Gabourey Sidibe Reveals True Inspiration Behind Her Secret Weight Loss Surgery & New Memoir #BDOBookshelf

Gabourey Sidibe

Gabourey Sidibe/Photo: Getty

Gabourey Sidibe is embracing a new, slimmer look, but hasn’t lost any of the big and bold confidence that’s become her signature. The Oscar-nominated actress, currently featured on Fox’s Empire, recently spoke for the first time about the weight loss surgery she underwent last year to PEOPLE magazine.

“The surgery wasn’t the easy way out,” Sidibe told PEOPLE in the exclusive interview. “I wasn’t cheating by getting it done. I wouldn’t have been able to lose as much as I’ve lost without it.”

Loss is something that inspired her decision to get laproscopic bariatric surgery in May 2016, but it wasn’t just about losing pounds. After she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, along with a diagnosis for her older brother Ahmed, Sidibe shared that, “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.”

Details of her weight loss journey and the struggles along the way – including experiences with bulimia, anxiety and depression – are recounted in her upcoming memoir, This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare.