Looking at her, you probably wouldn’t guess that newly crowned Miss South Carolina Bree Boyce ever struggled with her weight. The truth is that in the 3 years before winning the crown, she carried an extra 110 pounds of body weight. As a teenager, Boyce topped out at 234 pounds. During a routine medical appointment, her family physician warned her about knee and joint problems due to her excessive weight. “I wanted to be a Broadway star and go to college and have a family one day,” the pageant winner told ABCNews.com. “My weight was hindering all those things. I decided to make a change that day.” Thus began an arduous journey toward improved health habits and regular exercise. Her hard work paid off. Not only did she win her state crown, but in Las Vegas in January 2012 she will vie for the ultimate title of Miss America. Her platform? To educate others about the importance of fitness and quality nutrition. “I didn’t necessarily choose my platform. It chose me.”

Learn more about Boyce’s journey and her mission “to inspire all ages to become healthy through good eating habits, exercise and believing in yourself” by visiting her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/#!/breeboyce.