Actress Gabourey Sidibe opened up about her weight loss surgery for the first time in a PEOPLE Magazine exclusive.
The 33-year-old Empire star says she made the decision after being diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Sidibe, who had battled bulimia as a child, had struggled with her weight for years. She secretly underwent laparoscopic bariatric surgery last May, and has been shedding pounds ever since with an exercise regimen and a healthy diet.
“The surgery wasn’t the easy way out,” she tells PEOPLE. “I wasn’t cheating by getting it done. I wouldn’t have been able to lose as much as I’ve lost without it.”
In addition to talking about her weight loss journey, Sidibe will also dig deep into issues of body image and self-esteem in her upcoming book This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare.
The memoir hits shelves on May 1st.