Jennifer Hudson: How I Found Out I Had a Weight Problem

08/17/2011 at 08:30 AM EDT

Jennifer Hudson's Weight Loss
Jennifer Hudson
Courtesy Self Magazine
It wasn't until Jennifer Hudson appeared on American Idol in 2004 that she was made aware of her weight.

"I didn't even know I was considered plus-sized until I came to Hollywood," the 2007 Oscar winner and Weight Watchers spokesperson, 29, tells September's Self magazine, on sale Thursday. "I thought I was the perfect size!"

That changed on a red carpet, when "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."





Hudson decided to take action when she was pregnant with her now 2-year-old son, David.

"I thought, hold on – why doesn't anybody know I'm pregnant?" she admits. "And I wanted to set a good example for my son."

By sticking to a strict regimen of portion control and exercise, Hudson eventually lost 80 pounds and went from a size 16 to a 6 and says: "I'm prouder of my weight loss than my Oscar!"

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