James Argent joins running challenge and vows to ‘make progress’ ahead of gastric operation

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James Argent has vowed to lose weight in the current coronavirus lockdown as he revealed he's joined a running challenge.

The 33 year old, who recently confessed his weight has increased to 26 stone, took to his Instagram stories to announce his intentions with his 776,000 followers.

In a cheery clip, the former TOWIE star could be seen wearing matching blue tracksuit with an electric blue beanie on his head as he prepared to go on a jog.

Smiling as he spoke to the camera, he said: "Come on! I'm doing the Box Up Crime running challenge, there's no way I'm coming out of the lockdown without progress.

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The reality star, whose best friend Mark Wright was "so upset" after hearing about the weight gain, added: "It starts now. Lets go!"

Over the clip, he wrote the hashtags #mondaymotivation and #runwithboxup with a bicep emoji and a running emoji. He then started his run down the street, closely followed by a personal trainer.

This isn't the only initiative James has taken ahead of his gastric operation as he recently joined a gruelling boot camp in an attempt to lose weight.

The TV personality revealed over the weekend that he would be undergoing the surgery after doctors warned him he could die if he doesn't shed the pounds.

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James has been told he needs to lose weight before having the operation, and is now working with the same personal trainer used by his former co-stars Georgia Kousoulou, Tommy Mallett and Danielle Armstrong.

The sessions at VIP HQ, an outdoors gym and assault course in Essex, are believed to have been set up by his best pal Mark.

Arg opened up on his life-threatening weight gain at the weekend, telling The Sun: "I don't want to die. An op is the only way I can lose weight.

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"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.

"I don't want to die, it's as simple as that. 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. Nobody is trying to stop me from having an op. Everyone knows it's the only way I can lose weight."

James Argent

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James is yet to decide whether he will have a gastric bypass or a sleeve gastrectomy, which cost around £10,000 each. A bypass sees part of the stomach stapled together to make it smaller, where a sleeve gastrectomy sees a large section of the stomach being removed altogether.

He continued to tell the publication: "I am having my consultation in a couple of weeks to decide what I'll do.

"It's really scary but it's for the best and I have to do it to maintain my weight for good."

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