Keli Kryfko may be the current Miss South Texas titleholder, but she once held the distinction of “fat girl” at her middle school.

Weighing more than 200 lbs. at the age of 14, the now 23-year-old decided to make a change after being teased for failing a P.E. fitness test. “I knew that that’s not what I wanted my definition to be anymore,” Keli says.

So how did the Houston native drop an impressive 100 lbs.? She started by making small changes to her diet.

keli kryfko

“I started by kicking out Dr. Pepper which I always say was my toughest break-up to date,” the blonde beauty jokes. From there, “I just used logic. I thought, ‘Well I probably need to eat less fried foods and maybe I can eat the burger without the cheese.'”

In a year-and-a-half, Keli reached her weight goal. And after a quick change from her natural brown hair to platinum blonde, her transformation was complete!

With a new batch of confidence, Keli decided to try her hand at the pageant circuit with great success and will compete for Miss Texas this summer.

keli kryfko

Besides changing up her diet, the Texas Tech University graduate also made fitness a daily part of her routine. She is working with personal trainer Justin Murphy to get in tip top shape for her next competition.

He tells CBS News, “Shoot for six small meals a day. Focus on getting protein in every meal.”

For Keli, her best tip doesn’t include diets or exercise. “It’s really important to make time to love yourself and to compliment yourself,” she shares. “Giving yourself permission to feel good in your skin, where you are.”