Rebel Wilson Says She 'Never Thought' She 'Could Overcome' Emotional Eating

"I'm sad I didn't do it before," Rebel Wilson says about losing 80 lbs.

Rebel Wilson is looking back at how far she's come after her recent weight loss.

While chatting with PEOPLE, the 41-year-old actress opened up about the feelings she experienced during her self-imposed "year of health" in 2020. "One of the emotions was that I'm sad I didn't do it before," she tells PEOPLE exclusively.

"Last year, I lost a lot of weight — close to 80 lbs. — and then I've maintained it for this year. [So] part of me was like, 'Well, damn! If I could have done it before, should I have done it?'" she continues. "And I felt a bit sad about that point."

Wilson said that it was partly do to a lack of faith in herself.

For more on Rebel's health journey — and her dating life — pick up this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

"I thought I was the person that [would] never do it," she says. "Like, yeah, I can lose a few pounds if I try really hard one week and be really strict with myself, but then I'll always gain it back. So I never thought that I could successfully do it."

rebel wilson
Rob Latour/Shutterstock

"Last year, I — for the first time ever — prioritized my health," she continues. "And even though that was my 40th year, I was just like, it's never too late to improve yourself or to improve your health."

"I shouldn't feel sad or beat up on myself because of that. I should just feel proud of myself for actually doing it," Wilson adds.

Still, the Isn't It Romantic star says she has "always been a very confident person," and it's not as though her weight loss has made her that way. "But you do feel better in yourself," she explains.

"I'm not perfect, like, I still emotionally eat at times, there's stressful things that still go on in my life and in my work that can be high pressure, ... but I'm not perfect. I've [just] learned to manage things."

rebel wilson
Rebel Wilson. DARCY HEMLEY

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Though Wilson's weight didn't hold her back, she did encounter problems in her career and remembers a time when she was turned down for a role because of her size.

"When I was bigger, like, when I first started my professional acting career, agents would look at me and just be like, 'No way,' because I was overweight," she says. "And I was like, 'You know what? I'm gonna take something that you think is a disadvantage — I don't actually think it's a disadvantage — and I'm going to turn it into my success story.'"

Wilson now credits much of her success to her character Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect film series, "which made me famous internationally and earned millions of dollars."

Her interest in losing weight, she says, was not for her career but for her health.

"People are beautiful at any shape or size, and I genuinely believe that. I just got to a point where I knew deep inside that I was engaging in some activities that were unhealthy."

RELATED VIDEO: Rebel Wilson Says She's 'Proud of Myself for Improving My Life for the Better' After 77-Lb. Weight Loss

Wilson is now a brand ambassador for the supplement and multivitamin brand OLLY — which she says she used "way before" she started working with the company — and hopes to inspire others on their own health journeys.

"Know that it is possible and that you can do small things just to make yourself healthier," she says. "It can be scary if you're not healthy. So just get out there, try your best, don't be harsh on yourself and try to be positive."

"I've been so grateful to make these lasting changes," she adds. "It just makes me feel overall better and I'm still the exact same person, just a healthier version."

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