Gabourey Sidibe is speaking out for the first time about her experience with weight-loss surgery — as well as her battles with depression, anxiety, and bulimia.
Her revelations come in her new memoir, This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare, with PEOPLE having an exclusive first excerpt.
“I just didn’t want to worry,” Sidibe, 33, tells PEOPLE 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.”
The star — who rose to fame playing the titular role in Precious in 2009 — tried for more than a decade to lose weight naturally before opting for the procedure. And in May of 2016, she secretly went under the knife.
“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. I’ll take it! My lifelong relationship with food had to change,” she writes in her wise, witty and unapologetic memoir, out in May.
“The surgery wasn’t the easy way out,” she says. “I wasn’t cheating by getting it done. I wouldn’t have been able to lose as much as I’ve lost without it.”
Since the procedure, Sidibe has changed her eating habits — working with a nutritionist — and upped her fitness regimen, working out with a trainer, swimming and riding a tricycle around the Empire set.
You go Gabby!