“Empire” star Gabourey Sidibe finally confirmed she has lost weight thanks to a May 2016 surgery after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
The 33-year-old steadily Instagrammed slimmed-down selfies over the past few months and revealed she secretly went under the knife for laparoscopic bariatric surgery in her upcoming memoir, “This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare.”
“My surgeon said they’d cut my stomach in half,” she wrote of the surgery in her book, due in May. “This would limit my hunger and capacity to eat. My brain chemistry would change and I’d want to eat healthier. I’ll take it! My lifelong relationship with food had to change. The surgery wasn’t the easy way out. I wasn’t cheating by getting it done. I wouldn’t have been able to lose as much as I’ve lost without it.”
Sidibe has struggled with her body image since she was 6 years old, suffering from bulimia, anxiety and depression after her parents divorced. Therapy helped her overcome the illnesses and Sidibe attempted to drop the pounds for 11 years, once losing 60 pounds and then gaining it back. She considered the surgery, which also followed her 34-year-old brother Ahmed’s type 2 diabetes diagnosis, her final resort.
“I just didn’t want to worry,” Sidibe told People magazine of her decision. “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.”
Since the operation, which she got to relieve pain and feel more comfortable, the short-film director has taken up an active lifestyle by swimming, riding a tricycle on the “Empire” set and working out with a trainer. Sidibe also has a nutritionist and has transformed the way she eats. She told the magazine she has a goal weight, but she’s keeping that number private.
“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.”
Sidibe still hopes to retain her curves once she hits her mark, writing in “This Is Just My Face, “I hope to God I don’t get skinny. If I could lose enough to just be a little chubby, I’ll be over the moon! Will I still be beautiful then? S—. Probably. My beauty doesn’t come from a mirror. It never will.”
She added that the “Empire” stylist has to keep adjusting her clothes because she’s “shrinking.”
“There’s nothing ugly about me,” she wrote. “Anyone trying to convince me that I am — and it’s usually me — is wasting her time. I was in a war with my body for a long time. If I’d started treating it better sooner, I wouldn’t have spent so many years hating myself. But I love my body now.”