At her heaviest, Nevada hairstylist Connor Rensch weighed 271 pounds. Through a combination of diet and exercise, she lost 130 pounds. Now she's become an inspiration to others on Instagram, where she currently has over 37,000 followers.
Rensch was featured on the cover of People's annual "Half Their Size" issue in December 2014. In an interview with the magazine, she said, "From the time I was 6, I knew I was bigger than other kids. I was bullied and would sneak food into the bathroom so people wouldn't see me eat." Rensch told The Daily Mail that kids would routinely call her fat and ugly, and said,"When I was in sixth grade, a girl on instant messenger told me I should just kill myself." (WOW. THAT GIRL SOUNDS GREAT, hope they're still in touch!)
By the time she started high school, Rensch weighed over 200 pounds. She told The Daily Mail that when she sees pictures of herself from before her weight loss transformation, she feels sad, because she remembers how she struggled with depression and used food to cope. But at the same time, she's also really proud of who she was, and of how hard she's worked to become the woman she is today.
Once she reached her goal weight, Rensch got up the nerve to enter the 2015 World Beauty Fitness And Fashion contest, where she wore a bikini for the first time ever AND won first place.
She told People that she saw a nutritionist and went from huge portions to six small meals a day, consisting mainly of non-processed foods. As for working out, she started with cardio, and then added in kickboxing and weightlifting.
In a transformation video she posted on YouTube, she says (well, technically she writes, not says, because it's on a sign) that she felt very alone, and struggled to understand why she was treated so poorly because of her weight, even though she knew she was a good person.
According to Rensch, the biggest change was emotional, not physical: "I was my biggest bully. Now I've learned to be kind to myself." This year she launched a new business, My Butterfly Journey. It's an online coaching service where she helps others learn to be healthy and kind to themselves, too.