When Gabourey Sidibe was diagnosed Type 2 diabetes, her world as she knew it changed forever.
It was that diagnosis that caused Sidibe to make a drastic choice. “I just didn’t want to worry,” the Empire actress tells PEOPLE of her decision to get laproscopic bariatric surgery. “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.”
And now, almost a year after her May 2016 weight loss surgery, Gabourey is in love with her new body. “There’s nothing ugly about me. Anyone trying to convince me that I am — and it’s usually me — is wasting her time,” she says. “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.”
These new revelations come from Gabby’s memoir, This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare. In the book, the Precious star also opens up about her battle with depression, bulimia and anorexia following her parents divorce when she was a child. It was something she overcame with therapy, but still the decision to undergo surgery was not an easy one. “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,” Gabby continues. “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.”
You betta get your cartwheel on, Gabby! Sidibe’s memoir, This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare, hits stores in May.