Connor Rench lost 130 lbs. Now she's proudly showing off her stretchmarks to become a pageant queen and Instagram star.

Connor Rench lost 130 lbs. Now she's proudly showing off her stretchmarks to become a pageant queen and Instagram star.
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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.

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Rensch looking SO FIERCE before a 2015 bikini competition.

In an interview with The Daily Mail, she said she's proud of her stretchmarks, since they're a reminder of how hard she's worked and how far she's come.

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Rensch age 19, at 271 pounds.

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!)

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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.

This is a very special #TBT to me. In the left photo is me at my senior prom. When I speak to junior highers I tell them the story of this dress. My mom and I walked into a department store when I was 17 years old. I was so excited because I finally was asked to a dance by a boy. At the time I was a size 24. I knew in my heart that they would not have anything that fit me, but that didn't stop me from falling in love with what I thought was the perfect dress. I made a comment to my mom about how much I loved the dress on the (skinny) mannequin. My mom decided to ask the department store worker if they had any other sizes in the dress. The woman looked me up and down and said, "we will have nothing in this store that fits her." I have never felt so worthless, so humiliated in my entire life. As we were walking out of the store my mom turned to me and said, "You deserve that dress. We will have that dress made for you." She found a tailor that recreated it for me. I've talked a lot about my mom and how much of an angel she has been in my life. This is just one of the many examples. I honestly felt beautiful in both photos. Something I definitely learned from this experience was to never let anyone's opinion of me define who I am. I define who I am by staying true to myself... Always. Stay beautiful 😘😘😘 #MyButterflyJourney #CompleteNutrition #antibully #weightlossjourney #weightloss #beforeandafter #weightlifting #shelifts #fitness #igtransformation #trainandtrainsform

A post shared by Conner Rensch (@crensch) on

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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.

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Rensch's transformation video shows how she broke out of the self-hatred cycle.
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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.

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The best picture of all.

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.

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