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Precious star Gabourey Sidibe has undergone dramatic weight loss surgery

by Gemma Strong

Gabourey Sidibe revealed a big secret in her new memoir, This Is Just my Face: Try Not To Stare. The 33-year-old has spoken for the first time about her decision to undergo major weight loss surgery in May 2016, confiding that she had laparoscopic bariatic surgery after she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. "My surgeon said they'd cut my stomach in half," she wrote, in an excerpt published by People. "This would limit my hunger and capacity to eat. My brain chemistry would change and I'd want to eat healthier. I'll take it! My lifelong relationship with food had to change."

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Gabourey Sidibe pictured on the cover of her book, This is Just My Face

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She continued: "The surgery wasn't the easy way out. I wasn't cheating by getting it done. I wouldn't have been able to lose as much as I've lost without it." The autobiography, out on 1 May, also details Gabourey's mental health issues, including her battles with anxiety, depression and bulimia. "It's taken me years to realise that what I was born with is all beautiful," she wrote. "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."

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The Precious star at the 2014 Golden Globes

Gabourey rose to fame in 2009 when she made her acting debut in Precious, a role that brought an Oscar nomination. She has since starred in shows including The Big C, American Horror Story and Empire. The Brooklyn-born actress has shared a number of photos on Instagram since going under the knife, with fans quick to show their support in their comments. Gabourey said she has learnt to appreciate her appearance, no matter what her dress size.

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"There's nothing ugly about me," she wrote. "Anyone trying to convince me that I am – and it's usually me – is wasting her time. 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."

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