Gabourey Sidibe is opening up about a challenging time in his life. In a preview of an upcoming episode of Taraji P. Henson’s Facebook Watch series, Peace of mind with Taraji, the 37-year-old actress opens up to her Empire co-star on her struggle with bulimia and depression.
“It wasn’t even about other people. It was about me surviving the day. I was so ashamed and I hated crying so much. I hated it,” Sidibe says of beginning her struggle with an eating disorder. “I found a funny little button. I found a button and on top of that, people were saying, ‘You look good.’ So I said, ‘Why should I stop?’ “
While the compliments at the time made Sidibe feel like a bulimia and his results were “silly in a way,” he now realizes that it was actually “a self-defense mechanism.”
“That’s what bulimia was for me. It wasn’t about losing weight. It wasn’t about controlling my appetite,” he explains. “It was really about how he stopped me from crying.”
The eating disorder allowed Sidibe to feel like he was “in control” of his emotions, but now he sees that he was truly “out of control.”
“It was getting worse,” he says. “Being depressed is one thing. If you add an eating disorder to that, you have to fight a completely different monster.”
Sidibe underwent weight loss surgery in 2016. In an interview with ET the following year, the actress said she was “very glad” she had the surgery without telling “too many people.”
“The thing about my body is that it’s mine. The only opinion that mattered was mine. And that’s the way I kept it,” he told ET. “I am working on myself. There is no end of the line here. I am constantly moving forward.”
More of Sidibe’s appearance in Peace of mind with Taraji will air on Monday, January 25, on Facebook Watch.