The Internet is abuzz about 22-year-old Bree Boyce, and not just because she was crowned Miss South Carolina earlier this month (and even won a preliminary swimsuit round at the pageant, according to thestate.com). The real story is that Boyce was more than 100 pounds overweight, and had tried nearly every diet imaginable to lose it. So what finally worked?
Throwing all those "diets" out the window. Now she's sharing her story and hoping to motivate more Americans into believing that they can do the same.
"In the past, I had been yo-yo dieting…I did the [low] carb diet…no sugar diet, all those fads, Weight Watchers. What seems to have worked best for me long term is throwing 'diet' out the window. I don't say that word at all. It's all about what you eat, how you view the foods that you eat," Bree tells HEAVYUSA in a Skype interview. It's well worth watching.
Here are some of the highlights that really stood out to me (bold/italics added for emphasis).
On Gaining the the Weight Back
"I feel like people think they are depriving themselves. That's how I felt. I felt that I couldn't have that piece of chocolate cake that I enjoy so much because 'I'm on a diet'… It's about not eating that chocolate cake every day on every hour. ..You have to have it in moderation. ..I completely agree with that 'dieting' thing—you will gain the weight back.
"There a fear in me that I'll gain it back. But I think…that fear has scared me so much that it's something that I think about every time I put something into my mouth, every time I do any kind of physical activity. I think, Where did I come from? I came from that yo-yo dieter. I came from that overweight child who got picked on when I was small. I came from all that, and whenever I want to give up or mess up, I look back at those moments and it helps me look forward to the future. So hopefully, every time that I think I'm going to fail, I can look back at those bad times that I had and that can push me forward a little longer. "
On Why She Joined Pageants and Being a Role Model
After losing the weight (she's kept it off for two years now), she joined pageants at the urging of a friend to get a "microphone" to spread her message.
"What people find so strange is that I've lost 100 pounds, and I compete in pageants and I do a swimsuit competition. People think that is hilarious—they find that so rare. For me, being in pageants—and my goal to become Miss America—kind of strikes them as strange because they…think you have to be a perfect size, a perfect weight, you have to look a certain way, you have to have plastic surgery. But I really want to show young girls and you guys that you don't have to be a double zero. It's all about being healthy... I've gotten the greatest response from this. It's been overwhelming…
"I just really want to show people that no matter what your size and who you are, you can accomplish things that you set your mind to...
"It's about getting Americans to think about the right ways to eat and the right ways to get physical activity…I'm not just trying to get overweight and obese people. It's about everyone…I really just want to change the mindset, the way people think and the way they view what food does for them and what exercise does for them and how important it is."
Kudos to Bree for spreading a healthy and sensible message to Americans and being a role model about healthy body image to women and girls.
What do you think about Bree's message? Can you relate to her experience?
More From SparkPeople