“Suck it in Marilyn!”
According to Davis, her mother has always reminded her that the famously voluptuous Hollywood icon was a plus-sized girl.
The 23-year-old is no stranger to the stick-thin models that stare at every woman in America from airbrushed billboards, television screens, and glossy magazine covers.
“They always make you feel like there’s something better out there,” said Davis. “They play on people’s insecurities, and I’m a victim of that. I’ve tried all the diet pills.”
Davis was ready to stop the roller coaster.
“A big thing for me is that I’ve always tried, and then when I didn’t see results right away, I’d give up,” she said.
"Now, after one and a half months, I’m seeing results. I’ve had to pull my pants up because they’re so loose around the waist.
“I just had to learn to take it one day at a time.”
Ironically, that same phrase is a cornerstone of the Alcoholics Anonymous program. Davis said food was, indeed, like a drug to her. She used it as her security blanket during many hard times - like when her father passed away when she was five, her grandfather when she was nine, and then her family’s house burnt down a couple of years later.
“I can never really remember crying. I just started turning to food,” she said.
“Addiction is when the mere though of it instantly makes you happy. When I’m down or angry, I just think of my favorite foods and I instantly feel better.”
Davis, who loves Chinese food, the Pizza Inn buffet, fried food and Ranch dressing, said she also falls victim to another addictive phenomenon: Bingeing.
“When I reward myself after having gone without for so long, sometimes I go off the deep end for days. I’ll say ‘I can’t do this,’ and I want to give up.
“I have to shake myself out of it.”
Davis does this by putting on her head phones and getting on the elliptical machine.
“When I get on that machine, I just turn on my MP3 player, close my eyes and imagine myself in a plaid, hot pink miniskirt and high heels, dancing the night away. It’s just one thing that drives me.”
With the exception of one or two, Davis said most of her friends are “really skinny.”
“I always felt pressure to look better so that I could fit in with my skinny friends,” she said.
“Fortunately, they’re good friends. They always made me feel like I was just one of the girls.”
Before she started seeing her current boyfriend, who loves her “big or small” Davis struggled with boys’ approval.
“You know, I’m young and I would like to feel wanted. I felt like guys passed me over. I felt like I wasn’t good enough, and wasn’t being appreciated for the good attributes that I do have.”
After seven months of dating, Davis said her significant other is her biggest source of support in the contest.
“He takes me to the gym and picks me up. He takes me to get weighed and to the nutrition classes. He even eats the healthy foods with me.
“And he likes to find new ways to spice up our food so I don’t get bored,” she said.
A hopeless romantic who loves “the earlier stuff,” like Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, it looks like Davis has found a potential Prince Charming.
“I still believe after all the bad things that happen to me, I can have my fairy tale ending. Maybe I’m living it out right now.
“But I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”