Gabourey Sidibe is embracing her new transformation.
The 33-year-old actress underwent weight loss surgery last year and is now opening up about her experience, along with the struggles she faced with depression, anxiety and bulimia in her new memoir, “This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare," due to be released in May.
“I just didn’t want to worry,” explained the “Empire” star to PEOPLE Magazine on choosing to get laproscopic bariatric surgery after her older brother, 34-year-old Ahmen, was 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.”
The celebrity news publication reported that Sidibe, best known for her role in the 2009 film “Precious,” tried for more than a decade to lose weight naturally before going secretly under the knife in May 2016.
“My surgeon said they’d cut my stomach in half,” she explained in her upcoming book. “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’s weight-loss journey didn’t end after the surgery. Since the procedure, she began working with a nutritionist to help her revamp her eating habits and started working out with a trainer. In addition, she swims and rides a tricycle around the “Empire” set.
Ten months after the procedure, Sidibe continues to lose weight.
“I have a goal right now, and I’m almost there,” she said. “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 also revealed that despite the dramatic change, she has come to appreciate her appearance, no matter her size.
“There is nothing ugly about me,” she added. “Anyone trying to convince me that I am — and it’s usually me — is wasting their 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.”