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Singer Jennifer Hudson is gorgeous as she graces the cover of the September issue of Shape magazine. She’s also sharing how she got started on her weight loss journey.

It wasn’t until Jennifer Hudson appeared on American Idol in 2004 that she was made aware of her weight, she says.

“I didn’t even know I was considered plus-sized until I came to Hollywood,” Hudson, 29, tells September’s Self magazine. “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!”

Hudson, engaged to David Otunga since September 2008, didn’t shed her baby weight through Weight Watchers alone, and now she’s giving details.

“Four days after my cesarean section, I began walking 30 minutes every day. It was my therapy, my moment to myself, and it was all I could do. I figured, me walking is better than me sitting on the couch,” she tells Self. “Even if I can’t climb a mountain or do 100,000 push-ups, these steps matter, and they’re leading somewhere.”

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