Miss South Carolina 2011 - Bree Boyce, Capital City



Miss South Carolina Bree Boyce: How I Lost 112 Pounds

In high school, she couldn't run a mile for her high school gym class. But when a doctor gave her a much-needed wake-up call, Boyce dropped nearly half her body weight and is on her way to achieving her life-long dream of becoming Miss America.

By Sharon Tanenbaum

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WEDNESDAY Dec. 28, 2011 —For many of the competitors in the Miss America pageant, strutting their stuff in the swimsuit portion is just another part of the process. But for Miss South Carolina Bree Boyce, it marks a milestone in her weight loss battle.

Boyce, 22, grew up as a heavyset girl in Florence, S.C., but after a reality check from her doctor, she shed 112 pounds and eventually won the Miss South Carolina title for her homestate. She will compete in the Miss America pageant on January 14 on ABC.

"I used to make fun of my weight with others to fit in and be the funny, overweight girl," Boyce tells for their annual Half Their Size issue. “I'd go home and cry, not because of what others had said about me, but about what I had said about myself."

Boyce, who weighed 234 pounds and wore size 18 jeans at 17 years old, dreaded gym class and the mandatory mile run: If students couldn’t run it under 11 minutes, they would have to walk around the track for the remainder of the period.

"There were a few times I tried to run because I was so embarrassed and afraid of what other kids might say. After many failed attempts, I gave up hope," Boyce toldSanjay Gupta, M.D.on .

Although she had tried many fad and low-carb diets, Boyce never found a healthy way to lose weight. But when she visited her doctor to treat her knee pain, he advised Boyce to lose weight – and lose it now.

And that was just the wake-up call she needed.

"It was embarrassing because a 17-year-old shouldn't be sitting in a doctor's office having this kind of conversation," Boyce toldPeople. "I knew there were so many things I wanted to do in life – I wanted to be on Broadway, go to school, get married, have a family. [And] I wanted to be Miss America one day."

Boyce began exercising two to three times a week, kept track of the food she ate, and set a goal to lose five pounds in one month.

She ended up losing seven in the next four weeks.

Boyce then added in Zumba classes, joined a gym, and began jogging. Over the next three years, she lost 100 pounds. After winning the Miss South Carolina title in 2010, Boyce lost 12 more pounds.

"It's all about learning a process, learning a lifestyle, and so many people think it's an overnight quick fix. And it absolutely is not. It takes time. It took me three years," she said, according to CNN.

To stay on track, Boyce schedules her workouts and plans her meals.

And that 11-minute mile that she couldn’t do in high school? Boyce cruises that distance in seven minutes.

Boyce, now a healthy 112 pounds, wants to spread her message of eating healthy and fighting obesity.

"I don't want young girls to worry about the number on the scale," she says, according toPeople.






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