Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Baltimore Insider

BREAKING NEWS
Lifestyle Baltimore Insider

Jennifer Hudson makes Baltimore appearance to aid city's weight loss program

Jennifer Hudson urged women to chart their own path to better health as she spoke to a gathering of Weight Watchers participants at a West Baltimore senior center Tuesday morning.

"You cannot achieve somebody else's goals," the singer and Oscar-winning actress, who serves as Weight Watchers' celebrity ambassador, told a crowd assembled at Park Heights' Zeta Center for Healthy and Active Aging. "If you didn't do it, they're going to talk.  If you do it, they're still going to talk."

Hudson, who had been in Washington over the weekend to attend Michelle Obama's 50th birthday celebration, appeared in Baltimore to announce an expansion of a city program that allows low-income residents of some neighborhoods to join Weight Watchers for a reduced fee. 

A grant from the United States Conference of Mayors and Weight Watchers will allow the city to expand the health department's B'More Fit for Healthy Babies program.  Both women and men will be able to participate at the Zeta Center and more women will be able to enroll in existing programs near Patterson Park and Druid Hill Park.

Residents who have a body mass index greater than 25 and who qualify for a government-subsidized program such as Medicare, WIC or federal student aid, are eligible for the program, which offers deep discounts on Weight Watchers meetings and fitness classes. 

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said that 45 percent of the city's African-American residents are obese as is 36 percent of the city's total population. 

The mayor said that she was prompted to lose a significant amount of weight herself several years ago after realizing that most of the health problems that afflicted her family were tied to obesity. 

"I had to be honest with myself," she said. "I don't want to tell you what my [body mass index] was when I started."

Hudson, wearing a sleek black dress, told the crowd she had "never been this size in my life."  

In 2011, the year after she became a Weight Watchers' ambassador, Hudson told Oprah she had lost 80 pounds. When Weight Watchers approached her, Hudson said, her first reaction was "I can't lose no weight eating no popcorn."

In time, she lost the "diet mentality" and began to manage her weight by making healthy choices, she said. 

Hudson said that between 75 and 100 members of her family have lost a total of 2,000 pounds through the weight loss program. She urged the crowd, which included about a dozen participants in the city-sponsored Weight Watchers group to "take baby steps."

"One of my New Year's resolutions this year was I want help change lives," she said. "I'm starting that by being here. Hopefully, my testimony can help inspire someone else's journey and make a difference in someone else's life."

The former "American Idol" finalist is also finding time to make music. Hudson, who received a People's Choice Award this month for the charity she founded, said her third studio album, set to be released early this year, is a "feel-good album," that is "extremely different from everything I've done before."

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Michelle Obama's 50th: 'Such a fun, fun party'

    Michelle Obama's 50th: 'Such a fun, fun party'

    WASHINGTON — Beyonce and Stevie Wonder rocked the White House at a star-studded, late-night dance party celebrating first lady Michelle Obama's 50th birthday, two guests told the Tribune on Sunday.

  • Beyonce performs at Michelle Obama's 50th birthday, shares pics

    Beyonce performs at Michelle Obama's 50th birthday, shares pics

    Mrs. Carter goes to Washington — again! Beyonce helped pal Michelle Obama, you know, the first lady of the United States, celebrate her 50th birthday at the White House on Saturday.

  • Maryland weddings

    Maryland weddings

    Browse photos of recent Maryland weddings -- from traditional church ceremonies to quirky, Baltimore-themed celebrations. To read more about each couple's story, go to baltimoresun.com/weddings. Just wedded? Email your wedding details to weddings@baltsun.com.

  • Collared - Baltimore Sun readers' pets

    Collared - Baltimore Sun readers' pets

    Read about local pets, or share your own story. We're interested in cats and dogs, but also hamsters, hedgehogs, turtles, horses, chickens -- the whole pet gamut. For more information, email pets@baltsun.com and be sure to put "Collared" in the subject line.

  • Red, white & blue fashion

    Red, white & blue fashion

    This holiday, take an Americana-themed approach to your ensemble without giving up your independence. There’s no need to go overboard and drape yourself in a flag to show some patriotism. Instead, make a sartorial statement in either red, white or blue. Fourth of July revelers are in luck because...

  • 20 area events that make for a fantastic Fourth of July

    20 area events that make for a fantastic Fourth of July

    July Fourth is not just for parades anymore. Not that there won't be parades aplenty of Saturday, but if this is the Fourth for stepping outside your normal comfort zone, we've got plenty for you, too. So get out your quill pens and tricorn hats and have yourself a flag-waving good time. For Fourth...

Comments
Loading

70°