Doing it for himself! Mike & Molly alum Billy Gardell got candid about his 150-lb weight loss — and the body-shaming that still comes with it.
The Bob Hearts Abishola actor, 53, told Entertainment Tonight in an interview published on Monday, April 17, that he went from 370 pounds — at his heaviest — to now “float[ing] between 205 and 210.”
“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,” he told the outlet, recalling how he faced his health head-on during the COVID-19 pandemic — including undergoing bariatric surgery. “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 is “walking around pretty healthy these days,” he noted, adding that he no longer has Type 2 diabetes and has a significantly lower heart rate since shedding more than 100 lbs in the past decade.
Despite the vast improvements to his physical and mental health — “Self-care is important, and I think I finally got there,” the My Name Is Earl alum proudly stated — he still faces body-shaming from internet trolls, no matter what his size.
“There’s always people online that, you know, when I was heavy, they were like ‘You’re too heavy!’ And now it’s like, ‘Are you sick?’” he revealed. “Can I just walk the earth, please?!”
Gardell previously opened up about his weight loss journey in a September 2022 interview with ET, explaining that his struggle with food began when he was a child.
“If you grew up like I did, you grow up in a house where it’s like, ‘We had a bad day, let’s eat! We had a good day? Let’s eat!’ So I had to learn that food is fuel and it’s not comfort and it’s not celebration. And I work on that daily,” Gardell explained at the time. “If you don’t have a problem with food, thank whatever god you pray to and be grateful you don’t, because it is it’s a serious addiction, just like anything else. But I find my way. I do my thing and in the morning and I try to stay between the lines and I’m grateful I get to.”
The Pittsburgh native makes sure to celebrate “the little victories” along the way, like being able to ”shop at a normal store” and “not having to take a deep breath when I tie my shoes.”
Gardell starred alongside Melissa McCarthy on Mike & Molly from 2010 to 2016, in which their characters meet at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting and fall in love. The hit show became a breakout for both stars — who have both been candid about their body image over the years.
In 2013, the Bridesmaids actress, 52, exclusively told Us Weekly, “I’ve been every size in the world. Parts of my 20s, I was in great shape, but I didn’t appreciate it. If I was a 6 or an 8, I thought, ‘Why aren’t I a 2 or a 4?'” she recalled to Us at the time. “Now I feel like I have two great kids and the dreamiest husband [Ben Falcone] on the planet, and everything else is just a work in progress.”