Gabourey Sidibe weight loss journey has been an inspiration but before let me tell you about her first. Gabourey Sidibe, the Precious star, was born on May 6, 1983. She is an American actress who made her acting debut in the movie “Precious” in 2009. Her role in this movie earned her the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead. She was nominated for the Golden Globe and Academy Award for Best Actress. She featured in movies like Tower Heist in 2011, White Bird in a Blizzard 2014 and Grimsby in 2016.
Sidibe was also starred on the television series American Horror Story: Freak Show as the character of Regina Ross.
Sidibe was born and brought up in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York and later in Harlem. Alice Tan Ridley, her mother, is a gospel singer. She also appeared on the season 5 of America’s Got Talent. Ibnou Sidibe, her father, belongs from Senegal and is a cab driver. Sidibe lived with her feminist activist aunt Dorothy Pitman Hughes.
Sidibe holds an associate’s degree from Borough of Manhattan Community College. She attended City College of New York but dropped out. Before she pursued her acting career she worked at The Fresh Air Fund’s office as a receptionist.
Sidibe revealed in 2017 that she has been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and after that, she went under bariatric surgery to manage her weight. Gabourey Sidibe weight loss journey has been an inspiration and today we will take a look at it.
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Gabourey Sidibe Weight Loss Timeline
Gabourey Sidibe was just like you and me before she landed her iconic role in Precious. She was born on 6th May 1983 in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother, Alice Tan Ridley, is a gospel and American R&B singer, and her father, Ibnou Sidibe, is a cab driver. Gaby grew up with her aunt and attended City College of New York and Mercy College. Before joining the entertainment industry, she worked as a receptionist at the Fresh Air Fund. So, how did everything fall into place? Let’s find out!
Gabourey Sidibe struggled with her weight from a very young age. She once told the Hollywood:
“It’s something I’ve had to work at. My first diet started when I was six years old,” Gabby said. “I’ve never been a small girl. One day I had to sit down with myself and decide that I loved myself no matter what my body looked like and what other people thought about my body.
While many celebrities won’t admit to undergoing any type of cosmetic or elective weight loss surgery, Gabourey admitted in a 2017 People magazine interview to having laparoscopic bariatric surgery (also known as lap band) in 2016 after several attempts to lose weight naturally without surgery failed.
In the US, although there is an equal number of obese men and women, it is women who most likely opt for bariatric surgery than men. Doctors would most likely advocate for lifestyle changes, diet, and workout. Only those people whose BMI exceeds 35 can qualify for bariatric surgery, those with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and sleep apnea, which in Gabourey’s case, she and her older brother got diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. As she claims, she did not lose weight for the looks but for health. She did not say however how much she weighed before the surgery but she sure dropped a lot of pounds.
Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery. There are three types of bariatric surgery and all are aimed to losing weight faster. There is gastric sleeve surgery also known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy, where most of the stomach is removed and left with only a small banana shaped part. This makes the person feel full so fast when eating since the stomach has been reduced. This is very permanent. Another one is called gastric bypass, also known as, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass where the surgeon creates a shorter and smaller passage with the stomach and the intestines. Lastly, there is laparoscopic adjustable gastric band which is the one that Sidibe had done for herself. This is more gradual than the other types of bariatric surgery since the doctor puts a band around the top of the stomach which reduces the food intake. This gets adjusted regularly depending on your progress. In cases where this does not work, then the band is removed, and another method may be tried this time.
In 2017 Gabourey Sidibe pointed out in her memoir, This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare that she didn’t want to face the same fate as her brother, who now has Type 2 Diabetes. So when she lost and gained back 60 pounds, surgery was an easy option.
“My surgeon said they would cut my stomach in half,”
“This would limit my hunger and capacity to eat, (thus) my brain chemistry would change and I’d want to eat healthier.”
” I’ll take it! (And) my lifelong relationship with food had to change. The surgery wasn’t the easy way out. I wasn’t cheating by getting it done, (because) I wouldn’t have been able to lose as much weight as I’ve lost without the surgery.”
“I just didn’t want to worry,” Gabby Sidibe said. “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.”
Gabby Sidibe has stepped out and shown out in her latest outfit, and fans are applauding her looks and ever-slimming-down frame.
The “Empire” actress wore a yellow and red African print dress to attend the birthday party of her pal and co-star Nicole Ari Parker.
Sidibe has dropped the extra pounds in the three years since she underwent laparoscopic bariatric surgery. The actress, who shot to fame after starring in the 2009 drama “Precious,” opened up about why she chose to go under the knife in her memoir “This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare.”
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What Inspired Gabourey Sidibe for Weight Loss?
Sidibe recalls an encounter with one of her Hollywood role models who said to her, “Oh honey, you should really quit this business, it’s so image-conscious.”
Sidibe has always been criticized for her body right from her early life. She was bullied in school and college. She tells about criticism by David Edelstein who reviewed Precious for New York magazine, he said, “Sidibe’s head is a balloon on the body of Zeppelin, her cheeks are so inflated that they squash her eyes into slits. Her expression is either surly or unreadable. Even with her voice-over narration, you are just meant to stare at her ebony face and see nothing.”
Susan Powter, nutritionist, motivational speaker, and trainer released a video in March 2010 saying, “Gabby… your weight is going to affect everything in your life.” She has also been called “The most enormous, fat black chick I’ve ever seen” by Howard Stern.
This was a difficult phase in Gabourey Sidibe Weight Loss journey. To all these criticisms she responded adding, “It’s all Public opinion, the upside is that I’ve never felt more powerful. And I’m strong. And I’m amazing. ”
To a magazine, she quoted, “I was born to stand out to the world, I don’t care whether or not people will find me attractive on the screen. ”
Gabby turned down all the body shames and criticism by her powerful words and confidence. Something so special in her, that we can all learn.
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Gabourey Sidibe Weight Loss Diet
It is a misconception that Sidibe entirely relied on the surgery in order for her to lose weight. The truth is, she actually worked with nutritionists as well to help her eat healthier and aid her in losing weight. She does not share much on social media or any type of media at all but one of the things she mentioned to be among her tricks is what she called “meatless Mondays”. She shared on her instagram how she is going for meatless meals on Mondays, and how a friend helped her with recipes since she does not cook much herself.
If you go meatless Mondays as well, how can you adapt? Well if you are not going to have any meat such as pork, beef, poultry, lamb, and not even fish, then the options left are vegetables or lentils. But what alternatives can you eat that day that would still get you full and satisfied as steak would?
Mushrooms: Mushrooms are definitely delish! Well you can have mushroom for your meals in order to have the almost meat taste or perhaps associate it with your other meaty meals with mushrooms as sides. You can recreate a lamb burger but without the lamb through stuffed mushrooms with pecans and portobello wellington.
Tofu: have you smelled tofu being fried or a mock meat tofu burger? It smells even so much better and too enticing than meat. Although it might not satisfy the tongue as much as it satisfied your nose. So in order to be able to down tofu, you can make crispy tofu nuggets, crab cakes, breaded fish fillet, Moroccan cutlets in lemon-olive sauce, tempeh meatballs, seitan steak in beurre blanc sauce, balsamic barbecue ribs, tacos sin carne, and chicken salad with cranberries and pistachios with the meat replaced with tofu, of course. Enjoy!
Eggplant: after you eat an eggplant sub, you’ll never underestimate how tasty eggplant is! It is not second to meat. It parallels it, not to mention how easy it is to cook. Often times you only need to fry it and there you have a totally scrumptious meal like the delicious Eggplant Parmesan! In the recipe you boil it first to soften it up, peel its skin, press it, add flavor to it, and then fry it. That is all, it is so easy and so delicious that you can even go meatless all week for it.
Beans and legumes: A perfect alternatives to skipping meat in your diet. Think black bean burgers or a chickpea tuna salad, bean nachos or a tamale-inspired bowl.
Sweet Potatoes: hello, ever tried sweet potato fries? This time you can roast them in an oven when you’re at home, and for a real treat enjoy them fried in restaurants when you go out to eat!
Gabourey finally decided she wanted to lose one pound per week back in 2013. That means she would lose approximately 50 pounds by the end of the year. She decided that to lose such amount of weight she had to eliminate 500 calories of daily calorie from her diet. Sidibe didn’t share the exact diet plan as to what she ate on a whole day but she revealed her lifestyle changes.
She took the following steps to eat healthily:
1. Stopped Drinking Soda
Gabby was obsessed with soda before she took this diet plan. She uses to have gallons of sodas on a daily basis. She replaced the glass of soda with ice cold water with a slice of lemon in it. This step changed her health dramatically. It reduced her sugar intake and her insulin levels also stabilized.
2. Got Rid of Processed Foods
Oreo cookies, cupcakes, potato chips, and burgers were her favorite as if they were the only food in the world. She replaced these with hummus and crackers, vegetable chips, fruits etc. Her body reduced gradually by a low amount of sugar and salt intake.
3. Timing and Sizing the meals
She started eating a large size breakfast, mid-size lunch, and a light dinner. Gabourey timed her meals to three hours apart and used to snack on healthier options whenever she felt hungry. She drank one glass of cold water before her meals to get her tummy full.
4. Eating on a Smaller Plate
Gabby replaced her larger plate to a smaller and compact one, just to make sure she doesn’t do overeating. Eating less contributes to cutting calories and helps in weight loss.
5. Maintains Portion Size
Maintaining the portion size is crucial when it comes to losing weight. Because no matter how healthily you eat, if you overeat, you will still gain weight. So, Gabourey Sidibe talked to a nutritionist and her personal trainer and started consuming the right amounts of good carbs (veggies, fruits, and grains), protein, and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, seeds, and nuts)
6. Reduced Her Salt And Sugar Consumption
Gabourey loved Oreos and cupcakes and binged on them. However, since her diagnosis, she made a firm decision to give up on them too. The sugar content in these foods is very high, and when you are diabetic, you have to control the amount of sugar you consume. So, she gave up on her favorites to improve her body composition and help treat diabetes type 2.
She included fish oil and avocado for healthier fats. She also took the famous weight loss supplements Garcinia Cambogia supplements. Swipe up to know about Gabourey Sidibe weight loss workout plan.
Gabourey Sidibe Weight Loss Workout Plan
After she started eating healthily, she started feeling more active and energetic. But she knew that to speed up the process of weight loss, she had to get a professional trainer who would help her slowly get back in shape. Here’s her exercise routine.
Due to her huge weight, Gabby had to have such a weight loss program that was easy on her joints. Her trainer created a low impact and low-pressure exercise routine that she could do in an easy way. This helped her burn off the calories.
A cardiovascular program was created for her, which consisted of:
- Walking on treadmill
- Stair stepper exercises
- Versa climber
- A core program was created that she did three times a week for 30 minutes:
- Plank Poses
- Leg presses
- Barbell curl
- Lat pull down
Apart from the above routine exercises, she also did swimming. She genuinely performed these exercises along with her trainer, which helped her to go 179 pounds from 300 pounds.
How much weight has Gabourey Sidibe lost?
Gabourey Sidibe surprised the industry when she flaunted her stunning body on Instagram. The star of the multiple award-winning movie, Precious (2009), weighed 300 pounds. And she lost about 150 pounds in 2018! Swipe up to know more about Gabourey Sidibe weight loss success story.
Gabourey Sidibe’s Message to People
After this transformation she was asked about her weight loss journey, to which she says, “I still obsess about eating, I obsess about weight and I obsess about my body just as much I did before. I trust more, even though I obsess about everything, and I’m scared and I’m nervous talking about it. It is so terrifying. I still remember having faith over fear because my decision is my decision and it really will affect only me.”
She says, “After all these, my life has changed — I eat about five times a day, I use meal plans that are really good and healthy. I cook a lot more. I talk to my nutritionist a lot. We keep in touch and I tell her all the things I am worried about. I have my own food diary.”
Sidibe’s story of her weight loss journey is really inspiring. She never led herself down after all those harsh criticism she got. Sidibe gave them a befitting reply by transforming her. She says, “Mind your own body.” The thing was she wanted to be recognized for her talent, her voice, and her work and not for her curves.
Her story teaches us so much, more than just having a slimmer body, having a beautiful soul. I hope you took lessons from Gabourey Sidibe weight loss story.