he spoke encouragingly about how he has managed to stay clean and his focused on recovery, using tactics to combat his cravings when they arise.