Miss South Texas shares story of her transformation
Miss South Texas 2014 and her inspiring story are making waves throughout the country.
Keli Kryfko's platform is "Losing to Gain," something she knows well after dropping 100 pounds to get her beauty queen physique.
She was bullied in middle school and started her transformation at 14 years old. KTVT reports, "I was over 200 pounds ... I had to take the fitness test in PE class. I not only failed it but I ended up getting a zero on it ... I overheard some girls saying, 'can you believe the fat girl couldn't do any of it.'"
Those harsh words were the motivation she needed. The first thing Kryfko cut out was Dr. Pepper, and to this day she says that was the hardest. She spoke with ABC, explaining, "I had a learning disability and I just felt inferior to others. I would really depend on food just to kind of comfort me. I took a stand and said enough is enough."
Within a year and a half, she shed 70 pounds.
The 23-year-old says she cut out all carbs except oatmeal in the morning, and says she was "on a practically paleo diet." KHOU explains that Keli went from a size 24 to a 4.
"It's not just about being skinny, it's about a lifestyle and fitness."
Unfortunately, many kids struggle as Kryfko did in middle school. According to a study published in the journal Pediatrics, in 2010 obese kids were 63 percent more likely to be bullied and in turn suffer from loneliness, depression and anxiety.
But Kryfko says she hopes her story will help inspire others to make similar life-changing transformations.
On her website she writes, "I will always be proud of the 100 pounds I LOST, but GAINING the chance to change others [sic] lives has been my biggest accomplishment. My ultimate dream is to be an inspirational speaker all over this country."
Kryfko will begin competing for the title of Miss Texas at the end of June.