Gabourey Sidibe has penned a memoir for her fans, where she will be opening up about all sorts of things from her recent gastric sleeve surgery to her struggle with mental health issues.
The 33-year-old actress, who is a series regular on Empire, got her start in the gritty film, Precious. She played the title role in the film, which was written for an obese black teenager. However, this didn’t stop people from playing judge and jury about her weight.
Although obese, the young actress hasn’t let Hollywood’s standards get the best of her. In fact, she’s managed to continue scoring roles in films and television shows, proving that talent isn’t just skin deep.
However, in a recent move to protect her health, the actress has undergone gastric sleeve surgery and is making amazing progress. She recently revealed that although it helps her get a head start, she still has to put the work in. Gabourey Sidibe says she sets smaller goals for herself on the way to her big goal to keep her from getting discouraged or overwhelmed with it.
The actress admits she was diagnosed with diabetes “a long time ago,” and the gastric sleeve decision was partially motivated by that.
And while Gabourey Sidibe is losing weight at a rapid pace, she’s totally over discussing her body with strangers.
“I’m actually a normal person. The worst thing is that this conversation about my weight has been going on for too long in this segment so I don’t want to talk [about it]. Like any other normal person, I don’t want to talk about my body all the time.”
The book, entitled This Is Just My Face, Try Not To Stare, is currently on sale at all major book retailers, and it also speaks about Gabourey Sidibe’s struggle with mental health, something she previously hadn’t been open about.
“Here’s the thing about therapy and why it’s so important. I love my mom, but there’s so much I couldn’t talk to her about during my Hoe Phase. I couldn’t tell her that I couldn’t stop crying and that I hated everything about myself. Whenever I did try to open up, my mom seemed unconcerned. When I was sad about something, she told me to ‘get a thicker skin.’ When I was upset, she told me to ‘stop nitpicking.’ My mom has always had faith that things would be okay, but saying ‘tomorrow will be a better day’ wasn’t enough for me.”
When I first told her I was depressed, she laughed at me. Literally. Not because she’s a terrible person, but because she thought it was a joke. How could I not be able to feel better on my own, like her, like her friends, like normal people? So I just kept thinking my sad thoughts — thoughts about dying.”
Gabourey Sidibe also detailed her battle with bulimia, which she developed during her college years.
“Often, when I was too sad to stop crying, I drank a glass of water and ate a slice of bread, and then I threw it up. After I did, I wasn’t as sad anymore; I finally relaxed. So I never ate anything, until I wanted to throw up — and only when I did could I distract myself from whatever thought was swirling around my head.”
The actress, who turns 34 on May 6, also revealed that she often fantasized about suicide during this dark time in her life.
“I found a doctor and told her everything that was wrong with me. I’d never run down the entire list before, but as I heard myself, I could sense that dealing with this on my own was definitely no longer an option. The doctor asked me if I wanted to kill myself. I said, ‘Meh, not yet. But when I do, I know how I’ll do it.’ I wasn’t afraid to die, and if there was a button I could’ve pushed to erase my existence from earth, I would have pushed it because it would have been easier and less messy than offing myself. According to the doctor, that was enough.”
Gabourey Sidibe also advises her fans to go seek help if they need it. She maintains its worth it.
[Featured Image by Jemal Countess/Stringer/Getty Images]