This is Cynedra, and this is her story: "When I first started my weight loss journey, I was 210 pounds. I had just graduated high school, and I was on my way to college. This was supposed to be one of the greatest moments of my life, but it was not for me. Looking back, I can say I was not happy with myself, but I truly didn't realize that back then. All I knew was that I was tired; I was tired of people pushing. Pushing me to eat a certain way, to be skinny, to be active, to fix my attitude about life, to want more for myself, and to care. From my family, friends, and even from my doctor, I heard what I thought was negativity everywhere I went. I thought, "This is who I am. I am fat. Why are people trying to change me? If they cannot accept the way I am, they must not truly love me." The summer before freshman year, my doctor told me I was border line diabetic, and I did not know what to do or how to feel. I just knew I was excited to get away to a different world and a fresh start. So, I finally made my way to college. A few weeks went by, and I noticed everyone around me was skinny and thin. The judgment around me cut so deep, it hurt. I tried to not let it get me down and pretended like things were copacetic. I made friends and developed bad habits. Because of not knowing myself, I was quick to fall for anything. I was trying to find love in all the wrong places, instead of facing the truth that I needed to lose weight. I told my roommate, Sabrina Harb, that I needed help. Although asking for help was not easy, it was one of the best decisions I made. I laid out the most vulnerable part of myself to her, and I'm just thankful that she didn't turn me away. Eventually, it became less about the results or showcasing and more about the process of learning and loving myself. I began to gain self love. I was doing something for me, for once, and I was happy about it. In being uncomfortable, I gained more then muscle; I gained true confidence. I can stand in the mirror happy at 150-160lbs, and I've never felt better! I'm definitely not perfect. Loving myself is an on going process, and it's one that I'll never give up on."#featurefriday

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