This is Sierra, and this is her story: "Ever since I was old enough to really remember, I knew I always looked different. I was bullied for it when I was younger and struggled to shake it. Although I was always a pretty social kid, those thoughts were always in the back of my mind. But then there came a point where I wanted to change. In 8th grade, I begged my mom to help me, and we eventually found a program that taught me how to eat healthier and help with weight loss. That summer, I lost a significant amount of weight, and began feeling more comfortable in my own skin. I thought I no longer needed the program, so I went off of it. Fast forward to my Junior year of high school, all of the weight I lost started to come back. I was in an unhealthy relationship, was depressed, and my focus was on the relationship, rather than on myself. I decided it was time for change again. I broke up with my boyfriend, started working out again, and was determined to gain my confidence back. I lost about 15lb that summer and was the smallest I've ever been, but I still didn't feel skinny enough, or good enough. I picked up a new fitness program that would help me get to that fitness model status. I thought that if I was a little smaller, I would be more attractive to others. Suddenly, the summer before freshman year of college, I started having major panic attacks for the first time. I relied on comfort food and started to gain the weight back. This whole process has become a cycle where I enjoy life without worrying about my physical health or what I’m eating, to times when I almost obsess over it. It’s been a long journey to loving my body, but I’m learning slowly. I just know that some days I will love and embrace my curves, and other days I won’t. I just have to take it one day at a time and surround myself with people who love me for ME, and that’s ultimately what matters most." #featurefriday

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