Southwest Florida woman loses nearly 130 pounds in hopes of landing Hooters job
FORT MYERS - Cearra Swetman is a beauty by any measure.
With big brown eyes, full lips, and thick shiny dark hair, she's the kind of person who never takes a bad picture.
But if you look at pictures of her from a year ago, you'll also notice something that bothered her - more than a 100 extra pounds.
"I'm a young woman and I didn't feel like a young woman," she says.
"I didn't feel attractive, I just felt out of shape."
"And didn't feel good about myself," she adds.
A comment from a tipsy stranger at a bar didn't help make her feel any better - at least not at the time.
She was out to dinner with family when a tipsy guy at the bar noticed what she was wearing.
A year later, Cearra is an applicant at the Fort Myers Hooters on 41 near Colonial Boulevard.
"I lost 128 pounds and changed my body and changed my life," she says.
It's a busy life.
Cearra is just finishing her undergraduate degree and she's not done yet.
"I will be working toward my Masters in Business soon," she says.
She also works full time at BB Glass & Mirror where she does accounting and bookkeeping.
These days, when she walks by a mirror, she doesn't wince at her reflection.
And she gives a lot of credit to that stranger's rude comment at the bar.
"You've got to be careful what you say to people," she says.
"But maybe what he said to me wasn't so bad," she adds.
"Maybe it was the straw that broke the camel's back and it make realize I've got to do something."
Now she's doing something for others - in particular her sister who's dealing with breast cancer.
Cearra cut her gorgeous brunette locks as a sign of support for her sister - who's lost her hair during her breast cancer battle.
Cearra knows from her own experience, looks don't change who you really are.
And she has some first-hand advice for her sister or anyone who's facing a challenge that may seem impossible to overcome.
"Don't give up!" says Cearra.
"If you just keep that goal in mind and take small steps, you will get there one day."