Jennifer Hudson
Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
At age 29, Jennifer Hudson has already accomplished many exciting things in her life. First came the launch of her professional singing career with American Idol. Then came acting success with her Oscar® win for her performance in Dreamgirls. Jennifer followed that with a 2008 Grammy® win for Best R&B Album...and she's been unstoppable ever since.

See Jennifer's rise to fame as she followed her dreams.

Now, this multitalented superstar is a singer, an actress, a mother and a survivor of family tragedy—and yet, Jennifer is adding another role to her already-busy life: weight loss inspiration.

With the help of Weight Watchers, she has slimmed down and shaped up with a svelte new body and renewed outlook on life. "It's like a brand new me," Jennifer says. "Sometimes I don't even recognize myself."

Jennifer Hudson before and after her dramatic weight loss
Photo: Getty Images
So how much weight did Jennifer lose? At first, she hesitates to reveal a number. "I don't really like to count pounds," she says. "I look at it by age. I feel like I gained 10 years of my life back."

"So you're not going to say the number?" Oprah asks.

Jennifer's Weight Watchers leader, Liz, explains: "People get wrapped up in the pounds. ... The message is: You've got to find what feels good for you. Who cares about the number?"

"We do!" Oprah says. "This is the thing: I understand because I understand the shame of having a heavy number. I've been as high as 237, at the doctor's office lying that I was 230, like those seven pounds made a difference. So, I know that part. But once you've [lost the weight], it's a victory."

"I really want to tell it," Jennifer says. "I've lost...80 pounds!"

Jennifer Hudson working out
When someone loses as much weight as Jennifer has, everyone has the same question: How?

Watch Jennifer and her cousin Gina hit the gym for their unique and fun workouts.   

Jennifer's Weight Watchers leader, Liz, says that Jennifer was able to lose the weight by abandoning her old diet strategies and adopting the Weight Watchers techniques—but Jennifer didn't listen at first. "She was literally doing her own thing," Liz recalls.

Three weeks after beginning her weight loss journey, Jennifer actually gained weight. Liz says that was Jennifer's aha! moment. Jennifer agreed to follow Liz's strategies for one week: She counted Weight Watchers points, ate in moderation and even allowed herself to reincorporate foods like pizza and ice cream back into her diet. "She lost weight that first week," Liz says.

Jennifer Hudson talking with Oprah
Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Now, 10 sizes down from a size 16 to a size 6, Jennifer says she's still not used to shopping for smaller size clothes—and not used to the attention she gets from fans over her appearance.

Oprah: A size six, when you say that to the world, sounds unattainable. ... Because I wasn't a size six in the third grade! So, a size six seems like a foreign concept.

Jennifer: It was foreign to me at one point too.

Oprah: Now does it feel real?

Jennifer: No, not yet, because it's a mental thing. Your mind has to catch up. And to me, I'm still the same. I'll have somebody come up to me and say, "Wow, you look amazing." I'm like, what have I got on? What are they talking about? I forget what I look like.

Oprah: Are people treating you differently?

Jennifer: It's the weirdest thing. I mean, men have gotten a whole lot friendlier!

This kind of attention is something Jennifer says she's still not used to, since she says she used to think of herself as "the voice."

"I'm like, 'Don't look at me—listen to me. I want you to hear me sing because that's all that ever really mattered to me,'" Jennifer says.

Jennifer Hudson
Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
For Jennifer, the real reason she says she was unable to lose the weight in the past is because she simply didn't know how to eat. "That's where Weight Watchers stepped in," she says.

Some people might say that Jennifer was able to lose weight because she's a celebrity, getting paid by Weight Watchers, has a personal trainer and employs a chef. Not true, Jennifer says.

"I cook all my meals at home. When I work out, I like what I do. I don't believe in overdoing myself," she says. "It's all about self-motivation because at the end of the day, you can have all the trainers and all the money in the world, but if you don't have that mindset, it's not possible."

Jennifer Hudson
Part of what gave Jennifer the motivation to lose weight this time, she says, was giving birth to her son. "I'm sure you women can relate," she says to the audience. "Most of all, I wanted my body back. So, I made up my mind while I was pregnant that as soon as I have my baby, I'm going in and I am determined."

Watch Jennifer talk about why now was the right time to lose weight.   

"Are you at your goal [weight]?" Oprah asks.

"I didn't really have a goal," Jennifer says. "I just like the change."

"So a size 6 is fine for you. You're not trying to get to a 4?" Oprah asks.

"I like meat on my bones," Jennifer says. "A [size] 2 and a 0, that's not for me."

See how Jennifer's new movie, Winnie, also played a role in her weight loss.   

Jennifer Hudson with her son
Photo: Heidi Gutman/Getty Images
In addition to helping give her motivation to lose weight, Jennifer says that motherhood has been an amazing experience.

"What has becoming a mom done for you—besides make you tired?" Oprah asks.

"It's definitely the most amazing thing," Jennifer says. "My little boy is so adorable."

"How has it changed—enhanced—the way you see yourself?" Oprah asks.

"Now I see myself through him," Jennifer responds."I'm a mother and I have a life that's in my care and someone that looks up to me. ... That helps me see [myself] in a whole other light in a different way. It's a whole new world."

Jennifer Hudson with her mom in 2006
Photo: Bruce Glikas/Getty Images
Jennifer has experienced happiness and success over the last several years, but she has also suffered unthinkable tragedy with the murders of her mother, brother and 7-year-old nephew in 2008.

Watch Jennifer talk with Oprah about the loss of her family for the first time.   

Oprah: Do you feel you're somewhat healed?

Jennifer: I don't even know if it has started yet. It's such a shocking thing and it's a lot to take in. It's like, is this real? Did this really happen? It's hard to put it in sync with reality.

Oprah: And you just got up and kept going, too, did you not?

Jennifer: Their spirit was saying: "You've got to keep going." And I try to do everything to say, "Will my mother like this? Will she be pleased? Will she be proud of that?"

Oprah: Do you mother your son the way you were mothered?

Jennifer: I do my best. I don't think I could ever come close to be the kind of mother that my mother was to me, but I try to use that as an example and be there for him the way she was there for me. ... He definitely helps me get through even the worst hour in the time of a storm.

Tim Gunn and Jennifer Hudson
With her new shape and slim figure, Jennifer loves picking out new clothes to wear. "It's so much fun, I can't even sleep at night because I can't wait to find out what I'm going to wear the next day," she says.

Project Runway's Tim Gunn has also taken notice of Jennifer's style and weight loss, saying she belongs on Hollywood's best dressed lists. "Jennifer before the weight loss? Stunning," Tim says. "Since the weight loss? Staggering."

"From stunning to staggering," Oprah says.

Get Tim's tips for dressing for your shape and much more.   

Jennifer isn't the only person in her family who has lost a dramatic amount of weight—75 of her family members and friends in Chicago, Indiana and Mississippi have also joined Weight Watchers and begun their own weight loss journeys. Together, they have lost a grand total of 1,935 pounds.

"That's almost one ton of fat!" Oprah says.

Jennifer's cousins Pam, Vera and Debra have lost more than 100 pounds together and they say they're each looking for style tips to show off their new figures.

Tim Gunn to the rescue! See the stunning makeovers he gives to Pam, Vera and Debra.

Jennifer Hudson singing
Photo: George Burns/Harpo Studios
Now, Jennifer and many of her family members say they look better and feel better after shedding the pounds. But one thing about Jennifer that has remained the same, no matter what size she is, is her exceptional talent.

To close her Oprah Show appearance, Jennifer gives a world-premiere performance of her latest single, "Where You At," from her new album, I Remember Me, which comes out March 22.

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