There is an old saying: What doesn't kill you makes you strong. In the case of Cearra Swetman, it was more like makes you thinner and helps you land a job as a Hooter's waitress, according to WFTX-TV.
Just a year ago, the southwest Florida resident weighed almost 250 pounds, according to KRON-TV. She was out to dinner with her family and was wearing a Hooters t-shirt. As they left the restaurant, some drunken stranger said, "You don't look like any Hooter's girl I've ever seen."
It was a nasty thing for one person to say to another. Some people might have just felt embarrassment or sought solace in a pint of ice cream. Not Swetman. "I'm a young woman and I didn't feel like a young woman," she said to WFTX. So she decided to change her life and do something maybe no one at the time would have believed possible: be hired by Hooters as a waitress, where managers choose staff for their physical attractiveness as well as skills.
"Maybe it was the straw that broke the camel's back and it finally made me realize, 'OK, I've got to do something,'" she said. "I lost 128 pounds and changed my body and changed my life."
A strict diet and some "lifestyle choices," according to the New York Daily News, did the trick. One year later and Swetman was a waitress at a Fort Meyers, Florida Hooters.
"I think it's about your mindset and a goal, and I had a goal in mind to have that physique, that figure," Swetman said to WFTX.
Not that her life has been devoted to getting slim, as she's far busier. Swetman has a part-time position at a local glass shop doing accounting and bookkeeping, according to WFTX. She's also finishing her bachelor's degree in business and plans to then go on to get her masters. It's a wonder she had any time to pay attention to what a stranger said in the first place. Plus, she's cut her hair short as a sign of solidarity with her sister, who is battling breast cancer.
Her advice for other people trying to overcome difficulties: "Don't give up. If you just keep that goal in mind and take small steps, you will get there one day." And that could translate into healthy, hot, successful, motivated, and happy.