Gabourey Sidibe Struggled With Low Self-Esteem, Type 2 Diabetes, And Body Image

Gabourey Sidibe feels beautiful and confident in her body these days. However, that wasn’t always the case for the 33-year-old actress. She opened up about her decision to seek weight loss surgery after her and her brother Ahmed, 34, were diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Sidibe is recalling her experience in her first memoir, This Is Just My Face. She also opened up in an exclusive interview with People about having laparoscopic bariatric surgery last year. Sidibe said she wanted to put an end to worrying about her diabetes diagnosis.

“I just didn’t want to worry. 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.”

Gabourey’s decision to undergo the surgery is because she was working hard to lose the weight. Though she tried, she couldn’t get the results from it. She didn’t see the surgery as a way of cheating herself. She wished she had gotten it sooner. Gabourey says the weight loss surgery had changed her life for the better. She’s learned to trust herself, not obsess over her weight, and has improved her fitness and diet routine.

“I eat about five times a day — I use meal plans that are really, really good, especially for when I’m busy. I cook a lot more. I talk to my nutritionist a lot. I just had an appointment with her on my laptop two days ago. We keep in touch. I tell her all the things I’m worry about. I have all these apps to help me keep a food diary.”

She also works out with a personal trainer three to four times a week. If she’s not able to schedule time with her trainer, then she will take a swim in her indoor pool. She also loves to ride her tricycle around Chicago in between filming Empire. Sidibe’s day usually starts out with a protein shake and swimming a few laps in the pool. Then, she will enjoy a healthy breakfast and works out with her personal trainer for an hour.

I really do like a gross ass bathroom selfie.....I gotta get my life.

A post shared by Gabby Sidibe ???????? (@gabby3shabby) on

She also opened up about her struggles with low self-esteem and the dark side of Hollywood. She could recall the times that screenwriters would treat overweight actors differently, according to Essence magazine. Gabourey didn’t enjoy receiving scripts and offers that mentioned her weight off the bat. Obviously, it took a toll on her self-esteem and body image.

“My entire life, I have been conditioned to believe that I was ugly, from everybody outside of my tribe – from people that are inside of my tribe, at that. I think the People magazine list came out when I was 26. It’s really, really hard to live 26 years being told that everything, physically, about you is wrong.”

Now she wants to promote body positivity on her social media platforms. She wants to make sure that different looks and body types are celebrated in Hollywood. Sidibe said that she feels beautiful and confident whenever she styles her hair or wears lipstick. Most of all, her friends and her sense of humor, make her feel confident.

Gabourey Sidibe rose to fame when she starred in Precious in 2009. She has since struggled to lose weight before opting for the weight loss procedure. Since then, Sidibe is focused on changing her eating habits, working with her nutritionist, and working out with her personal trainer. She has been documenting her weight loss journey on her social media accounts.

For more on Gabourey’s story, check out her new book, This is Just My Face: Try Not to Star, and her interview in the new issue of People, on newsstands Friday.

[Featured image by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for NAACP Image Awards]