Mark Wright has been hailed as a ‘true mate’ to James ‘Arg’ Argent after encouraging him to lose weight since he reached 28 stone.
James, 33, recently said he hopes to ‘get back to my very best’ after battling an eating disorder for years and watching his weight creep up during the coronavirus lockdown.
But his friend Mark, 34, who is a personal trainer, was among the first who encouraged James to keep going with his journey to get healthy.
Helping out: Mark Wright has been hailed as a ‘true mate’ to James ‘Arg’ Argent after encouraging him to lose weight since he reached 28 stone
The reality star uploaded a throwback snap of himself to Instagram on Saturday after declaring ‘enough is enough,’ as he plans to undergo gastric surgery to lose weight.
Mark commented on James’ post and wrote: ‘Let’s go baby,’ with a fan replying to the message saying: ‘True mate right there’.
Another fan also encouraged James to follow Mark’s workout plans, saying it helped him to shed 10lbs.
He wrote: ‘You need to follow your mates plan……..I have been doing so since 5th jan and I have lost 10lb…….you can do it’.
Pals: Mark, 34, who is a personal trainer, was among the first who encouraged James to keep going with his journey to get healthy (pictured together in 2011)
It comes after James admitted that Mark ‘burst into tears’ after seeing that his friend’s health was now at risk after his recent weight gain.
James told The Sun: ‘Mark is my inspiration — he’s got his life together, he’s fit and healthy, he’s got a gorgeous wife and a successful career.
‘There’s no reason why I can’t achieve all of those things too when I’ve lost weight.
Motivation: Mark commented on James’ recent Instagram post and wrote: ‘Let’s go baby,’ with a fan replying to the message saying: ‘True mate right there’
Reaction: Another fan also encouraged James to follow Mark’s workout plans, saying it helped him to shed 10lbs
‘He wants to help me and told me ‘get on the scales’. It’s embarrassing to say, but they were so upset when they saw I was nearly 27 stone.’
James said the pair would sometimes joke that Arg was the ‘chubby one’ but Mark has since said it’s ‘not funny anymore’ and he must take his weight loss seriously.
James thanked his 774k followers for their support on his honest post, after recently confessing he is scared to go outside during daylight hours in case people see him.
Wow: James uploaded a throwback snap on Saturday after declaring ‘enough is enough,’ as he plans to undergo gastric surgery after reaching 26 stone during lockdown
James said on Instagram: ‘Thank you so much for all your support, I’m overwhelmed by your kindness.
‘I was so nervous to do the interview as I didn’t want to face up to the facts that my Eating Disorder has got the better of me again but Its time to be honest with myself & put my health first, Enough is enough!
‘My dream is to be as happy & healthy as I was in this photo, I loved myself & felt confident! I appreciate you reaching out & giving me advice about weight loss surgery.’
The reality personality hopes to lose 12 stone by undergoing the surgery in order to save his life, after doctors told him he was at risk of dying due to his weight.
‘I’ve thought long and hard about it’: James hopes to lose 12 stone by undergoing the surgery in order to save his life, after doctors told him he was at risk of dying due to his weight
He continued: ‘I’ve been battling for years & I’ve thought long & hard about it.
‘I know people will have there own opinion but it’s my journey & I’m going to go for it. I hope to get back to my very best once & for all! ♥️’. (sic)
James’ celebrity pals showed their support including TOWIE star Tommy Mallet who penned: ‘GO GET IT FAM! THEN START A ONLYFANS.. ‘
Tommy’s girlfriend Georgia Kousoulou wrote: ‘Proud of you ❤️.’
Former Loose Women panellist Saira Khan said: ‘Hey Arg, do YOU. Whatever makes you happy to feel confident and live your best life – then go for it. This is YOUR life. Always here for you ❤️’.
Cheering him on: The reality star’s celebrity pals showed their support including TOWIE’s Tommy Mallet who penned: ‘GO GET IT FAM! THEN START A ONLYFANS.. ‘
James admitted to The Sun on Saturday that he is embarrassed to see people out in daylight due to his weight gain.
He said: ‘I am depressed about it. I don’t want anyone to see me. If I need to do anything, I wait until it’s 4.30pm and it’s dark outside.
‘I see pictures of myself and it’s too upsetting.’
James confessed that while he’s now marking a year of sobriety after overcoming his drug addiction, his weight has left him too embarrassed to leave the house and he spends hours alone comfort eating.
He said: ‘I don’t want to die. An op is the only way I can lose weight.’
The star is now deciding between a gastric bypass, which sees part of the stomach stapled to make it smaller, and sleeve gastrectomy, which is a more permanent procedure which sees a large section of the stomach removed.
James said he’s now agonising over which form of stomach surgery to have with both operations costing around £10,000 each.
Both operations will dramatically reduced the amount of food James can eat, meaning he will lose weight, and the star said he’s due to decide in the coming weeks which procedure he’ll have.
James has faced a much-publicised battle with his weight, which has drastically fluctuated since he rose to fame in 2010.
In 2015 the star was the slimmest he’d ever been, after losing four stone and transforming his physique.
Transformed: In 2015 the star was the slimmest he’d ever been after losing four stone, but has since seen his weight creep back up (left in 2015 and right in 2020)
The reality star blamed his weight gain on the COVID-19 pandemic which closed gyms and swimming pools.
This comes despite the star saying in October he had made some progress with his weight loss by losing five stone.
Last year, James entered a rehab facility in Thailand to kick his drug addiction, and the star detailed how he used to hide his habit in his £1.3 million Essex home.
He then hit rock bottom when his family desperately attempted to get into his house after a three-day drug binge, with his addiction ending his relationships with Gemma Collins and Lydia Bright, as well as stalling his TV career.
Despite this James said he’s now celebrating a year of sobriety free of drugs and alcohol, and is now planning to document his weight loss journey with a TV documentary.
Struggles: James blamed his weight gain on the COVID-19 pandemic which closed gyms and swimming pools (pictured in 2019)