At the time, the powerhouse singer was a size 16 -- a stark contrast to her uberthin competitors.
When one journalist referred to Hudson as "plus-sized" during an interview, the singer "looked around, like, 'Who is she talking to? Oh, me? I'm plus-sized?'" Hudson, now 29, recalls. "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, engaged to David Otunga since September 2008, didn't shed her baby weight through Weight Watchers alone.
"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."