Everything You Need to Know about Gabourey Sidibe’s Weight Loss Journey!

The Precious star Gabourey Sidibe lost a lot of weight a few years back, but she is not done yet. She’s still following her workout regimen and diet plans to attain her new goals.

Sidibe, born on May 6, 1983, secretly went under the knife to lose weight in 2016 after she and her elder brother, Ahmed Sidibe, were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. She only revealed her weight loss a year later through her book titled, This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare. The book has an entire chapter talking about her surgery.

We’ve done an intensive research about her weight loss, so, without further ado, let’s just jump right in!


Gabourey Sidibe’s Weight Loss Goal!

What was Gabourey Sidibe’s weight loss goal? How much did she want to lose? Sadly, the answer is we don’t know since she believes her goals are super-personal and that she wouldn’t get anything done if many people are involved.

Gabourey Sidibe at the gym.
Gabby Sidibe says her weight loss goal is personal.
Source: Instagram

The chapter about surgery is still super-personal. My starting weight and my goal weight, they’re personal, so I’ll keep them to myself because it’s really not for everybody, and the weight I was, the goal weight, the size I wear, all that stuff – it’s got to stay with me because if too many people are involved, I’ll shut down, and I won’t get anything done.

Gabby says her goals are super personal.

Sidibe believes her goals are hers and hers alone. She sets new goals every time she achieves one. That leaves us with new goals every month or even each week.

In terms of goals: I have a goal right now, and I’m almost there. And then once I’ve got it, I’ll set another goal — I’m just going to do it goal-by-goal. I’m being very careful about who I share the goal with.

Sidibe talks about her weight goals.

Well, there might be very few who know what her actual weight is! However, there are some sources that claim she weighed in at 300 lbs before her surgery and 150 lbs afterward. We can’t be so sure, can we?

Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery; Reason for Weight Loss!

As already mentioned, Gabourey Sidibe lost weight thanks to her laparoscopic bariatric surgery. The doctors cut 50% of her stomach to limit her hunger and eventually her 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.

Gabourey reveals what would happen after the surgery.
Gabby Sidibe at Different Ages.
Gabby Sidibe at age 11, 24, and 36.
Source: Instagram

Many of us might think she chose the easy way out, but it wasn’t. It was the only way for her to lose weight.

It has taken me years to realize that what I was born with is all beautiful. I did not get this surgery to be beautiful. I did it so I can walk around comfortably in heels. I want to do a cartwheel. I want not to be in pain every time I walk up a flight of stairs.

Sidibe reveals the reasons for her surgery.

Gabby had even outlived her first trainer. She had lost a ton of weight with her first trainer, who unfortunately died of cancer.

I took a long time to do [the surgery] because I really was trying [to lose weight]. I outlived my first trainer! He died of cancer. He was so great. I lost a ton of weight with him, then I didn’t; I really, really tried — I gave a valiant try. So I’m glad that I finally realized that 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 [the surgery]. I spent years trying to lose this much weight, and I didn’t do it. I wish I’d done it sooner.

Gabby believes she should have done the surgery sooner.

Sidibe had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low good cholesterol, anemia, and was treading between diabetic and prediabetic. Since her diabetes was hereditary, she didn’t care much. But, a month after her diagnosis, her brother was also diagnosed with diabetes. He had to be hospitalized for almost a week.

Gabby and Ahmed Sidibe during childhood.
Gabby’s brother was hospitalized twice due to diabetes.
Source: Instagram

Following the incident, her doctor wanted her to consider weight loss surgery and asked her if she had ever thought about it. Apparently, she had when she had eating disorders but she couldn’t do the surgery because she couldn’t lose weight for surgery. So, she dropped that idea.

After what happened to her brother, she started worrying about her health and decided to lose weight naturally though it would take longer.

I’d probably never get skinny, but I thought I could keep my weight in a manageable range. That’s what I wanted. (I didn’t want to be a skinny person. How would my skinny body support the weight of my huge ego?

Gabourey talks about managing her weight.

She hired a trainer and started eating better. She skipped elevators for stairs and started losing weight. She lost around 15 pounds or so. Though she was losing weight, her doctor wanted her to see a bariatric surgeon. She finally made an appointment but told no one about her condition (diabetes and the surgery), not even her parents.

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Types of Gastric Bariatric Surgery.

When Sidibe went in for the appointment, the surgeon and the nurse confused her with another celebrity, Amber Riley from Glee. They kept on asking her if she was Riley and she kept on answering with a no.

Anyway, this surgeon was now basically dead to me. I didn’t want him to do my surgery. I was actually still figuring out if I wanted it at all, but I knew this guy wasn’t the guy for me. He should’ve stopped asking after the first or second no.

The Empire actress writes about the annoying surgeon.

Before moving forward with the surgery, she had to take a psychological evaluation. Though she intended to fail, she passed. She also told the surgeon about her Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and eating disorders, but it was 10 years ago; she passed the mental test.

Now I had a decision to make. Move forward with someone I was uncomfortable with, find another surgeon, or just get super serious about losing weight naturally again.

Sidibe talks about her decision: surgery or natural weight loss.

Well, she chose to lose weight the natural way again. She took a few months off to eat whatever she wanted and then got into training. She lost weight but gained more back soon after she started work. Her brother was hospitalized due to diabetes again and her mom also got sick and started slimming. She now decided it’s time for her to get the surgery!

This time, she went to the UCLA Medical Center. She had an appointment on April 7, 2016, with four different people, two surgeons, a doctor, and a dietician. Her surgery was set for May 9. But, before that, she had to lose at least 10 lbs for the surgery.

Her best friend Kia hired a private chef and a boxing trainer. She lost 10 lbs and three days before the surgery, celebrated her birthday. She had “Popeye’s chicken and biscuits, fries, and a Dr. Pepper.” She also drank plenty of champagne and tequilas with lime at a wedding later that day.

Bariatric Surgery Liquid Diet!

Gabby started her liquid diet a day before the surgery. She shifted to the hospital later that night at 3 a.m. Though she was scared about the surgery, her surgery didn’t take a long time. What the surgeons did was cut her stomach in half and reduce her capacity to eat.

They’d go in, cut my stomach in half, sew it up, and pull what they took out of there. I almost asked if I could take it home with me in a jar, but I figured that was kind of weird. This surgery would reduce my stomach and limit my hunger and capacity to eat.

Gabby explains what would happen in the surgery.

Gabourey had to take a liquid diet for three weeks after the surgery (approximately 17 days) to let her stomach acclimatize. After the surgery, she hired a trainer and started eating healthy. (More on this later!)

Depression and Bulimia

Did we tell you Gabby suffered from depression and bulimia when she was a teenager? She was teased and embarrassed about her weight. But, she found a hack, vomiting!

It wasn’t even about other people. It was about me surviving the day. I was so embarrassed and I hated crying so much. I hated it. I found a fun little button. I found a button and on top of that, people were like, ‘You’re looking good.’ So I’m like, ‘Why would I stop?’

Sidibe tells Taraji P. Henson what it was like during her teenage years.
Gabourey Sidibe during her 20s ready to sing on stage.
Gabourey Sidibe was suffering from bulimia and depression when she was a teenager.
Source: Instagram

While suffering from bulimia, she thought it was great and ‘dope in a way.’ But, she has since realized that it was actually a ‘self-defense mechanism.’

That’s why bulimia was for me. It wasn’t about losing weight. It wasn’t about controlling my appetite. It truly was about how it stopped me from crying.

Sidibe reveals what bulimia was for her.

She had depression, which induced bulimia, which induced depression, and so on and so forth. Her condition was getting worse. “Being depressed is one thing. If you add an eating disorder to that, that’s a whole other monster that you have to fight.”

How have Things Changed Post-Surgery?

After the surgery, Gabourey Sidibe still worries about her body, her weight, and about eating. But, she’s learned to have faith over fear because it is her decision and it really only affects her.

Gabby Sidibe's cat and her healthy juice.
Gabby Sidibe has been eating healthy since her weight loss surgery.
Source: Instagram

Post-surgery, she used to get on the scale five to six times a day because her weight kept on changing throughout the day. But, she slowly figured out to not do that anymore. She now weighs herself once every two weeks.

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Gabby dropped a lot of weight after her surgery but initially refused to buy clothes of a different size. Why? Well, she wasn’t ready for the world to know about her weight loss.

But when I buy clothes and when I wear clothes, I still wear the same stuff. If I’m swimming in it, that’s fine. A lot of it for a while was an optical illusion because I didn’t want people to realize that I was losing weight before I was ready.

Gabourey talks about clothes size post-surgery.

As she was filming the Fox musical drama, Empire during that time, she was called in for a fitting. However, she kept on shrinking out of her clothes every episode. It was a nerve-wracking experience for her worrying if others would find out about her weight loss.

Now, she has won over her demons and chosen to love her body!

I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time being mad at it. Because if I’d started treating it better sooner, I wouldn’t have spent so many years hating myself, I wouldn’t have allowed that negative energy to be around me. Life is really, truly all about choices and decisions. I wish I’d made the choice to love my body sooner. But I finally have.

Sidibe says she spent too many years hating herself.

Her Diet and Workout Regimen After Surgery

Gabby has stayed active even after losing all that weight. She tracks her daily activities with an Apple Watch, rides a tricycle at her house in LA, and on her Empire set in Chicago, follows specific meal plans, and works out three to four times a week.

I stay as active as possible. I’m stronger, and I’m able to move more, and I’m not worried about losing my f***ing toes anymore. That’s my life now.

Gabby talks about staying as active as possible.

Sidibe currently eats about five times a day. She follows specific meal plans from her nutritionist and cooks a lot more. Her phone is filled with apps that help her keep a food diary.

Gabourey Sidibe's selfie in the gym.
Gabourey Sidibe works out three to four times a week.
Source: Instagram

Talking about her workout regimen, she trains three to four days a week. When she’s not working out, she goes for a swim.

So I have a protein shake, I just go down, and I swim for 20 laps, I come back upstairs, I have breakfast, later in the day, I see my trainer for an hour.

What Gabby does if she isn’t working out.

What Gabby Thinks of People’s Reaction to Her Weight

Gabourey Sidibe has done an incredible job of losing weight but she doesn’t want anyone’s praise.

The thing about my body is that it is mine. The only opinion that mattered was mine. And that’s just the way I kept it. I am working on myself. There’s no end of the line here. I am constantly moving forward.

Sidibe doesn’t like anyone praising her for weight loss.

Her body is hers only and she doesn’t like being congratulated for her weight loss. She believes she needs to be congratulated for peeing and burping if she’s congratulated for losing her own weight. Why?

Because my body actually has nothing to do with you, and I don’t really need your support for it. It seems ill-placed. I don’t need your support. That’s weird to me because my body will always be my body and always had been, and you have nothing to do with it and you’re kind of a stranger. But the way it works is that this is just my body. In the same way that this is just my face, that is just mine.

Sidibe believes her body is hers only.

Well, she just hates the idea of someone caring for her body more than she does.

You only care that you have a voice, and you think your voice gets to say something about me. But I care more than anybody really knows. Of course, I care. It’s been my body my whole life.

Gabourey reveals how people only care about their voice and their opinions.

Change the Way You Feel About Your Body; Advice for Younger People

While talking with Refinery29, Gabourey Sidibe revealed how her exhaustion with what other people felt about her helped her change the way she looked at things.

I really sat down and made a list of all the things I liked about me: my personality, my face, my body. The world will hand me a hate list. And I just sat down and I developed a love list for myself.

Gabby on how to change the way you feel.

She suggests people to list the things they love about themselves because the world will only hand you a hate list. “So when someone says your nose is too big, you can say my nose is cute.”

Here’s three of her top advices for young people.

  1. “If you feel like you need help, get it.”
  2. “You listen to yourself when someone is making fun of you. Listen to yourself when someone is telling you what kind of clothes you wear on your body.”
  3. “Find an activity that you really love and do it, because that will build self-esteem.”

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