Important: This article is not written to denounce overweight individuals, nor it’s penned to imply any form of negative assertions or connotations to being overweight. The author and HollywoodMask understand and respect both the Body Positivity and Body Neutrality movement in the sense that we should treat each other with empathy and strive together to imagine a world in which we can channel our inner beauty and potentialities.

Billy Gardell’s weight probably wasn’t the primary reason he got the role in the long-running sitcom, Mike & Molly. But it certainly helped and contributed to why he could connect so much with the show’s audience.

That being said, the Swissvale, Pennsylvania native was conscious of his weight when he starred in the series. He remains so to this day, going to great lengths to lose weight and keep his diabetes at bay.

Struggled with Weight from His Early Days

Gardell had always been a guy with health problems and bad habits. He related the experience during an interview with Wicked Local Cambridge in July 2019, “I feel like my whole life has been quitting things.”

He was into smoking and drinking from early in his life. But at the time of the interview, he had given up drinking and smoking and was sober for 11 years.

However, his weight, according to him, was his last demon. A type-2 diabetes patient, he struggled to manage his weight that once reached as high as 350 pounds. 

“I grew up fat,” he said in another interview with East Valley Tribune in August 2011. He was introduced to Marie Claire's article that suggested watching two overweight people in a romantic situation (in Mike and Molly) was repulsive.

He added, "You think I've never heard fat jokes before? 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."

Fighting Diabetes Through Weight Loss & Right Choices

The Young Sheldon guest actor told East Valley Tribune that he was making efforts to change his condition. He worked with a nutritionist and a trainer to keep his weight under control, even though he still had bad days.

“There are some days when I feel like rolling around in a pizza.” he stressed, following with “I'm trying to keep the good days outnumbering the bad ones.”

Gardell was also learning to make the proper eating habits when on the road that summer.

As reported by Starcasm, during his appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in 2011, Gardell revealed he lost around 45 pounds and would have liked to lose another 30 for the sake of his knees.

A couple of years later, in June 2015, sitting down with Tampa Bay Times, Gardell confessed he had lost 70 pounds and had 80 more to lose.

A couple of different things started me trying to get a little healthier. I wanted to be around for my child. And my knees can't take it anymore, man. I've got to take some of this weight off. I've lost 70, but I still got 80 to go.

Five years later, Gardell made even more effort to lose weight and keep his diabetes under control.

He joined a transformation program by Novo Nordisk in March 2020 to manage his type-2 diabetes. The stand-up comic then started taking the injectable non-insulin medicine called Ozempic from the company.

Besides using medicines, Gardell reformed his eating habits and started exercising to maintain his weight.

He also became a paid spokesperson for Novo Nordisk. He starred in an advertisement for Ozempic on February 15, 2021.