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Weight loss has been a craze even before Richard Simmons had everyone sweating to the oldies. However, in recent years we’ve all been a bit more award of our sugar, salt and even our gluten intake. With all kinds of diet pills, plans, drinks, celebrity endorsements and high fructose corn syrups warnings, we’re more aware of our health than ever. With Jennifer Hudson’s recent reveal of her taut tummy and the summer just around the corner, talks of trimming down have beefed up.

Many people think weight loss is for vanity’s sake, especially when it’s someone in the public eye, but more often than not, it’s for health reasons or personal goals/gain. Whatever your reason for dropping a few extra pounds or tightening up what you have, weight loss is and always will be a personal journey. Here’s five celebrities whose weight loss journeys have inspired us all.

Never Too Late

At the start of her career, Aretha Franklin was svelte and her weight wasn’t an issue. As the years increased, so did her weight and her health was affected as well. Aretha became diabetic and once she started getting excrutiating pains in her side, she knew it was time to pay attention to her health. Because of her life-changing surgery and learning how to eat the right things and exercise, Aretha’s 85 pound (and counting) weight loss, at her near 70 years of age was not only necessary, it was inspirational.

American Life Idol

Even the way she got her start in the entertainment industry was inspiring. She may have lost her American Idol title, but she gained an enviable movie and singing career. Through her monumental role in Dreamgirls’ as Effie and two gold albums, Jennifer Hudson has completely transformed. Jennifer’s weight loss started before she landed the role of Effie and even had to gain 20 pounds for the role. Her 80 pound weight loss has proven that dedication pays off.

That’s So Raven

Everyone’s favorite child star turned mogul burst onto the red carpet last year with a brand new figure and we all did double takes. Raven tightened up her petite frame by losing 35 pounds and told VIBE in an interview that she found the new attention amazing for her ego. Losing weight will have that effect on your self-esteem. Raven told Wendy Williams that stress kept her weight on her and Raven’s learned to manage the stress that she lives through that most people twice her age don’t have to deal with.

Hot Mess Turned Hottie

Snooki’s transformation was very unexpected, especially if you ever watched MTV’s Jersey Shore. She was constantly drinking, eating all the wrong foods after late night club binges and sleeping all day. Snooki was the poster child for an unhealthy lifestyle and on her 4’9″ frame, any extra weight could feel like a ton; case in point–she’s only lost about 15 pounds. Thanks to her on-again-off-again boyfriend, Jionni and one of her many endorsements, Snooki’s maintaining her tiny little figure.

Sparks Sparkles

Jordan Sparks’ transformation was confirmed via Twitter earlier last year when she shared her bikini bod with the world. Sparks used to be a plus sized model and now she doesn’t even qualify. With her six pack coming in, Jordan’s fit frame motivates anyone with a few extra pounds that thinks they’ll never see any muscle toning. With the help of a personal trainer and eating healthier, Sparks dropped 30 pounds and hasn’t looked back.

Follow me on Twitter @Rhapsodani!

Jennifer Hudson Shows Off Her Abs On Twitter [PHOTO]

Jennifer Hudson: “I Did Not Turn Down ‘Precious’ Because Of Weight Gain”

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