Miss South Texas, 23-year-old Keli Kryfko, wasn’t always the image of perfection. As a middle school student, she was obese and out-of-shape. Harsh bullying from fellow students ultimately prompted Kryfko to make a drastic change in her lifestyle, which resulted in her losing more than 100 pounds.
According to the Daily Mail, Kryfko’s turning point occurred when she was 14-years-old and a classmate called her “the fat girl” in gym class.
The Houston native and Texas Tech University graduate told CBS, “I knew that that’s not what I wanted my definition to be anymore. I decided that I needed to make a change and I started by kicking out Dr Pepper which I always say was my toughest break-up to date.”
She continued, “I just used logic. I thought, well I probably need to eat less fried foods and maybe I can eat the burger without the cheese.”
The Daily Mail reported that Kryfko’s physical trainer, Justin Murphy, is helping the beauty queen tone her figure for the contest. He said that losing one pound per week is healthy and that dieters should “shoot for six small meals a day. Focus on getting protein in every meal.”
Since dropping the weight and dying her hair blonde, Kryfko has won Miss Allen 2012, Miss Limestone 2013 and Miss South Texas 2014.
In July, she hopes to additionally win the title of Miss Texas.
While Kryfko will admit that she is heavier than most of her beauty pageant opponents, she maintains a positive self-image.
“It’s really important to make time to love yourself and to compliment yourself,” she said. “Giving yourself permission to feel good in your skin, where you are.”
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