Keli Kryfko is now Miss South Texas with her eyes on the Miss Texas and Miss America titles.
It's only 10 years since she was a 230-pound eighth-grader in Dallas who could barely do a sit-up and faced the bullying taunts of her classmates.
Now 23 years old, Kryfko says she "decided enough was enough," that she didn't want to let other people define her any more.
She says she started by giving up Dr Pepper, which she says was the toughest single sacrifice she made, and she set the Miss America crown as her goal.
She still does 30 minutes of cardio each morning and an hour of weight and cardio training each evening as she readies for the Miss Texas pageant July 1.