If her name does not sound so familiar, then perhaps you can recognize her better in her most famous role and film ever, Precious. Yes she is that bullied and abused girl in such a controversial story. Well not only is her movie intriguing but so does her personal life. She has been observed to have lost a lot weight through the years. How did she do it? Let’s find out!
Who is Gabourey Sidibe?
Born on May 6 1983 to parents Alice Tan Ridley and Ibnou Sidibe in Brooklyn, New York, Gabourey Sidibe has been among the most talented actresses out there. Her mom used to appear in America’s Got Talent season 5, and is a gospel and American R&B singer. Her dad on the other hand is a cab driver. Despite having both parents, Gabourey lived and grew up with jer aunt Dorothy Pitman Hughes who is widely known for being a feminist activist. Before getting serious with her interest in acting, Gabourey used to work at the Fresh Air Fund. She has attended both Mercy College and City College of New York, and got an associate’s degree from Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Where Did We See Her?
If you do not know who Gabourey Sidibe is, then perhaps you would recognize her more if the movie Precious is mentioned. Do you remember that teenage girl who was abused by her mother, raped by her father, and mothered a baby due to the latter? This very controversial film had Sidibe nominated for Academy Award and Golden Globe Awards. The film itself won Sundance Festival Grand Jury Award, Academy Awards, and Golden Globe Award. She later appears in films such as Yelling to the Sky, in which this time, she played the role of the bully, opposite to her victimized character in Precious. She was in the film Tower Heist as well along actors Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Michael Pena, and Matthew Broderick. Besides movies, she makes appearance in TV series and music video as well such as the 8th season of American Dad, and the Indie Pop music by band Foster the People, Don’t Stop (Color on the Walls). Her acting career is blooming and she continued to appear in many other projects such as playing the role of a young witch named Queenie in American Horror Story season three and the succeeding season, American Horror Story: Freak Show as another character, Regina Ross who was a secretarial school student, and then to its eighth season as Queenie again. She appeared in a musical series called Empire and played the character of Becky Williams. She likewise starred as Denise, in a Hulu series titled Difficult People.
Why Did She Want to Lose Weight?
A large percentage of people in the entertainment industry are good looking people. It is undeniable how there is a strong pressure to be beautiful. Despite Gabourey Sidibe possessing amazing acting skills, she has been discouraged about pursuing her acting career. She had been told once by actress Joan Cusack to quit the industry and that such world is simply not for her. Cusack was quoted saying, “Oh honey, you should really quit the business. It’s so image-conscious.” Although Sidibe said that Cusack may have meant it a sincere advice, it surely got everyone else utterly shocked.
Despite the this quite off putting comment by Cusack, Sidibe did not want to lose weight because she wants to look more beautiful. In her book, This Is Just My Face: Try Not To Stare, she mentioned her reasons for wanting to lose weight. Quoting Sidibe herself, she wrote. “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.”
Yes, Sidibe’s way of dropping some of her weight was through bariatric surgery. However, despite getting the surgery, she actually also adapted healthier habits. Of course, if she continues with unhealthy dieting and lack of exercise, she can put the weight back on or face other health problems. And with being healthy as her goal, she definitely needed to reverse some unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle. And like many women, she has struggled with getting fit her whole life. She had eating disorders and like you, failed diets as well.
What Did She Do to Lose Weight Effectively?
Gabourey was open about her losing weight by having bariatric surgery. 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. Not everyone however can just choose this surgery in order to lose weight. Still, doctors would most likely advice lifestyle changes, diet, and workout. Only those people whose BMI exceeds 35 can qualify for a 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.
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.
Can meat make you fat? It is a little odd how Sidibe removes meat from her meals when many of the crossfit people that we hear, say that they remove rice and bread, and sweets from their life and hold on to meat and vegetables instead. So why did Sidibe had to let go of meat as well? Well, she did not entirely eradicated meat from her entire diet. As she said, she does not eat meat on Mondays only. It is possible that she cannot abandon unhealthy kind of meat in other days such as those with a lot fats, or the types that need sugary sauces, or are oily, so she has to choose one day when she is not eating any of the possible fattening meats.
If you go meatless Mondays as well, how can you survive it? Well if you are not going to have any meat such as pork, beef, poultry, lamb, and not even fish, then the options left is vegetables. But what alternatives can you eat that day that would still get you full and satisfied as steak would?
- Mushrooms – you have eaten mushroom right? And how does it taste? 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? It smells even so much better and too enticing than meat. Although well when you finally eat it, it does 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 – oh you should 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. Well you got to boil it first though 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 – these are other alternatives to skipping meat in your diet. You can have them in hoisin black bean burgers, chickpea tuna salad, white bean and kale soup, and tamale-inspired bowl.
- Potatoes – hello, have you forgotten how delicious fries are? Or hash browns? Well just do not eat those fat laden french fries but instead opt for your own homemade fried potatoes.
Workout. It is a no brainer that anyone who wants or needs to lose weight really has to move more since that means using up those stored energy or fats. Sidibe was not an exemption. Besides having the bariatric surgery, she also actually had a personal trainer to help with her exercise regimen. She did swimming, and tricycle riding as well. Getting a personal trainer when you want to seriously lose weight or get in shape is the wisest idea out there since the trainers know better about body types, kinds of workout you should be doing, the repetitions, the parts you should be targeting, when to rest, the momentum, and everything that you can get wrong and unproductive about if you do it all by yourself. Of course trainers come with a price but the results you would be getting is totally worth it. Like Sidibe, you can also try swimming. Swimming can be so fun and refreshing for the mind. Imagine going for a swim every morning, or at night when you finish your day, wouldn’t it be totally destressing? Swimming does not only do your body good but your mental wellbeing as well. If you can neither afford a personal trainer nor have a pool, ocean, or whatever water to swim in regularly, then you can always choose other methods of exercise. You can go running, walking, playing some sports, or studying and following those instructional workout videos online. Check out those people’s reviews before deciding to take free exercise lessons from them.
The woman that Gabourey Sidibe is totally Precious, as her name was on her most popular film. She is a good example of a positive and fighting spirit. She preserved through humiliations and prejudice, and enjoyed life as she wants it to be. Despite the pressures in one of the most image-conscious industries in the world, she managed to prioritize her health over beauty. She has an exemplary beauty of that of a strong woman who swims against the tide, and who rises up against odds.