Billy Gardell is an accomplished comedian and actor. The 53-year-old has starred in such successful shows as “Young Sheldon”, “Bob Hearts Abishola”, and “Mike and Molly”. A very big part of his appeal, pun intended, both as a comic and actor has been his hefty weight. He is the lovable fat guy.
Or at least he was. Sensing his own mortality, Gardell decided to takes steps to get healthy and live longer even if it affects his career. A pretty easy choice on the surface, as you can’t act if you are dead. After peaking at about 370 pounds, Gardell is now down around 205. He talked to Entertainment Tonight about his dramatic personal change, and via Fox News said: “I float between 205 and 210 [pounds]. Self-care is important, and I think I finally got there… Walking around pretty healthy these days.”
That is a lot of weight! Gardell revealed that he finally decided to take care of himself, but at 370 pounds, you need a little help in your journey outside of diet and exercise. However, it takes actually wanting to do it to get it done. Gardell continued: “I think you got to find peace with yourself and at some point, look in the mirror and go, ‘You know, it’s probably time to take care of you.’ And I didn’t get that note early on. But I’m a big believer that when you get it, you get it. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you get it.”
Gardell got it, and in an age when it is celebrated and encouraged to be obese, the veteran actor is setting a positive example of what being healthy truly looks like, even if he needed help getting there. In 2020 he got gastric bypass surgery, and had previously also been using the controversial drug Ozempic. While the drug is used for diabetes, it is also widely prescribed for rapid weight loss.
Billy Gardell 'Walking Around Pretty Healthy' After Losing 150 Pounds: 'It's Been a Real Gift' pic.twitter.com/WyHnWh9h5u
— People (@people) April 18, 2023
Gardell talked about his procedure and what ultimately most motivated him to make these huge changes, his son: “I chickened out from doing it like twice. When you hit 50, you start doing that dad math, like, ‘If I can live 25 more years, and he’ll be 40’… You know what I mean?… I want to be here for him. I’ve been an example in a lot of good ways for my child, but I feel like I wasn’t a good example of health for him… I want him to see that. It doesn’t matter what age you are, if you are willing to do something a day at a time, you can change anything.”
Gardell is working on quitting cigarettes, and his resting heart rate dropped from 113 to 68. His Type 2 diabetes is now gone as well. Weight loss is perhaps the best medicine you can give your body, and Gardell is living proof.
Of course, there have been challenges along the way. Gastric bypass surgery requires a rather drastic, life-long change in your diet, and the loose skin, which Gardell reports had to be taped back at times while filming will eventually require surgery.
It is encouraging and inspiring to see people that actually know being fat isn’t healthy or normal, and are willing to be honest with themselves and change their lives. Gardell only has one regret. He concluded: “I miss my fat boy pants because you could drop them and step out like a fireman.”
New pants sounds like a small sacrifice for more time with your child. Kudos to Billy Gardell for taking control and setting a good example in an age rife with bad ones.
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