Carrie Fisher, before (left) and after weight loss
Roger Wong/INF; David Goldman
05/10/2011 at 06:00 PM EDT
The Force is with Carrie Fisher.
With the help of Jenny Craig
, the actress is 30 lbs. lighter these days.
"I feel much better," Fisher, 54, tells PEOPLE. "My blood pressure is down. And I can stand on the scale at the doctor's office."
The 5'1" tall Star Wars
actress decided to sign up for the weight-loss program after she packed on pounds
while doing her one woman play, Wishful Drinking
"I went on the road with the show and I did not exercise for three years and I just ate horribly," she says. "My ritual was drinking regular soda and having pounds of peanut butter protein bars."
On her new routine, she has replaced sodas for water and snacks on Jenny Craig popcorn and cookies. Exercise has also become part of her life again.
"I'll just get on the elliptical machine first thing in the morning and get it over with," Fisher says. "I'm up to about an hour now. If I read books, I don't look as much at the time."
She is ready to look over a few more social invitations now so she can show off her sleek new look – and the old pair of Miss Sixty jeans that finally fit her again!
The extra weight "made me not want to go out at all," she admits. "Now it's an option for me to go out. I actually went to the Lakers game a couple of times."
Hoping to lose another 20 lbs., if not more, Fisher adds: "I like looking better. Before you had to like me for my mind. I'm hoping to give people options now."