The remarkable story of a 16 st 4lb American teenager who slimmed down to win a beauty pageant and is now competing to be the next Miss America, has captured imaginations on both sides of the Atlantic.
Portly Bree Boyce lost 7st 8lb to win Miss South Carolina and now has a mission to educate other young women to the benefits of eating healthily.
After trying a failing at every diet from Atkins to Weight Watchers, she told HeavyUSA: “What has worked for me the most and long-term was throwing the diet out of the window."
She has already won a preliminary swimsuit round for the Miss America Pageant to be held in January and her goal is to win the ultimate prize.
“I proved a lot of people wrong. Winning that swimsuit award was the icing on the cake. The cake I didn't eat the night before."
However, the young woman, who has a Facebook page on fighting obesity said that she worries that her weight will go back up.
“There's a huge fear in me that I'll gain it back but I think I've come to the point where that fear has scared me so much that it's something I think about every time I put something in my mouth, every time I do some physical activity, I think about where did I come from.
“ I came from that yo-yo dieter, that overweight child that got picked on when I was small. I came from all that and whenever I want to give up or mess up, I look at those moments, and it really helps me look forward to the future.”
She added: “I think 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's hilarious, that it's so rare.
“I think that, for me, being in pageants and my goal to become Miss America strikes people as strange because they have this whole thing with beauty pageant contestants. They have to be a certain size and a certain weight, you have to look a certain way, have plastic surgery, but I really want to show young girls and guys that you don't have to be a double-zero."