IN JUST a year and a half, Melissa Houterman has gone from a shy, 120kg teenager to a confident young woman at the start of her modelling career.
"I've lost 52kg in eighteen months," the 18-year-old said.
"I tried to lose weight so many times before, but this time my mindset just changed.
"I lost the weight at home, I did it by cutting out bad foods, eating healthy and exercising."
The Eastern Heights resident said her modelling career started when a professional photographer discovered her online.
"A photographer contacted me and said I had the look he was after and it went from there," she said.
"I'm feeling a lot happier within myself, I'm not listening to negative feedback as much and I'm much more confident."
Ms Houterman has just finished her first promotional calendar and has entered the Miss Country Girl Australia competition being held in Ipswich tomorrow.
"I'm hoping to make it to the national finals and be given the chance to take up a fantastic modelling contract," she said.
"My ultimate dream would be to get the opportunity to be the face of a big brand name and maybe one day take it overseas where the industry is a lot larger. Right now, I'm trying to make a start on my modelling career and have been contacting local businesses for sponsorship."
Miss Country Australia is still looking for more entrants aged between eight and 30 to participate in the Ipswich competition.
Phone organiser Krystle on 0429 052 156 for details.