Jennifer Hudson shows off her (newish) svelte self on the cover of Self this month, revealing just how proud she is of her weight loss in the magazine's interview. "I'm prouder of my weight loss than my Oscar!" she says. "I hope it has inspired people."
J-Hud's hard work paid off, but the singer/actress admits that before finding herself in the limelight, she never felt plus-sized. "I remember one of my first times on a red carpet, an interviewer asked, 'How does it feel to be plus-sized in Hollywood?'" Hudson told Self. "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."
The "Dreamgirl," who has capitalized on her slim-down via a Weight Watchers campaign, realizes her fans have mixed reactions to the weight loss. "Some love it and say they're inspired, and others don't," she said. "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."
But Hudson appears to maintain an inner peace against the criticism, adding that her career has flourished even more since toning up. "You never know you're being discriminated against until you see what you've been deprived of," she said. "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."
Hudson, who says this was her third bout of major weight loss, isn't shy about what inspired her to shed 80 pounds most recently. "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?'" she said. "And I wanted to set a good example for my son. Right after I had him, I began trying to change things."
Jennifer Hudson's latest album, "I Remember Me," debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 with 165,000 sold in its first week back in March, according to Nielsen SoundScan. It has sold 388,000 to date.