Jennifer Hudson: “I’m prouder of my weight loss than my Oscar!”


I’ve always wanted to like Jennifer Hudson more than I actually end up liking her. Do you know what I mean? She’s got a great voice, she’s an Oscar-winning actress, she’s sympathetic and grounded and real. But at the end of the day, I never really put her on my list of “most beloved celebrities”. I wish her well, but beyond that, I tend not to care. However, Jennifer’s new interview in Self Magazine has caused some controversy already, for good reason, and now I’m wondering if I’ve just gotten J-Hud wrong this whole time.

First of all, J-Hud used to be a bigger girl. I’m not going to call her fat, because I hate that word and because she really wasn’t. She was what I like to think of as “thick”. Some might say “big boned”. She carried more weight than most ladies in Hollywood, but J-Hud carried it well, I thought, and she looked curvy and lovely and certainly not fat. Then she was hired by Weight Watchers and J-Hud began to rapidly shrink before our eyes. Here’s my controversial opinion: I think her face looked better before her weight loss. Yes, she’s healthier now and she’s proud of her body, but some people simply look better with some extra weight, especially in their faces. J-Hud is one of those people. She looks like her body isn’t supposed to be THIS thin. Just my opinion. Anyway, long story short, J-Hud makes some kind of crazy statements in her Self Magazine piece:

Why she decided to get healthy: “It really started when I was pregnant with David, who’s 2 now, and I thought, Hold on—why doesn’t anybody know I’m pregnant? And I wanted to set a good example for my son. Right after I had him, I began trying to change things.”

Was she unhappy with her appearance before? “No, never. I remember one of my first times on a red carpet, an interviewer asked, ‘How does it feel to be plus-sized in Hollywood?’ I looked around, like, Who is she talking to? Oh, me? I’m plus-sized? In the neighborhood I’m from in Chicago, a 16 is normal. But in Hollywood, everyone looks exactly the same, so I stood out.”

Did that realization hurt? “I find the positive in everything. I like my curves, so it didn’t bother me. My fiancé, David’s father [also named David], and I both knew we didn’t learn to eat right and be healthy as kids, so we wanted to for him.”

She’s had significant weight losses before: “I’ve had three different weight losses. Before American Idol in ’04, I lost 60 pounds. Then I lost the 20 pounds I had to gain for my role in Dreamgirls, which came out in ’06. This is the third time I’ve lost a lot.”

Is it different this time? “Oh, my God, by far. That first time, I was a workout fanatic. I’d go to the gym at 5 in the morning and run for an hour, go home, sleep and be back at the gym at 1 p.m. for another full workout. Then I’d come home and do Tae-Bo. That was my whole day. Plus, all I’d eat was skinless chicken breast, brown rice and vegetables. What are you going to do once you lose weight? Eat everything you gave up!”

How she got herself started this time: “Four days after my cesarean section, I began walking 30 minutes every day. It was my therapy, my moment to myself, and it was all I could do. I figured, me walking is better than me sitting on the couch. Even if I can’t climb a mountain or do 100,000 push-ups, these steps matter, and they’re leading somewhere. I started with walking, but before long, I built up to other things. When I didn’t want to be cooped up in the gym, I’d come up with other options. I’d ask myself, What do I love? I love being outside and feeling free, so I would jog or ride my bike. Some days, I’d play basketball and tennis.”

Do people treat you differently? “Yes! You never know you’re being discriminated against until you see what you’ve been deprived of. Everybody wants you to wear this or put you on the cover of that. Before, my career was great, but since losing weight, I haven’t stopped. I have worked every single day of this year.”

How about your fans? “Some love it and say they’re inspired, and others don’t. Some have even questioned whether I can still sing. My voice has gotten stronger! I can’t care about whether I’m too big for some or too small for others. It goes back to how you feel about yourself. I like me the way I am. For anyone who wants to lose: Dude, if I can do it, you can do it. And for those who want to stay the same, I hope I can be an example to you, too; I was proud of being a big girl.”

What was the key to your loss? “It’s like my mother said: ‘Well, honey, when there is a will, there is a way.’ You have to want it, but don’t rush yourself. When you’re ready, you’ll set goals for yourself. Once you do, it’s good to have support, but you don’t need it, because everything you need is in you. I’m prouder of my weight loss than my Oscar! I hope it has inspired people.”

[From Self]

Yes, she said she’s prouder of her weight loss than winning an Oscar. Lainey made an excellent point – J-Hud’s message can be (and will be) interpreted as: being THIN, the outward appearance (of thinness) is more important than everything else, more important than career, more important than awards, more important than substance. But, playing devil’s advocate, I kind of know what J-Hud was trying to say, and it’s something that women who struggle with their weight know all too well. J-Hud probably worked on Dreamgirls for what? Six months, tops. And she’s been working on her body for her whole life. It’s something that’s with her every day, working on her portion control, working out, day after day. So her thinness has been achieved by more actual WORK than any film, and she’s proud of herself for keeping up with it for so long. Personally, I would be more proud of the Oscar, but I’m not J-Hud.



Photos courtesy of Self.

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53 Responses to “Jennifer Hudson: “I’m prouder of my weight loss than my Oscar!””

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  1. scotchy says:

    is it just me or does she look oddly photoshopped in the red dress photo?

  2. Carsten says:

    I totally understand what she’s trying to say. And after all, all celebrities want to be skinny. She looks very healthy and happy.

  3. the original bellaluna says:

    So, it’s surface over substance for the win! Every. Damn. Time.

  4. Kiki says:

    Kaiser I hope you don’t take this the wrong way but maybe you don’t know what it is like to be fat (ugly word but that’s it). I agree with her. When you get to lose that much weight, it becomes the greatest achievement of your life. It’s sad but yes, people treat you differently and the bullying… In my case it doesn’t matter how skinny you get, you always think of yourself as fat. I agree with JHud.

  5. lucy2 says:

    Her body looks great, and she did it the right way. But I have to agree that some people’s faces just look like they should put just a couple of lbs back on – like Drew Carey – great he lost so much weight and is so much healthier, but every time I see a photo of him, I think he looks ill! Weird.
    Anyway, she seems like a nice girl with real talent who has been through a lot, I wish the best for her.

  6. tracking says:

    I get what you guys are saying, but I still think that statement is all kinds of wrong. Just what young girls need to read–that being thin feels better than incredible professional accomplishment. Ugh.

  7. Eve says:

    So she’s prouder of something (almost) anyone can achieve than of something only a few can?

    You know, I’m happy for all the girls that manage to lose weight and finally feel good about themselves (if the extra weight was what made them unhappy, of course) but these interviews where they go on and on about it are really, really annoying. Later on (NOT specifically talking about Hudson), if they gain some weight back, there will be another cover where they state something like “that wasn’t the ‘real’ me”, followed by the next magazine cover (after another dramatic weight loss) with the headline saying “How I got my body back”.

  8. superjoy says:

    you can smoke and only drink diet cokes all day and be skinny. You can eat appropriate portions including plenty of fruits and vegetables get your 40 mins of exercise – and be over a size 10.
    The common correlation between health and weight is messed up.

  9. girlwithapearl says:

    Fair enough that she wants to set a good example for her son. Kids are far more likely to become overweight if one or more of their parents are. If thats truly what provoked her to become healthier, then good for her.

  10. tapioca says:

    I will always love her for stealing that movie right from under Beyonce’s nose, but her priorities seem a bit skewed!

    Nevertheless, achieving the weight loss without resorting to the “Star Jones method” is very impressive, especially given the tragedy she’s had to endure in recent years.

  11. Samigirl says:

    Ehhh….I thought she was more attractive with a little meat on her bones. And, I’m with you, Kaiser, I WANT to like her…she’s been through a lot, but she isn’t one of my faves. For the record, she really, REALLY didn’t deserve that Oscar. Cate Blanchett was robbed!

  12. gee says:

    I understand what she means completely. This was something she struggled with and she conquored it. When you’re heavy it shouldn’t be the end all be all of who you are, but it is.

    Everyone defines you by your size. If you work hard enough and have the means to slim down, not only do you “fit in,” but most importantly you are healthier (hopefully) and you have likely won a life long battle. You feel stronger and smarter and it’s not totally about the weight, but winning an uphill battle. It’s about self acceptance, not acceptance of the academy or your peers.

    I don’t know if this make sense, but it’s how I feel and I’m sure how some other, heavy people do too.

  13. SEF says:

    Gotta agree with Kiki – unless you know what it’s like to struggle with being heavy, you can’t know what an achievement it is to lose the weight.

    And while so many external factors go into winning an Oscar, the weight loss was all her.

    IMHO, it’s great that she talks about it in terms of wanting to be healthy and eat right, instead of fitting in skinny jeans or something.

  14. melangie says:

    If J-Hud has been heavy her whole life & can remember each time she’s lost significant weight, I am sure she has to be pretty consumed to be able to not only lose lbs but to maintain. There’s a whole lifetime of bad habits & choices to unlearn as well as finding different ways to cope with feelings, both good & bad.
    Having gastric bypass is no free pass to maintaining weight loss; the affects can be easily sabotaged after reverting to prior behavior. Most bypass patients regain a percentage of weight after 2 years.

  15. mln76 says:

    Lainey has been way too hard on her. The poor girl lost her family. She hasn’t talked about that and made the weight loss her whole mantra. Obviously she isn’t ready (possibly never will be) to open up about that but if this makes her happy as long as she’s at a healthy weight I am all for it. Especially since a lot of people in the African American community have type II diabetes and other obesity related disease many of whom ‘look good’ but are physically inactive.

  16. Jezi says:

    I agree about the face, somethings off. I like J-Hud but I also find it really irritating when celebs are proud of their weight loss. Not that it’s not commendable but it’s a lot easier when you have money to pay for a personal trainer, a personal gym, a personal chef to cook your healthy meals and time to work out. I give more credit to the non-celebrity women and men who do it. Just MO.

  17. Pyewacket says:

    I am happy for her winning an Oscar, losing the weight, being talented in an industry that seems to ignore real talent anymore, and for having a family all while over coming the grief of a terrible loss.

    Have nothing but praise for her.

  18. Eve says:

    @ Mln76:

    I, too, think Lainey has been too hard on her (and many other celebrities). She’s often unfair as well — like when she nitpicks about silly, meaningless things just to make a point about something else that bothers her. However, I think this latest post she wrote about Hudson was all right. She even gave her the benefit of the doubt when she stated “The other side of that argument of course is that she worked hard at her HEALTH, and she is celebrating that fact that she is HEALTHY, and if she wants to declare that she finds that more significant than a statue bestowed by Hollywood frauds it’s her business and anyone who disagrees can f-ck off. Yeah, I see that too.”

  19. says:

    I find it sad that a woman who has lost weight has nothing more to discuss. She is an Oscar winner, a new mother, a survivor of a family tragedy, a talented singer, and yet all she ever talks about anymore is her weight.

  20. corey says:

    Oprah made a very well articulated and honest proclamation on her show once saying (not an exact quote) That all of the success,money,approval etc. None of it matters when you open up your closet and don’t fit into YOUR OWN clothes. You feel defeated…. I think a lot of people can relate to this sentiment.There is a difference between the likes of Oprah and Jennifer Hudson or Star Jones. Oprah has always openly admitted to her weight being a struggle, something she’s not happy with and trying to fix. Whereas Star and Jennifer have spent years promoting the idea of confidence and power in being a big beautiful women paired with their extreme weight loss. That is the part that doesn’t sit right with me….

  21. talbort says:

    Not a fan. Her face annoys me and her ashy, knock-knees (which they photoshopped out) are distracting.

    Also as someone above mentioned, she does have a full life yet her main conversation mantra is “I used to be fat. Now I’m not fat.”

    Oh yea – I also don’t like her “acting” nor her singing style. (Lest you all think I dislike her for purely superficial reasons).

  22. Ruth says:

    how.. deeply deeply pathetic. And what a screwed up culture we have that encourages a woman to believe that winning an oscar is nothing beside fitting into a certain dress size, or weighing a certain amount.
    If this was about health she would be doing exercise challenges, not boasting of a specific amount of weight loss.

    I guess Im just bitter. Why cant a woman be celebrated for both her beauty (which she had both before and after her weightloss) and her talents? Why must being skinny be the only thing that matters? Because damn being skinny doesnt solve all your problems. It isnt even automatically healthy or attractive. So why cant a woman be more than the size of her ass?

  23. Atticus says:

    RE: her only talking about her weight – this is an article from Self Magazine. Look at the other stories featured in this issue. Of course she’s just going to be talking about her weight loss here.

    RE: she’s rich, therefore it’s easier for her to get fit – true and false. Yes, she’s got more resources but she did not go the surgery route so she had to do the work. She had to choose what to eat and what not to eat, and stick to it. She had to get her ass off the couch and go exercise and be active. She had to do the work. She did it and she should be proud of herself or it – she earned it!

    I don’t care for her music, just not my taste, but I think she’s got a lot of talent. I saw her interview on Oprah and liked her a lot more after seeing that. She really does seem very down to earth, confident and grounded. After all she’s been through, good for her to be feeling so good about her life – she should.

  24. po says:

    I think this is new for her and once she gets to the right weight ( because this isn’t it) she’ll have different things to talk about. Also just to put this out there, are we really making an oscar an incredible get. I mean come on people most of these award shows boil down to politics and not talent. If I had accomplished something significant in my personal life I’d probably think it was more satisfying than an award that Blake Lively will be campaigning for in a couple years too.

  25. Goofpuff says:

    Her face looks awful with those wrinkles from the weight loss. They photoshopped it because it is way more pronounced and worse in real life. I find it sad that she thinks being thin is a bigger accomplishment than being a great actress.

  26. MorticiansDoItDeader says:

    She says being thin gets her more work, her greatest achievement (the Oscar) was at her heaviest and I haven’t heard of her doing anything noteworthy since losing the weight (except shilling for weightwatchers and scoring a bit part in Sex and the City).
    And she says ” I can’t care about whether I’m too big for some or too small for others. It goes back to how you feel about yourself. I like me the way I am. For anyone who wants to lose: Dude, if I can do it, you can do it. And for those who
    want to stay the same, I hope I can be an example to you, too; I was proud of
    being a big girl.”
    if she TRULY loved who she was she would have ignorned that reporter who
    asked how she felt about being plus sized. And IF losing the weight WAS about her son she wouldn’t have repeated that particular story. Tell the truth FFS, you wanted to look “exactly the same” as everyone else in Hollywood.

  27. grace says:

    I understand her. It must really hard to be picked on for being fat. And to get in the shape she is now, after struggling (i am supposing that) with her weight for her whole life, this must be one of her greatest achievements, because it is really hard to achieve and maintain. What is the Oscars anyways? An ass-kissing award for a privileged group of people, who are not necessarily the best of their field, imo (Halle Berry and Julia Roberts for instance). I’d rather accomplish something I have tried to for my whole life, than getting an award that doesn’t really mean much – it is not like Hollywood is always recognizing true talents…

  28. LIVEALOT says:

    great point corey!

    as a “skinny minnie” myself – i didn’t understand the weight issue until my friend and kelly osbourne put it into perspective for me:

    kelly stated ” i caught more sh*t/flack for being overweight than being a raging addict”…or something to that degree.

    my friend compared my struggles w/ my acne (i had a disastrous breakout for the first time in my life and literally thought my world was over due to my work depending on my face) to his struggle w/being overweight: “it’s an unattractive thing that is always there, u always think about, and ppl always see.”

  29. spinner says:

    I’m with Kaiser…her body looks better but her face does not.

  30. ladybert62 says:

    Well I have struggled with weight also but I am sick to death tired of seeing this woman and her endless pitching of weight watchers! I get it – you lost weight on weight watchers – it worked for you – ok good – now quite shoving it in my face and get a real job.

    By the way, I think that she is stupid if she prouder of her weight loss than of her oscar.

  31. NYer says:

    ITA with everything you said, especially about her face.

  32. Jenn says:

    I find it offensive that she is more proud of her weight loss than her successes and accomplishments. You mean winning a prestigious award for being amazing in an incredible film is less rewarding than not eating dessert!?

  33. Happy21 says:

    OMG! I’ve been saying to anyone who would listen for months now that her face looks awful with how much weight she has lost. I think she’s a sell out. Period. I understand getting healthy but I don’t understand getting to the point that she’s at. She can be healthy with a little weight on her. I understand her accomplishment and how she feels proud but I agree with whoever said that her outward appearance was something she was more proud of than her talent in acting. Thats sad. She was hired for Dreamgirls and other movies because she had a fuller figure and because she could act! Now she’s getting more work being this size but you know what the roles would never have dried up. She’d just get different offers. I would bet money that she lost a lot of fans because of this. She was the successful full-figured girl who was proud of herself. Now she’s the actress who sold it all to be skinny. I was never a fan. Like Kaiser, I always wanted to be but just wasn’t.

  34. Me says:

    I think this shows one thing, that getting an Oscar these days is not as prestigious as it used to be. I’ve never seen Dreamgirls but Im sure her performance wasnt “Oscar worthy.” If it was her next claim to fame wouldnt have been weight loss.

  35. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    So, Hendricks and Vergara can sputter on ceaselessly about their chests and get crowned for having invented oxygen, but Hudson talks about her weight loss and it’s War War III? Doesn’t it all get dull quickly? Why so protective of the Oscars? Hers is hers to cherish or burn but hers and hers alone. It’s an achievement, not a talisman and with all that’s happened since she got it maybe it doesn’t invade her days.

    It’s skin or scars with extreme weight loss. Skin won’t just snap back, like wrinkles don’t uncrease through use of cold cream.

  36. I’ve been a fan since ‘Dreamgirls’

  37. fizXgirl314 says:

    Man oh man, this is just getting worse and worse for women isn’t it? I feel really sorry for our gender. If a man said this we’d laugh at him. Rightfully so!

  38. Joanna says:

    Oh, course, she’s focusing on her weight loss in this article! SELF is a health and fitness magazine. She’s tailoring her subject matter to the audience.

  39. Amanda G says:

    Wow, you guys have it all wrong. As someone who has lost a lot of weight (90 lbs), I know exactly what J.Hud means when she says that she’s more proud of her weight loss than her Oscar. It’s not just about the outward appearance like Kaiser suggests. It’s about the inside. The confidence that you gain. My life changed for the better when I lost weight. It was like a whole new world. Yes, I also looked a lot better, but it affected every other area of my life as well. My ambition increased, my self-esteem improved, and I finally broke free from my shyness. It helped my career, my self worth and my personal life. I guess you just don’t understand unless you’ve been there.

  40. anne_000 says:

    she’s always seemed to me like she was very stuck up, not so bright, or not mature. and now she’s confirmed all three.

  41. Beatrice says:

    She looks fantastic and deserves to be proud of losing weight. Why is advocating exercise and good nutrition a bad message? Even if you have the money for a trainer and a chef, it still takes disclipline and commitment to lose weight and keep it off. As someone who’s in the gym regularly and eats healthy, I appreciate what she’s accomplished. Good for her!!

  42. Kelly says:

    Really horrible comment for her to make and yes, her face did look better before her weight loss.

  43. Marianne says:

    I don’t like that she said she was fine with how she looked until she got to Hollywood. Like she got peer pressured into it.

  44. Kim says:

    Sad. Yet another talented girl consumed by Hollywoods weight standards and focusing on that instead of her personality and career.

  45. glowkey says:

    Comments on this board are absolutely ridiculous, like this from Jenn:

    “I find it offensive that she is more proud of her weight loss than her successes and accomplishments. You mean winning a prestigious award for being amazing in an incredible film is less rewarding than not eating dessert!?”

    Umm, hello? Maybe the whole weight loss is not all about fitting in with so-called standards of beauty and thinness but the fact that SHE IS NOW HEALTHIER THAN SHE USED TO BE??? What the hell? How dare *ANY* of you judge someone who has worked her butt off to move back to this side of healthy and potentially no longer have to worry about high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and a whole host of other ills. You people are sick and so short-sighted. Who are any of you to tell someone else what she should be proud of in her life, anyway??

    I think she absolutely can claim to have been proud of being a big girl, in terms of liking the way she looked and moved, and feeling comfortable in her own skin. Perhaps she maybe just realized that despite all her comfort, she wasn’t doing herself any favors in the long run in terms of longevity and endless medical treatments for various ails that could have been avoided if she had gotten her weight under control? Where did she ever say “being skinny is all that matters” or “all I care about is being able to fit into a size 0″? Why can’t she be proud to have done something healthy for herself and upping her chances that she will be around long enough to see her son have his own kids?

    Geez, people, get off your judgmental high horses! You sound like fools.

  46. dani says:

    I can totally understand what she meant by being produder of her weiht loss than her oscar…I would also feel that way…I am overweight and it has been something I have struggled with my entire life…

  47. G says:

    That’s just sad. Makes me want to tell her what I’ve felt all along: You didn’t deserve it!

  48. Kiki says:

    yeah. yeah.. heavy girl loses weight and is proud. she has a hell of lot more meaningful accomplishments but being fat in her business has distinct disadvantages…and is just plain unhealthy.

  49. Eve says:

    @ Glowkey:

    *getting off my high horse*

    You know, I do NOT enjoy being told off on the internet or in real life (especially when I’m on the wrong side) but I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t address your comment: you do have a point.

    I still think a career accomplishment should be more important for her, even if winning an Oscar today doesn’t mean the same as it used to. But then again, I have never had to lose that amount of weight — the most I ever lost was 40 lbs back in 1999 and it wasn’t a big deal for myself: I wasn’t dramatically overweight, it’s just that those extra 30 lbs (I lost more than I needed) were taking a toll on my tiny body (I’m short). I do see now it must have been something extremely important for someone like her.

    P.S.: I’ll stick to my opinion that these interviews about weight are rather boring. Also, SELF magazine is the same one that had Kelly Clarkson on its cover, photoshopped to hell and back in order to look “her best” (translation: the thinner they could make her look).

  50. cecizahn says:

    Thin does not mean Healthy. Most of the time weight doesn’t mean if you are healthier than others…i know, im a doctor. The fact that she cares more for her weight that her carreer, shows how vain we are turning. Everybody foucus on how thin you are, instead how unique, special, talented you can be.
    Soooooooo dissapointed of this

  51. am says:


  52. Johanna says:

    Two words for you: Gastric Band.

    NOT that there is anything wrong with that. Just throwing it out there.

  53. REDSLIP says:

    Having been there myself, losing 60 pounds over the course of three years and keeping it off for two, I completely understand where she’s coming from. I guess if you have always been naturally thin or never struggled with weight issues you will never understand the transformation one goes through when changing their lifestyle. She’s completely inspirational.