James "Arg" Argent has been spotted enjoying for an outdoor swimming session in his local lido in Essex on Thursday.
The Towie star looked every bit the serious swimmer as he slipped into a pair of shorts, red and white goggles and a charity swimming hat with blue neon branding on the side.
James has suffered with the difficulties of lockdown and the restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic over the last year, and his weight skyrocketed to 27 stone.
Ahead of an operation to put in a gastric band around his stomach to try and combat his ballooning weight, the Essex-born star appeared to enjoy splashing around the outdoor pool.
James turned up at the pool wearing a black hoodie and shorts, and it wasn’t long before he stripped down to his skintight long trunks and got in to the water.
Wearing a hat to protect his dark locks from the chlorine, the TV personality was focused on getting down to business as he started swimming laps.
The reality TV favourite has appeared on a number of daytime TV shows to talk about his weight gain recently, citing loneliness and boredom as reasons for his struggles.
The 33-year-old is currently waiting for what doctors have told him will be life-saving gastric band surgery after his weight increased to dangerous levels over the course of the last year.
Determined to shed the extra pounds to both increase chances of success and ensure his health risks are kept down during the tricky procedure, James has been seen exercising more than he has in months.
The star previously noted swimming was his preferred method to lose weight, so it’s no wonder he was excited to rush back to the pool as soon as lockdown restrictions were eased on Monday.
When he spoke about his upcoming surgery on Good Morning Britain last month, James told Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid: "They've [doctors] basically been saying, the size I am at the moment, it could be fatal. If I was to catch Covid, I could be a goner.
"It has been worrying," the star said. "It's been difficult putting on so much weight and obviously the fact I've got so big.
"It kind of shows I haven't been in the greatest of places. But I'm sitting here this morning, I'm feeling super positive…"
Explaining that he had life-changing surgery lined up in the "near future", James added that he feels like he’s making positive steps.
"I can't wait to get back to my very best," he said.
Fans will remember James became enthralled with swimming when he completed a series of gruelling training techniques ahead of a planned swim across 21 miles of the English Channel in 2019.
Taking part in Channel 4’s charity series Sink Or Swim!, James was tackling the difficult challenge alongside fellow Towie star Georgia Kousoulou and Love Island’s Wes Nelson.
Wes was already a pro in the fitness world but James committed himself despite suffering with weight struggles and was praised by the celebs for his incredible achievements.
Wes said the "weight was falling off" his friend and co-star at the time, and he was very "proud".
While the Channel swim was sadly called off mid-way after experts declared the waters five miles from France were simply too dangerous, the reality TV star could be determined to return to the water as he reflects back on such a positive time in his life.
- James Argent
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