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Jennifer Hudson talks about family tragedy, weight loss

February 10, 2011 |  8:22 pm

Jennifer Hudson, before and after

Jennifer Hudson
has slimmed down to a size 6 from a size 16, overcoming family tragedy while winning a Grammy and an Oscar.

The girl's been working hard, that's for sure.

Hudson is prepping for the March release of her third studio album, "I Remember Me," and while doing the rounds she admitted to Oprah that she'd shed 80 pounds through Weight Watchers.

"After being pregnant for I felt like forever ... you want your body back. And then I realized when I was pregnant I wore these same clothes before I was pregnant. So what does that say? I don’t really like this. Most of all I wanted my body back, so I made up my mind while I was pregnant."

Oprah, ever the most gracious host, then gifted three Weight Watchers plans to each audience member so they and two friends could also whip themselves into shape like the "Dreamgirls" star.

(We would have preferred the brand new car, but whatevs, health is important too.)

Even Tim Gunn graced the couch to praise her transformation and dub the star, who got her start as an "American Idol" finalist, one of Hollywood's best dressed women.

"Jennifer before the weight loss? Stunning. Since the weight loss? Staggering," the "Project Runway" mentor said.

The Grammy and Oscar winner also spoke briefly spoke about dealing with family tragedy amid the success of her career.

In October 2009, her mother and brother were found shot to death in their Chicago home, and the body of her 7-year-old nephew was later found in an SUV.

Her sister Julia's estranged ex-husband has been charged with first-degree murder in the killings.

When Oprah asked her if she had "somewhat healed," Hudson said, "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."

Despite the tragedy, J-Hud pushed on and said the birth of her son in August 2009 helped her during the worst times.

"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?' ... 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."

Wowza, talk about inspiration.

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-- Nardine Saad
twitter.com/NardineSaad

Photo: Jennifer Hudson at the Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 5, 2010, left, and at the 40th annual Friends of the Los Angeles Free Clinic in Beverly Hills on Nov. 20, 2006.  Credit: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters, left; Gus Ruelas / Reuters, right

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