And the Essex star’s binges on curry dinners, chocolate bars, fizzy drinks and ice cream left him dancing to death.
But things couldn’t be any different for the ex-Towie legend two years later, after he shed 13 stone and unveiled his new body in The Sun following a tummy tuck following stomach surgery.
Bronzed, chiseled and down to earth, Arg, 35, is slimmer than ever in our exclusive photos and proudly plays to the camera — barely breaking a sweat as he pulls off 20 pushups with his top off.
Four months post surgery and he is also covered in scars, with two below his hips from his tummy tuck that will fade over time
And they are the only physical memory left of his former 27-stone body.
In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Arg said: “The operation went great.
“Actually, there’s still a little bit of swelling because I think the swelling goes down after about six months.
“And listen, I do have a few scars, but I know they’ll fade. I think it’s pretty cool to have a few minor scars or battle wounds along the way.
“You never know, give it another six months and I might be ready to get into some nice navy Speedos!”
The star – who rose to fame on Towie in 2013 – has nearly a million followers on Instagram and gets thousands of likes per post, but unbelievably, people look double when they see him.
Some think he is “Arg’s slimmer brother”.
Arg smiles and says, “They recognize me, and they know me. But they’re not clocking, it’s actually me and then they’ll be like, ‘Oh my God, you’ve lost so much weight!’
“It feels good when people say keep going or ‘well done’. And, “you look good” and stuff like that. It always means a lot.”
Arg hasn’t touched a drop of alcohol since he had a terrifying relapse 18 months ago on a night out with friends, and paramedics were called to his house.
Now he trades boozy nights for romantic dates and vacations with his gorgeous new girlfriend Stella Turian, and spends his days boxing, swimming and traveling across the country with The Arg Band.
The once troubled star has his priorities right for the first time and is fiercely protective of Stella, who is younger at 19.
He explains: “I have a girlfriend and she lives in Italy. yes we are good Were happy. But I just don’t really want to… if you don’t mind. The thing is with Stella, she’s not in the public eye.
“She is currently working very hard to achieve things in Italy. And for now, we’re just trying to keep it as private as possible. I’ve never posted Stella on my social media and things like that.
“We support each other a lot and we are very happy. And everything is fine.”
And his transformation has undoubtedly boosted his love life.
“I feel good naked, I feel good around the beach, I feel good around the pool!
“I think in the next five years the most important thing is to be clean and sober. That’s number one,” he added.
“Number two is maintaining my healthy lifestyle. Be it a healthy, balanced diet and exercise. Number three is being the best wedding singer I can possibly be and having the best functioning band.
“Yes, and maybe progress in my relationship.
“My weight is now perfect. I just want to be tighter, do more work around the back of the legs.
“I used to have a bit of a man breast problem and now it’s not so bad, I still have some work to do on my chest.
“Before, I was really unaware of excess skin and fat that I couldn’t get rid of, no matter how much I diet or exercise.
“Since my surgery at the beginning of the year, I can go on holiday with my girlfriend and my mother.”
This is a very far cry from his life two years ago before his gastric sleeve surgery at Transform Hospital Group.
Arg says he would end up in a lethargic slump on the couch after raiding the snack cabinet first thing in the morning.
With an expression of disbelief, he remembers needing family to help him dress at his fattest.
“To be honest, when I was 27 I was wearing loafers,” he says.
“I used to ask a lot of people to help me tie my shoelaces.”
Now he wakes up with a healthy shot of ginger, a small glass of fresh orange juice and a bowl of porridge. And for lunch and dinner, he still enjoys all his favorite things, but he is more attentive to them.
He says, “I don’t eat anymore. I don’t eat small portions anymore either.
“I am still a big, big Indian lover. But I no longer have the poppadom, the naan breads or the bhajis in one go.
But Arg seems to show symptoms of PTSD as he relives his past in his nightmares.
He says, “My rock bottom was just when I hit rock bottom, and I was in a horrible place.
“You know, there have been times, it was well documented, when I ended up in an ambulance and was taken to the hospital and things like that. But I’m far from that now.”
When asked if remembering those moments makes him fear a relapse, he says: “It’s really funny you say that because people get complacent when you forget how bad it was.
“But I’m pretty good at remembering the bad times now, and even it’s funny you said that because the other day I actually had my first kind of, like, kind of a nightmare where it was a relapse, but in a nightmare .
And I remember, you know when it’s so vivid and so real. I even woke up and I was shaking.
“I woke up and it was like the best relief ever, knowing it was just a nightmare.
“I think it’s important to remember how bad things were to avoid thinking, ‘Oh, was it that bad?’
“Because sometimes you have to be careful. Your brain can say to you like, “Oh, was it really that bad?” Or: ‘this time it will be different, this time it’s in your own hands’
“I need to be reminded. It’s important for me to be reminded how bad things were.”
He never had suicidal thoughts, but had prayed for the nightmare to end.
He says: “There were definitely times when I was in the thick of it and in a horrible place where I thought, I’m done with it. Even asking God to take me.
“I never wanted to end my life.
“It was hard, although there were times when I was in so deep, I just didn’t know if I would ever be able to get out of it. But it’s good to know that not everyone has to end in tragedy.
“You know, there are people who can really turn it around.”
You are not alone
EVERY 90 minutes a life is lost to suicide in the UK.
It does not discriminate and touches the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to construction workers and doctors, reality stars and football players.
It is the number one killer of people under 35, more deadly than cancer and car accidents.
And men are three times more likely to take their own lives than women.
Yet it is rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly frenzy unless we all stop now and pay attention.
That’s why The Sun launched the You’re Not Alone campaign.
The goal is that we can all do our part to save lives by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health.
Let’s all pledge to ask for help when we need it, and listen to others… You are not alone.
If you or someone you know needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organizations offer support:
- CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
- Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
- Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
- Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
- Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
- Movember, www.uk.movember.com
- Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm