Billy Gardell lost weight in "Bob Hearts Abishola"
American actor and stand-up comedian Billy Gardell stars as Bob Wheeler on the CBS sitcom “Bob Hearts Abishola.” The character is a middle-aged compression sock businessman from Detroit who fell in love with a Nigerian nurse, Abishola (played by Folake Olowofoyeku). He met her at the hospital while recovering from his heart attack.
The series is currently on its third season, and the network has already renewed the fourth installment. While the show’s premise focuses on the romance between the two characters, it also chronicles health recovery and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The latter storyline somehow reflects the real-life journey of the 52-year-old actor.
Viewers have witnessed the comedian’s weight loss journey throughout the show’s run. He has been very open in the conversation regarding his weight. Even before playing the role of Bob, a man who tries to live a healthy life after a heart attack, he has already played a character dealing with weight. In fact, the program also aired where “Bob Hearts Abishola” is currently airing.
Billy, whose real name is William Gardell Jr., is known for his role as Mike Biggs on the CBS sitcom “Mike & Molly,” which ran for six seasons from 2010 to 2016. He starred opposite Melissa McCarthy as Molly Flynn. The story follows the titular overweight characters as they fall in love with each other while navigating and facing their own challenges in life and losing weight.
Billy Gardell spoke about the controversy surrounding "Mike & Molly"
“Mike & Molly” centers on Mike, a police officer, and Molly, a school teacher. The two met at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting. It tells the different stages of their relationship, from being a couple to being engaged to being married. At the same time, the two deal with their personal issues, such as family, career, and weight loss journey.
In 2010, a controversy arose when a Marie Claire columnist published a blog post and reportedly referring the two actors as “fat bastards.” The article is titled “Should Fatties Get a Room? (Even on TV),” and many were upset by this. Show creator Mark Robert also spoke about the controversy, saying the comment was “very high school.”
But while a lot of people were upset at the shaming, Billy seemed to let the issue slide. Speaking in a 2011 interview with the East Valley Tribune, the actor said that he grew up fat and he got used to people telling fat jokes. He added that he learned a lot in life because of this, and he has long accepted that some may not like the way you look.
“I learned a long time ago about life that, hey, sometimes some people just ain’t going to like your face. That’s their thing,” the actor noted.
Billy Gardell has been open in his weight loss journey
The comedian, who has been married to Patty Gardell since 2001, isn’t shy when it comes to his weight. Ha had discussed his struggles while trying to change his eating habits. He worked with a trainer to achieve his weight loss goal and a nutritionist to develop a diet plan that was the best fit for him. Losing weight was a challenge for him, and he admitted he once weight 350 pounds.
“There are some days when I feel like rolling around in a pizza,” he said. “I’m trying to keep the good days outnumbering the bad ones.”
After years of struggle and now in the third season of “Bob Hearts Abishola,” it looks like the comedian was successful with his weight loss journey. Many viewers of the sitcom were shocked after noticing that he cut down a significant amount of pounds. He also looked a bit different compared to his previous role in “Mike & Molly.”
It is unknown how much Billy lost weight. Per WealthyPersons, the actor weighs 92 kilograms, equivalent to approximately 202 pounds. If he was once 350 pounds, then he probably lost around 150 pounds. He hasn’t officially addressed his weight loss in the show, but his transformation was noticeable from season 1 to 3.
Since the actor lost a huge amount of weight, some speculated that he went under the knife to cut down some pounds. But, no, the actor didn’t go on weight loss surgery despite the continuous rumors about it. He looked different now compared to before because he started eating healthy and going on workouts.
Billy Gardell was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, and he's fighting it off through healthy living
In 2017, the comedian was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes after his regular check-up. Since then, he vowed to live a healthy lifestyle and change his eating habits to manage his condition. In 2020, he teamed up with Novo Nordisk. The company manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services, specifically diabetes care medications and devices.
Billy’s partnership with Novo Nordisk aims to help diabetic people manage their condition through a series of reality online videos called My Type 2 Transformation. It documents the actor’s journey in learning how to transform his type 2 diabetes management. In addition, it focused on expert-curated resources focused on diet, exercise, and how to make behavior changes.
My Type 2 Transformation follows the actor, and another diabetic patient, Jane Austin. They receive support from experts in exercise, food, and life coaching. These experts collected resources for people with type 2 diabetes based on the support they provided for the two. What’s good about these resources is that they’re available at no cost.
For Billy, he said that it was a wake-up call for him when he was diagnosed with the condition. At that point, he knew that he had to quit his unhealthy habits and start living a healthy lifestyle. He also said he didn’t want to believe his doctor when he told him about the condition. But he already knew that he had to do something in the back of his mind.
“The changes haven’t been easy, but they’re worth it. I want others who are struggling or don’t know where to start to see my journey and know they can do this, too,” the actor advised.