From Overweight Teen to Beauty Queen

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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 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?
Photo: Facebook

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SNUZYQ2 11/18/2019
It's so wonderful that Bree is using her success to help others. Her message is a positive one that discourages the yo-yo fad diet mindset that so many of us in our culture are prone to. Many thanks! Excellent blog! Report
I think she's great. She will be an inspiration to so many girls. I myself have had a weight problem since I was 10 years old. Report
I so can relate. I was the fat kid in the neighborhood Report
I agree, learning to eat a healthy diet filled with natural, not processed foods, has helped me take the weight off and keep it off. Report
Inspiring story Report
What a journey!!! Good for you! Thank you for spreading a healthy message. So many people need it! Wishing you a bright future! Report
Fantastic! Report
Way to go! Report
way to go Report
thanks for sharing Report
I remember this article from before and I checked her out to see how she was doing and she still looks great in 2017 Report
CONGRATS!!!!! Report
What a great role model and inspiration to show that anything is possible... Report
Good for you on losing the weight, AND on being crowned Miss South Carolina. How awesome is that? One other comment-I did not know there WAS a size 00. Who could possibly be that small. Certainly not me! Size 8 is about the best I ever did. Report
I like the part about being scared of gaining the weight back. I am also scared that I will gain my weight back and I am 6lbs away from my goal weight, well my doctor's goal weight for me. It's nice to see her perspective.
She's amazing. She's a great role model. Report
She is a great role model for all. She shows that you do not have to starve yourself. The goal is to be healthy. Report
Good on her I wish her all the luck in the world she deserves it. Report
I saw this on MSN the other day ... I loved it!! So inspirational to so many. Proof that it can be done :) Report
this story is inspiring Report
Wow, I'm rooting for her! What an inspiring message! Report
I think this is so inspirational! I haven't watched the Miss America Pagent in years but would watch it and root for her. The message is awesome! Report
I'm delighted for Bree and about Bree. I think she will be a wonderful role model for younger people and hopefully help reduce childhood obesity. I'm thankful she wanted to take the "microphone" and make a difference. Go Bree! Report
I know how she feels but opposite. I was slim until I was in my 30s and on medication. I went to a class reunion and one of my teachers said I look like I exploded. She is awesome. I wish her well. Report
Congratulations to Bree! Good Luck with her keeping it off. That truly is the scariest thing - gaining it back! Thanks for doing this - I plan on sharing with many people!
Good for her! What a great role model. I can definitely relate to her pre-pageant self. I'm working on the post-pageant self the same way she finally achieved it. ;) Report
she is amazing... I have lost 90 pounds and cant imagine showing that much skin,,, but I truly love the fact that she is a role model for young girls today... and it is so true, the fear of going back makes us move forward so much easier.. Report
That is awesome, she is a true role model for the youg ones, Great. Report
She should be held up as a role model for young girls. Report
Awesome Report
I saw her on the Today show on Tuesday. She really is gorgeous and seems like a great person, too. It was a very inspiring story. Report
Truely inspiring. Since I started my healthy journey I too have thrown the word diet out the window. My goal is to eat healthier and get more exercise. It's great to see someone with the same thoughts I have toward food have such great results! Report
She sends an amazing message. I need to think more like her, every day I think I'm dieting what I can eat and what I can't. I constantly lose a little and gain it back..I don't want to be like that any more. Report
Great message! And it's nice to hear about someone who has lost 100lbs and still had the confidence to do a swimsuit competition and WIN! Report
I guess I am the only one who finds the prominence of her chest bones very disturbing!!! I hope that's a bad pic cuz she looks all around normal on her Facebook picture. Report
I am so excited to hear you can lose it & still be a winner doing it the right way. Report
That's great! I hope to be an inspiration to "my" kids in my classroom! Last year I had a girl that was pre-diabetic, so I'd tell her about my progress & give tips here & there bc she was very open about it Report
This is terrific! I might even watch Miss America! Report
Just SOOO Awesome. I loved reading this! I may actually watch Miss America again. Report
We need more of her as the face of beauty!! I hope she gets Miss America. I never watch these pageants, but I believe I make sure I see her in this one. Report
Wow! What an inspiration! Report
Thank you Bree Boyce. You are exactly the kind of beautiful, healthy role-model young Americans need to become fit and healthy.

What an inspiration to all, whatever our ages! Report
this interview is way better than the one on She is amazing. i am awed Report
Great job, and outlook...a before n after pic together woulda been cool. Report
What a great and inspiring story!! I am glad that she is sharing her story as an inspiration to us all, no matter what size we are, everybody needs to hear this!! Thanks for sharing this! Report
I've always thought that beauty pageants were a waste of time and a bad influence on our culture. This girl is changing my mind. She has an inspirational story to tell and is bringing it to a national platform. Kudos! Report
She is a great inspiration! I think that she could be a great role model for young people who are obese and trying to lose weight. I give her props for not giving up and she kept going and trying different ways to lose weight until she found what works for her. Report
I am so tickled with her story, I read and re-read it and even posted a short blog leading to a link on her. It is hard to believe she started out only 2 pounds heavier than I did at the beginning of my journey! She is so inspiring. I don't normally watch the Miss USA, but I will be tuning in this year! Go Bree!! Report
I'm not huge on pageants, with that disclaimer out of the way.

I love what she is doing, using the platform to spread a positive message about how making healthy choices consistently over time can lead to being healthy long term without using dieting (yo-yo or fad), that it's all about the choices a person is willing to make for themselves. I also like how she points out that a person does not have to be 'perfect' to achieve goals. I hope that her message hits home for lots of people. Report
I don't normally go out of my way to watch the Miss America pagent, but I think I'll be watching this year and rooting for Bree! Her message is just what I've found to be true: crash dieting or depriving yourself of entire food groups just doesn't work. The key to healthy weight loss is developing a healthy relationship with food. Report