Gabourey Sidibe, the star actress on the Oscar-nominated movie Precious and Empire – the TV-show that has kept viewers glued to their screens, has recently been in the limelight lately and with lots of bloggers and media houses lining up to interview her.
Why? Well apart from the rise to stardom through her appearances on the big screen, Ms. Sidibe has been creating quite a stir on lots of talk shows and social media as a result of her dramatic weight-loss and subsequent physical transformation.
In addition to this, she has been promoting her new memoir This is just my face: Try not to stare on her social media accounts before it’s official release date.
The 34-year-old actress who hails from New York says that she had struggled with her weight since she was 6 years old; a situation that was possibly caused or exacerbated by the divorce of her parents Alice and Ibnou Sidibe.
She suffered for the most part growing up battling bulimia, self-esteem issues and was later diagnosed with type-2 diabetes alongside her brother. This was a wake-up call for her and it was at this point that she decided to undergo a surgical procedure to alleviate the situation.
Prior the surgery, Ms. Sidibe revealed that she had struggled with her weight-loss journey for over 10 years. In her memoir, she says that for her, getting the gastric procedure done was not cheating but a personal choice that was influenced by a lot of factors.
In this article, we reveal what Gabourey- the daughter of a gospel singer and a cab driver of African descent- speaks confidently about how her diet changes and what she did during her weight-loss journey.
While trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, there is nothing as important as adopting an active routine. Forget about sitting on the couch for long hours watching TV.
This member of the Empire cast admits that she is not a big fan of gym workouts but she enjoys swimming and cycling. In her Chicago apartment (which she loves due to the fact that it has an indoor pool) Gabourey says that she does at least 20 laps two-three times a week.
She also has tricycles places strategically at her home in L.A and on the set of Empire which she hops on at every chance, including during lunch break!
After the surgery, Gabourey could not consume solid foods for approximately 17 days. This whole experience put her in a really sad and vulnerable place as she distinctly remembers almost slipping into depression.
She has confessed that she uses this memory to encourage her and remind her the importance of eating healthy. So far, Gabourey eats on average 5 meals per day that are prepared as per the meal plan set for her by her nutritionist.
The ultimate plan that was prepared for her involved:
- Eliminating junk food and generally reducing take-out. This means pizza, potato chips, pastries, sausages and ice cream were gradually eliminated from her diet.
- Reducing processed sugars (including sodas) and carbohydrates
- Introduction of vegetable smoothies, fruits, whole-grain cereal for breakfast and green tea
- Resizing the amount of food consumed in a single sitting. This prevented her from binge eating and instead, staying loaded on fruits, oats and other healthy foods thereby reducing the craving for unhealthy snacks in between meals.
Know Who You Are and Know Your Body
Prior to undergoing the surgery, Gabourey not only accepted her plus-size celebrity status, but she owned it. She was fully aware of how she looked and how she felt about it.
Although lots of people tried to put her down about her appearance, she did no. She was not at war with other people but she was at war with herself. She confessed that she spent many years hating her body but she later stopped and decided to be positive.
And ultimately, she opted for the medical procedure to be at peace with herself. In her memoir, she says that she did not get the surgery to be beautiful. “I know I was born beautiful.”
She just grew tired of not being able to be comfortable in her favorite pair of heels and being in pain and out of breath every time she walked up a flight of stairs.
Set your goals
The co-star on the American Horror Story: Coven says that to achieve what you want you must set your sight on the end result. And it doesn’t stop there. “I had to be passionate about achieving the look that I wanted,” Said Gabourey in a recent interview.
Although she refrained from quoting exact numbers in terms of how much she weighed before and after the surgery, she claims that she has in fact made great progress.
She recently revealed that she did not want to let the whole world know what her goals are in detail because she would eventually shut down if too many people were involved. And truly we can all see the progress she has made, more than a year after her surgery.
She also said that once she had successfully achieved her current goals, she would proceed to set other more challenging goals.
Apart from her motivation to look good, Gabourey admitted to the People Magazine that the effects of diabetes such as losing her toes genuinely scared her. Sometimes such realities do motivate someone to set goals and work towards achieving them.
Doctors told her that through the laparoscopic bariatric surgery they were going to reduce the size of her stomach which would reduce her hunger levels and ultimately her desire to eat. This is something she said she looked forward to.
Choose Your Own Destiny
Before her big break in the movie Precious, the renowned actress was discouraged by colleagues, friends and counterparts alike. Lots of people tried to break her spirit by saying mean things about her appearance and even her career.
It was for this reason, among others, that she battled with confidence issues and anxiety. After struggling for a long time, she decided to use this criticism to fuel her quest towards becoming the best that she could be in all that she did. “If they hadn’t tried to break me down, I wouldn’t know that I am unbreakable”
Gabourey said in her speech at the Ms. Foundation Gala. As a matter of fact, it is reported that Joan Cusack advised her to quit the entertainment business because it is an image conscious industry and she clearly did not have what it takes to make it!
Interestingly enough, she was shortlisted from a list of over 350 actresses for the lead role in Precious. She also acknowledged that confidence is not something she stumbled upon by chance but something that she had to work towards every day. She likened it to putting on lipstick every day.
Choose Your New Life
The34-year-oldd actress admits that it has not been such a smooth road to achieving the look she wanted. More than one year after the surgery has gone by and she is still losing weight. This she claims is not happening by accident.
People said that having the surgery was the easy way out but little did they know that the work did not stop there. Gabourey hired a nutritionist to help her maintain a balanced diet and a personal trainer.
In addition to this, she has included a fitness routine to her schedule which involves swimming, cycling and becoming more active as opposed to living a sedentary lifestyle.
She admits to now being more aware of her lifestyle, making sure that she remains consistent in her weight-loss journey.
Embrace Your Fears
Gabourey stated that even though this surgery is something she had been thinking about for a long time, she was still a bit apprehensive of the outcome.
One of her fears was becoming skinny. She says that she wanted to remain ‘chubby’ and healthy at the same time.
She says that she was also scared of how things would turn out when she returned to the set of Empire as she had not notified anybody of what she was about to do. Well at least in the end, everything worked out for the best.