A once-bullied, overweight teen is one step closer to her dream of becoming Miss America.

In eighth grade, Keli Kryfko was 230 pounds and wore a size 24. Today, the 23-year-old Houston woman is 100 pounds lighter and holds the title of Miss South Texas.

“I used their words that were meant to harm me to really arm me,” Kryfko said today on “Fox and Friends” of the bullying she endured. Kryfko, who was called “the fat girl” by her peers, used the mean words to motivate her weight loss.

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Kryfko made incremental changes to her diet, cutting out sodas and becoming more mindful of snacking and portion size.

“I often say that my toughest breakup to-date was with Dr. Pepper,” she said.

The beauty queen has a beautiful message for kids who are being ridiculed in class and on the playground.

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“You have the power within you to make that change, you know, and you don’t need to let others put a definition on you, and to just define yourself and be who you want to be, and go for those big dreams and those huge goals,” she said.

Kryfko will compete in the Miss Texas pageant in July.

Watch the full interview above.

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