Ricky Gervais of "the office" (the original one) has been rated the 3rd most popular stand up comedian in Time 100's most influential people. BAFTA LA recently announced that Gervais was being awarded the Stanley Kubrick Charlie Chaplin Britannia Award for Excellence in Comedy for outstanding contribution in his field. But what stands out most about Gervais to the naked eye is remarkable weight loss. The funny man is starting to look more like his tall, slender castmate Stephen Merchant than his former chubby self. His ability to trim down some 40 pounds shows this "Idiot Abroad" is no dummy about getting healthy.

When asked about how he did it, Ricky jokes but the story behind it is anything but funny.

Ricky Gervais: food addiction born of poverty

Gervais talks lovingly about his working class mum and dad struggling to make ends meet and provide for their family. As with so many children who have known if not hunger, at least very limited food, he developed a huge appetite and food addiction. The "Life's Too Short" actor makes light of it and finds the positive but it's still touching. A bit of a ne'er-do-well educationally, Gervais says he couldn't find a job till 28, didn't start in comedy till 38 and didn't wake up to the fact that he was fat till 48. Then, one day, Ricky found an epiphany in an heap of sausages--11 to be exact--and his serving size for one meal.

Gervais read his tea leaves, so to speak and found his future uncertain if he continued to pack food away with such abandon. So at nearly half a century, he decided to do something about it and a 40 pound weight loss is the result.

Outrunning obesity, diabetes, the list goes on

Ricky Gervais is one of those rare celebrities who has only been married once and is still married over 36 years later.

He and his wife Jane Fallon got healthy and lost weight on the buddy plan. They were each other's accountability partner, as it were. This kind of camaraderie and solidarity is exactly the kind of thing serious dieting and exercise requires. When you have a partner to lose weight with and a loved one to lose weight for, it makes all the difference.

If that person is one in the same, so much the better. Gervais and his wife outran (literally) obesity, Type 2 diabetes and the host of other related health issues. And there is no better tonic for depression than exercise.