Inside Gabourey Sidibe’s Incredible Weight Loss Journey
In the Instagram photo, she is seen showing off her slimmer curves while wearing leggings and a top.
According to reports, the Precious actress, who previously weighed about 300 pounds, is not close to 150 pounds.
In her memoir titled “This Is Just My Face,” she opened up about her journey to fitness and the circumstances that brought her to choosing a healthy lifestyle.
How did she achieve this weight loss? We are about to find out.
Who is Gabourey Sidibe?
Gabourey Sidibe was born on May 6, 1983, to parents Alice Tan Ridley and Ibnou Sidibe in Brooklyn, New York. Her mother is also talented. She appeared in America’s Got Talent Season 5 and is an American R&B and gospel singer. Her dad is a cab driver.
Despite having a complete set of parents, she lived with her aunt, Dorothy Pitman Hughes who is a known feminist activist.
Before getting into acting, Gabourey used to work at the Fresh Air Fund. She attended Mercy College and City College of New York for undergraduate studies and got her associate’s degree from the Borough of Manhattan Community College.
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Here is Gabourey Sidibe’s Career Story
Gabourey Sidibe was born in Brooklyn but grew up in Harlem. Her mother was a teacher before she became a professional singer. Her dad, on the other hand, is a Senegal-born taxi driver.
She has two brothers and twin sisters. Gabourney’s parents split up when she was 12 and along with her mother and brother lived with her aunt.
She was born overweight and was aware of her weight issues at an early age. In one of her interviews, she revealed that her father used to beat her up and called her “Fatso” to remind her that she is overweight all the time.
Aside from her father, she got a lot of bullying from her older brother and was always nasty things to her. Aside from her loved ones, she was also the favorite of bullies at school who were always making fun of her.
Young Adult Years and the Start of Her Career
Because of her insecurities, Gabourey has no interest in acting. She wanted to finish her studies and become a therapist. While studying, she also worked as a part-time receptionist. One day a friend came to her and told her to audition for the lead role in the movie, Precious.
She could relate to the story because she had read the novel, Push, where the movie was based. It was given to her by her mother. However, even though she is a talented actress, she did not want to go to the audition because she didn’t want to skip her classes.
After much pondering, she went anyway and it wasn’t long before the people behind the movie, including Lee Daniels, realized that Gabourney was the perfect lady for the role of Precious.
She used her own experiences to portray Precious, an obese teenage mom who is illiterate and enrolled in a special education project. Gabourey was a revelation in the audition and beat more than 300 girls to bag the role.
This film gave Gabourey Sidibe an Academy and Golden Globe Awards nomination. Aside from her nomination in these two prestigious award-giving bodies, the film also won the best picture at the Sundance Festival, Academy, and Golden Globe Awards.
From then on, there is no stopping for Gabourey Sidibe’s stardom to rise. She starred in movies like Tower Heist, where she acted with stars like Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Michael Pena, and Mattew Broderick. Aside from these, she also appeared in a TV series and music video.
Her Decision to Lose Weight
The entertainment industry can be discriminating against a woman who is not of typical shape and size. It came as no surprise that a large percentage of people working there are good-looking people and there is a pressure to be beautiful.
This is what Sidibe feels as she was discriminated against and outcast at various levels. One popular actress even told her to quit showbiz because the industry is so image-conscious.
But despite this off-putting remark, it did not force Gabourey Sidibe to lose weight to look beautiful. She was eventually diagnosed with type 2 diabetes that made her focus on her health seriously.
Although her way of dropping some of her weight was through bariatric surgery, she adopted a healthier habit to continue to lose weight.
She believes that her habit of unhealthy food choices and lack of exercise will not make her well.
She is very relatable to many people because she struggled with getting fit throughout her life and she also has eating disorders and went on failed diets as well.
Her Path to Losing Weight
Gabourey Sidibe was very open about her bariatric surgery to lose weight. In the US, despite the equal number of occurrences of obesity among men and women, it is the females who opt for bariatric surgery more than those of their male counterparts.
And this option is not open to everyone who wants to lose weight. Doctors would still advise lifestyle changes, a healthy diet, and regular exercise.
Gabourey Sidibe was advised by her doctor to undergo the procedure because she qualified to have surgery given that her BMI exceeds 35 and she has type 2 diabetes.
Aside from these other conditions that would allow for bariatric surgery includes high blood pressure, and sleep apnea.
She frequently reiterated that she did not go through this procedure to look beautiful but for her health. Although she did not disclose her weight, her dramatic weight loss was visible.
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Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery
There are three types of bariatric surgery and all are meant for the person to lose weight. One procedure is called gastric sleeve surgery or known as vertical sleeve gastrectomy.
In this procedure, most of the stomach is removed, and the only thing left is the banana-shaped part. Given that only a small part of the stomach remains, it makes the person feel dull fast. It is a permanent procedure and cannot be reversed.
Another type of bariatric surgery is gastric bypass or Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. In this procedure, the surgeon created a smaller and shorter passage between the stomach and the intestines.
The last type is the laparoscopic adjustable gastric band, the procedure that was done on Sidibe. It is more gradual than the first two types of bariatric surgery because the doctor only puts a band around the top of the stomach to reduce the food intake.
The band gets adjusted regularly depending on the patient’s progress. If there was no improvement, the band can be removed, and opt for another method.
Gabourey Sidibe Diet Plan
Contrary to what everybody thinks, Sidibe did not rely entirely on her bariatric surgery to lose weight. Instead, she went through the conventional way to keep her weight down.
One being under the supervision of a nutritionist to plan her meals. The nutritionists help her eat healthier and lose weight.
She did not share her diet online, but once she mentioned Meatless Mondays. Sidibe did not elaborate on this except that she is going for meatless meals on Mondays.
This practice might be frowned upon by many CrossFit people who remove rice and bread and sweets from their diet and depend on meat and vegetables instead.
Well, she did not completely remove meat from her diet except that she cut her meat intake by one day. Maybe she cut down on unhealthy meat parts with fats, or on recipes that need sugary sauces.
If you follow her meatless Monday diet, you can skip on any meat like pork, beef, lamb, poultry, and even fish, and replace it with vegetables. Here are some alternatives that will get you by.
- Mushrooms: You can have mushrooms to have the meat taste or associate it with meat recipes that have mushrooms as ingredients or side dishes. Or you can recreate wonderful dishes with mushrooms as your meat alternative.
- Tofu: It may smell like meat while frying, but honestly, it does not taste as such. To be able to eat tofu, you can be creative with your recipes. Make crab cakes, tofu nuggets, tempeh meatballs, or seitan stake in beurre blanc sauce. Sounds wonderful and tastes even better.
- Eggplant: It is a good meat alternative because it can taste better than meat, and it is easy to cook. You can also make plenty of meals out of eggplant as it is so easy and delicious.
- Beans and Legumes: There are other alternatives to meat if you want to skip them from your meals. You can try chickpea salad, black bean burgers, white bean soup, and a tamale-inspired bowl.
- Potatoes: We are not talking about fast food fries but homemade fried potatoes.
Gabourey Sidibe weight loss tips
1. Avoid drinking soda. Sidibe loved soda with her burger and fries. This was part of the reason for her weight gain. When she decided to lose weight the first thing she removed from her unhealthy diet was soda. She opted for ice-cold water with lemon slices to keep her hydrated.
2. Remove junk food. When Sidibe was little, she ate lots of junk food including burgers, pizza, and other processed foods. Removing them from her diet helps lower her salt and trans-fat intake. She satiated her cravings with veggie chips, saltine crackers, and hummus.
3. Eating at the right time. Not only does she make healthy food choices, but Sidibe also eats at the right time. Meaning, no midnight snacking. She also eats 6-7 small meals a day and drinks water 20 minutes before her meals to avoid overeating.
4. Maintaining small portion sizes. Another trick to lose weight that Sidibe shared is maintaining the portion sizes when eating. She believes that no matter how you diet, it will not help if you don’t have control over food. You also need to eat only the right amount of good carbs, protein, and healthy fats.
5. Replace big plates with small plates. This is the best way to practice portion control. With smaller plates, your brain is tricked into believing that you have a comfortable amount of food when in fact it is less.
6. Cut down on salt and sugar. Sidibe finds comfort in eating Oreos, cupcakes, and fries. Once she had her diagnosis, she gave them up because she realized how high their sugar content was.
Gabourey Sidibe Workout Routine
After she changed her diet, Gabourey found the energy to be active. But to speed up her whole weight loss process, she decided to hire a personal trainer. It helped her to get back into shape and lose weight even faster.
Some of her exercise routines included the following:
- Low-impact exercises. She started with slow walks on the treadmill, then the stair stepper or Versaclimber. These exercises had minimal pressure on her joints but helped her burn calories effectively.
- Other workout routines. She added other exercises to her routine and did them three times a week for 30 minutes. It included lat pull-downs, barbell curls, lunges, and leg presses.
- Aerial Yoga, Swimming, and Riding a Bicycle. She also did aerial yoga, swimming, and biking to break the monotony of her other workouts.
If there is one person who should be a weight-loss inspiration, it should be none other than Precious herself, Gabourey Sidibe. She is the embodiment of having an optimistic spirit.
As a person who has endured so many hardships and prejudices just to be what she is today, she is truly a person who we should emulate.
And while the pressure is great to be beautiful in her image-conscious industry, she did not give in and manage to prioritize her health above all else. She has proven that anyone can achieve the same results she did.
That you too can have a better shaped and healthier body. All you need to do is make a conscious effort to improve your lifestyle and well-being.