I just finished Jennifer Hudson’s new book I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down. I’m a fan of Jennifer Hudson. I have both of her albums and couldn’t wait to get her new book. I’m totally inspired by her 80 pound weight loss with Weight Watchers. I love that she’s a positive Black role model. But, I kind of have mixed feelings about her book. I read a review on Amazon.com that said that reading the book was like reading her Wikipedia entry, and it was! I hate to say it, but the book almost seems sugar-coated.
I was completely outraged that she did not even mention the horrible murder of her mother, brother and nephew by her sister’s estranged husband. You better believe if my sister’s estranged husband killed my Mama, my other sister and my niece, y’all are going to hear about it. Jennifer simply said, “my Superbowl performance was my first public appearance after my family tragedy” Really JHud? Some readers may not even know what her “family tragedy” was. I’ve never lost people that close to me, so I can’t image how difficult it would be to discuss it, but I would have loved to hear how she was able to overcome such extreme adversity and still remain a positive happy well-balanced person. A part of me wonders if her “brushing over it” is how she coped….Okay, I’ll leave it alone…but that was just not what I expected.
Then she had a whole section on the biomechanics of Weight Watchers and a bunch of statistics. I realize that when the program is great you almost become a spokesperson (as I have) because you’re proud of the way it helped change your life. But, some parts were a little too “Team Weight Watchers.” Okay, enough of the negative, but I had to keep it real.
Finally, her personality started to show in the book. She was raised that curves on a woman were a good thing, and she “never felt self-conscious.” I can believe that, a lot of times in the black community, guys like a “thick” girl. A little extra weight is a bonus. When I picture myself at my goal weight, I’m a size 8 or 10. I have no desire to be a size 2 or 4.
It was interesting to learn that Jennifer was not an emotional eater. She literally didn’t know what healthy food was and how to eat healthy portion sizes. She lost weight solely for health reasons, not because of how she looked. She was also inspired by the birth of her son and a career field that thrives on image. That was an interesting perspective.
She mentioned some good food ideas I can’t wait to try like apples and cashews that taste like a caramel apple and how cinnamon on salmon with lemon is delicious. She even included a few recipes at the end.
Her WW leader Liz gave her great insight on being active, she told her don’t do exercise that you don’t like and have as many options as possible. She also reminded her that every day is a chance to start over. Since Jennifer lost weight, she inspired many of her family members to join WW and they have lost over 2,000 pounds. I would have to say that my favorite part of the book was near the end. Unlike her easy breezy “track and lose weight” she discussed her struggles with life after losing such a drastic amount of weight and how it changed her image. She discussed how at one point while filming Winnie, she feared she was too thin, and how some fans rejected her instead of supporting her new found health and body. She also explained how she embraces her extra skin and stretch marks as battle scars to show how far she’s come. I’m long way from taking pride in my stretch marks, but it was refreshing to see how to overcome it once you are on the maintenance side of losing.
Overall, I give the book 3 out of 5 stars. I love that she explains the importance of family and how the strength and lessons of her deceased grandmother pulled her through difficult times. I’m so happy that she found her calling through singing and inspiring, and I believe that she’s right where God wants her to be.
Uhmm maybe she didn’nt mention her family murders becuse its a book about weight loss. She doesn’t owe it to you or anyone else to discuss her personal tragedy. Or how she dealt with it, the book was great the way it was.
I think when you write a book about the intimate details of your life, your childhood, your family, your career, your husband, your weight, your child, and even your best friend, you open the doors to tell the whole story. I felt cheated. I didn’t expect or want gruesome details about the events of the day. But I would’ve liked to hear how she overcame the aftermath of it all. I didn’t even expect to see a whole chapter about it, but the complete omission of it all surprised me. That day probably changed her life more than any other day. When helping someone lose weight you have to tell the whole story. I think sharing that part of her life could help people struggling with the loss of someone close while in the process of losing weight. But, it is her right not to talk about it, and that’s just what she did. I appreciate your honest comment and opinion.
hey… very good review… I appreciate YOUR honest opinion! HeleM
Oddly enough. I just put this on hold at the library today. I assumed that the murders would be a huge aspect of the book, and I am actually qutie surprised to find that they are not explicitly mentioned. However, I do agree that it’s her right to chose not to talk about it- it’s her book, she can put what she wants in it. I’m looking forward to reading it, though judging from your review I think that I made the right choice to wait for the library’s copy of it rather than buying it. 🙂
Sherrie, you have the right idea. If it were a movie, I’d say, you should see it, but wait till it comes out on DVD. It was a good book, with some really good parts, but not as honest as I’d for a weight loss memoir to be.