While shooting the movie, Latifah juggled two roles—actress and Jenny Craig spokeswoman. Determined to improve her overall health, Latifah joined the weight loss program in December 2007. Since then, a new diet and exercise plan has helped her lose 20 pounds.
Latifah has also gotten her loved ones involved. "I knew some of my family members had health concerns, and I read an article in a magazine that said if you lost 5 to 10 percent of your body weight, you could cut your chances of heart disease in half," she says. "Many of my family members are affected by that ,so I said, 'What do you all think, you want to do this? Let's do this.' They were with this—they wanted it."
Unlike many Hollywood actresses, Latifah says she isn't concerned about her clothing size. "It wasn't about body image. I don't feel self-conscious about my body. I feel proud of myself," she says. "I feel confident in myself, but [I signed on] for health reasons."
Whether she's on a film set or at home, Latifah's Jenny Craig meals are always close at hand. "They definitely go with me everywhere I go," she says. "It's kind of convenient."
Every few weeks, Latifah says she meets with a Jenny Craig counselor to weigh in and discuss her progress. "It really makes you more cognizant of the way you eat or how much you eat," she says. "I just exercise a lot more, and I try to be conscious of what kind of portions I'm eating, but it hasn't been a bad trip. It's actually been great. I feel good."