Pawn Stars” Chumlee Reveals 160-Lb. Weight Loss

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“Pawn Stars” has been on the air since 2009, when it was the History Channel’s highest-rated show and the second-ranked reality show in the U.S. When the show debuted, it starred Rick Harrison, his father, Richard “Old Man” Harrison, his son Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison and Austin “Chumlee” Russell.

The series showcases the interactions between the staff of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop — which Rick opened in 1989 with his father — and their customers. The clientele brings in artifacts and other valuable items to be appraised and then sold or pawned. You can see some of the customers try to negotiate or haggle on the value of the items throughout the show. Rick also takes the time to explain the history of each piece.

With 18 seasons behind its belt, “Pawn Stars” has had 637 episodes over the years and has become something of a fan favorite when it comes to reality shows. The show is hugely successful and has fans from all around the world. The staff who work at the pawnshop are now celebrities in their own right.

One of these is Russell, better known as Chumlee, who has his own following after finding himself to be the comedic foil on “Pawn Stars.” After struggling with his weight for some time, the reality TV star recently revealed a dramatic weight loss after undergoing gastric sleeve surgery. Going from his heaviest weight of 350 lbs. in Jan. 2019 to 190 lbs. today, Chumlee is showing off his weight loss on social media and he couldn’t be prouder.

But outside of the show and his interests, the 39-year-old has had his fair share of personal problems. From run-ins with the law to issues with his weight, Chumlee has come a long way in the last few years. Back in 2016, the star made headlines for all the wrong reasons. After police raided his Las Vegas home that year as part of an investigation of sexual assault charges, they found various illegal narcotics and multiple firearms in his possession. After being arrested and released on bond the next day, he was set to appear in court soon after.

Eventually, he underwent a plea deal that included one count of gun possession and one count of attempted drug possession. The deal meant that he didn’t serve time and was instead sentenced to counseling and three years’ probation. The situation must have served as a wake-up call to Chumlee, who soon after began to make other major changes in his life, notably his health and weight.

Five years following his arrest, the star’s full transformation is complete, but he didn’t get there without hard work and perseverance. Speaking with TMZ earlier this month, Chumlee talked about his journey undergoing gastric sleeve surgery in a bid to get his weight under control. He revealed that during his years-long struggle with his weight, he would have fluctuations that were sometimes as big as 100 lbs. After hitting his heaviest weight of 350 lbs. in Jan. 2019, he decided he was tired of yo-yo dieting and decided to do something about his health.

According to UCLA Health, gastric sleeve surgery usually removes up to 75-80 percent of the stomach, which leads to a smaller appetite and reduced feelings of hunger, allowing people who undergo the surgery to get to a healthy weight much easier. Currently, it’s the most commonly performed bariatric procedure in the US and globally.

Revealing that he also tested for sleep apnea, a potentially serious sleep disorder wherein breathing stops and starts, while he was at his heaviest weight, Chumlee knew he had to make a big change. One month after hitting his heaviest weight in Jan. 2019, he underwent gastric sleeve surgery at Las Vegas’ Blossom Bariatrics. In the time that’s elapsed since then, he’s lost 160 lbs, stating that his goal was not only to get healthy but to stay healthy. Today, the reality star weighs 190 lbs. and admits to feeling great. And judging by his social media channels, the change has been more than just physical.

In the interview with Looper earlier this year, he credits the surgery to being the “tool” that he needed to get his health journey on track, but he admits there’s also a mental component. He said:

“I still have that mental battle. I always tell people I got that big because I enjoy eating food. Enjoyed the taste of it, it’s comforting. So I got the surgery, it’s helped me, it’s been a mental battle. I stay in the gym, but I try to go not continuously in there. I try to go there three days a week, I miss weeks here and there, but I just try to stay focused and eat well and live healthy.”

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