Gabourey Sidibe Gets Candid About Her Secret Weight-Loss Surgery: "I Wasn't Cheating"

Empire actress opens up in her new memoir This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare

By Francesca Bacardi Mar 08, 2017 7:43 PMTags

When Gabourey Sidibe decides to do something, she really goes for it.

The Empire star elected to have weight-loss surgery last year and has absolutely no regrets about doing it. Sidibe opens up about the big decision in her upcoming memoir, This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare, and to People.

"I just didn't want to worry," Sidibe, 33, tells the magazine of her decision to get laproscopic bariatric surgery after she and her older brother Ahmed, 34, were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. "I truly didn't want to worry about all the effects that go along with diabetes. I genuinely [would] worry all the time about losing my toes."

Before and After: Celebs Who Have Admitted to Weight Loss Surgery
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Sidibe rose to fame after appearing in the hit film Precious. Aware of her size, Sidibe tried to lose weight for 10 years before ultimately pursuing surgery in May 2016. The choice has completely changed the way she treats food. "My surgeon said they'd cut my stomach in half. This would limit my hunger and capacity to eat. My brain chemistry would change and I'd want to eat healthier," she writes in her memoir, which hits shelves in May, per People.

"I'll take it! My lifelong relationship with food had to change."

She also doesn't see her choice as an "easy way out."

"I wasn't cheating by getting it done," she says. "I wouldn't have been able to lose as much as I've lost without it."

Sidibe's relationship with her body and food has been tumultuous ever since she was a little girl. When her parents divorced, Sidibe started to suffer from depression, bulimia and anxiety. But after undergoing therapy, Sidibe learned to love herself.

"It has taken me years to realize that what I was born with is all beautiful," she writes. "I did not get this surgery to be beautiful. I did it so I can walk around comfortably in heels. I want to do a cartwheel. I want not to be in pain every time I walk up a flight of stairs."

Almost a year later, Sidibe continues to lose weight, but she's not willing to say a specific number. "I have a goal right now, and I'm almost there," she says. "And then once I've got it, I'll set another. But my starting weight and my goal weight, they're personal. If too many people are involved, I'll shut down."

That being said, she does not want to lose too much weight. "I admit it, I hope to God I don't get skinny," she writes in This Is Just My Face. "If I could lose enough to just be a little chubby, I'll be over the moon! Will I still be beautiful then? S--t. Probably. My beauty doesn't come from a mirror. It never will."