While browsing the clearance books at Barnes and Noble the other day, I came across I GOT THIS: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down by Jennifer Hudson. I decided to buy it on a whim and I’m so glad I did.
I recently joined Weight Watchers (again!) because I need structure, and accountability. Plus, I know it works. I purchased the book hoping to be inspired in some way and I was.
It was an easy read, taking me just a couple of days to finish. I like the fact that it was written by Jennifer in her own words.
Here are my fourteen noteworthy highlights from the book:
1. Jennifer Hudson is an ambitious, confident, resilient woman who loves her family.
2. Starting with American Idol, she endured more body image criticism than I could ever tolerate. Body image and appearance issues are a part of the Hollywood culture, so no surprise there.
3. In her home town of South Side Chicago most of the women were curvy. She didn’t know that she was a “big girl” until she made it as a finalist on American Idol.
“Early on, I remember one of the musical directors from American Idol telling me that everything about me was too big. She said my voice was too big, my size was too big, and my personality was too big.” “Isn’t that what being a star is?” I asked. “Stars are larger than life!”
Was this comment intended to be encouraging? What was the director’s intention here?
4. Jennifer Holiday was cast as the original Effie in the Broadway Musical in 1981, also giving a stellar performance. An interesting side note is that both Jennifers look great and have experienced tremendous weight loss in recent years.
5. Jennifer Hudson was chosen for the role of Effie White in the motion picture adaptation of Dreamgirls in 2006 out of 782 other women who auditioned. Based on that, I’d say it was meant to be.
6. For the first time, she was not big enough. She was asked to gain 20 pounds for the role.
7. Her role as Effie in Dreamgirls was the breakout performance which paved the way for her acting career. She poured her heart and soul into her rendition of “And I Am Telling You, I’m Not Going”. It was fantastic! I remember being moved by her performance when I first saw it at the movie theater.
8. After the film was completed she got back down to a size 10 on her own and was asked to gain another 20 pounds for promotional purposes. She said NO, and I say good for her. Effie and Jennifer were not one in the same, she played a character in a movie.
9. Three short years after being voted off of American Idol she won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Dreamgirls. How awesome is that?!
10. There are only two or three sentences in the entire book that acknowledge her family tragedy. The book was not about that, and it’s her choice to disclose (or not) whatever she chooses. It is still a very private matter and I’m sure this was a difficult time in her life.
11. She was not a fan of Weight Watchers in the beginning but agreed to give it a try. Eventually she saw that it worked and committed whole heartedly. Through Weight Watchers she was able to embrace a healthier lifestyle that consisted of assorted healthy food choices and exercise. She believes in the program.
12. She lost 80 pounds and has been able to keep it off.
“You can’t make a life-altering decision for someone else and expect it to stick. Gaining control over your health and well-being is one of those times in your life that you get to be completely selfish and not feel bad about it. My goals were to feel good, have enough energy and stamina to keep up with my son, get healthy and not worry about my dress size anymore. And even though I was losing the weight for me, I had the greatest motivation on the planet- my brand-new baby son.”
13. There are a lot of haters out there who say she had gastric bypass surgery. She’s also been criticized for shedding too much weight. She says it loud and clear that she lost the weight the old-fashioned way by preparing her own food without a personal chef and continues to do so. I believe her. So to all of those haters I say, “whatever!”. She used that word often throughout her book.
It’s got to be frustrating doing something positive for yourself and getting so much negative feedback from people.
14. She used her weight loss success as a vehicle to inspire her family members back in Chicago. Altogether, seventy-five of her family members joined the program, and as of 2012 they have collectively lost 2000 pounds. They even have their own weekly Weight Watcher meetings at the church. This is so impressive coming from a family who loved good food. All I have to say is, WOW!!!!
“God blessed me in so many ways, but I don’t think my true calling was to be famous or to make a lot of money. I feel like God put me on this path to be a positive influence by helping others find their true selves.”
“Appearance can be changed but talent stays the same”. Jennifer Hudson
She met every challenge with determination while holding true to her values. I can respect that. I plan to stick with Weight Watchers this time, for me. I can do this!
All thoughts and opinions are my own. I did not receive any compensation for this post.
Peace and Blessings,