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Even before becoming pregnant and gaining 35 lbs. with son David Otunga Jr., Jennifer Hudson hated running and wasn’t a huge fan of the gym. But as soon as she got her doctor’s OK to start working out, the former American Idol star met up with L.A.-based trainer, Harley Pasternak, to start slimming down for her role in an upcoming film on Winnie Mandela.

VIDEO: JHud’s Weight Watcher’s Commercial

She got her diet on track by starting with Weight Watchers in January–recently debuting as their newest spokesperson. And their aim was specific, Pasternak says. “Our goal was to bounce quarters off her butt!” Pasternak, author of The Five-Factor World Diet. With a focus on images of Winnie Mandela at her fittest, Hudson started off with a 25-minute circuit-training routine of cardio, lunges, shoulder presses, and ab exercises five days a week. Eight months later, she’s worked her way up to 50-minute routines, now including 25 additional minutes of cardio. “Unprompted, she’ll start running when I’ve just asked her to walk!” says Pasternak.

And, in between juggling motherhood and a thriving film career, Jennifer Hudson is still finding time to record her sophomore album.

“I am in the recording process, at least 10 songs in. It’s between film and music right now, working on the album, but it won’t be out until September. I think it will definitely be a different direction [from my first album] and I’m so excited about that. I want this album to feel good. Just hearing the feedback from the music being heard. … The reaction to it, I love it. So I’m like, wow, I want this album to be good, but I definitely want it to be very much me, and I just hope the fans embrace it.”

GALLERY: JHud Shows Off Her Engagement Ring

She and Leona Lewis have collaborated, as well. The British “X-Factor” winner and the “American Idol” loser have recorded a duet that may become the theme song of “Sex and the City 2,” London’s Sun reports.

“They each have incredible voices and will appeal to both the UK and the US,” a source told the British tabloid. “It’s perfect for the next SATC film.”

Hudson, 28, is no stranger to the “Sex” universe having played Carrie Bradshaw’s assistant, Louise, in the series’ first film.

NEW TRAILER! “Sex & The City 2″

From People, Rap-Up, & NY Daily News