Gabourey Sidibe Opens Up About Overcoming an Eating Disorder and Depression

Gabourey Sidibe
Gabriel Olsen/WireImage

'I was so embarrassed and I hated crying so much,' the actress said.

Gabourey Sidibe is opening up about a challenging time in her life. In a sneak peek clip from 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 about her struggle with bulimia and depression. 

"It wasn't even about other people. It was about me surviving the day. I was so embarrassed and I hated crying so much. I hated it," Sidibe says of the start of her struggle with an eating disorder. "I found a fun little button. I found a button and on top of that, people were like, 'You’re looking good.' So I’m like, 'Why would I stop?'"

While the compliments at the time made Sidibe feel like bulimia and its results were "dope in a way," she 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," she explains. "It truly was about how it stopped me from crying."

The eating disorder allowed Sidibe to feel like she was "controlling" her emotions, but now she sees that she was really "out of control."

"I was getting worse," she says. "Being depressed is one thing. If you add an eating disorder to that, that's a whole other monster that you have to fight."

Sidibe underwent weight loss surgery in 2016. In an interview with ET the following year, the actress said she was "really glad" she had the surgery without telling "too many people."

"The thing about my body is that it is mine. The only opinion that mattered was mine. And that's just the way I kept it," she 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 on Peace of Mind with Taraji will air Monday, Jan. 25, on Facebook Watch.