It may be easy to see Bree Boyce, reigning Miss South Carolina, elegantly donning her tiara and sash and think she's always looked like a fit beauty queen.
As reported by CNN, Boyce was once a 234-pound high schooler who wore size 18 jeans to school and couldn't walk around the block or complete her school's requirement of running a mile under 11 minutes. She didn't let her weight stop her from being a gregarious, funny girl, but her weight became no laughing matter after a doctor's visit.
Visiting because of knee problems, 17-year-old Boyce knew her doctor was right when he said, "this weight has to come off."
So Boyce, after failed attempts with popular weight-loss gimmicks, lost her weight the healthy and right way. She ate healthier and incorporated physical activity into her lifestyle — starting with that challenging walk around the block.
Once she conquered that feat, she took to the gym where she started to jog and attend Zumba classes.
As a role model to young kids, especially girls, Boyce is careful not to praise thin as beautiful. Rather, she is an advocate of living a healthy lifestyle and combating obesity — without those gimmicks.
For more resources on combating childhood obesity, check out ACE's Operation Fit Kids, and be sure to watch Boyce compete in the Miss America pageant on January 14.