FOR years other children taunted Danni Anns about her weight, calling her names in the playground and sending her insulting text messages.

But the once-depressed schoolgirl, who overcame her own personal tragedies, has now had the last laugh.

She lost four stone, got a job as a trainee accountant and is now among the final few in the Miss Oxfordshire competition.

Miss Anns, 23, from Sparsholt near Wantage, said: “I want to show people that you can overcome whatever happens in your life. You have choices.

“It feels quite emotional to be in the competition, it feels amazing. All my hard work and determination has paid off.”

Miss Anns first moved to Wantage in 2002 and said she was almost immediately teased about her weight.

At her largest, the former King Alfred’s School pupil weighed 13st 4lbs, clinically obese for her 5ft 6in frame.

She said: “There was a lot of bullying by text and at school, a lot of nasty comments. It was tough. And I’d turn to food to comfort myself.

“Then I had close bereavements in the family.

“I used food as a way to see me through some of my darkest times and it was a big downwards spiral.”

Miss Anns lost her younger sister to an asthma attack in 1998. Her mum then passed away in 2000 and her brother in 2006.

A visit to the doctors in 2008 made her realise she needed to change her lifestyle.

She said: “I started experiencing excruciating abdominal pain and went to see my doctor.

“He told me the pain was most likely a symptom of being obese and I should consider trying to lose some weight.

“My first reaction was defensive, but then I realised this was something I needed to do.”

Miss Anns started losing weight in January 2009 on the Cambridge diet, a very low calorie diet plan.

After six months she then converted to eating healthily and exercising regularly. She now weighs 9st 3lbs and has kept the weight off ever since.

She said: “It’s changed my life. To be here, to have entered the Miss Oxfordshire competition and actually be in the finals is a major achievement for me.

“It’s nice to show the bullies, those people who taunted me. I’ve achieved a lot more than some of them will ever achieve.

“These are all things I’ve overcome and I’m a much stronger person because of them.”

The Miss Oxfordshire finals, organised by Front Models and featuring 20 women, take place at the Living Room in Oxford on Tuesday, March 13.

The winner will go on to represent the county in the Miss England finals in June, and then potentially Miss World.