I started my fitness journey back in high school. It all began with after-school workouts and circuit training sessions with my dad. Later on, I joined the cheerleading squad in my senior year—better late than never! Through these experiences, I developed a passion for moving my body and getting stronger. My love for fitness extended to the kitchen, where I started focusing on making better dietary choices and preparing healthy meals.

However, my fitness career was not all sunshine and butterflies. In college, I began to experience severe stomach pain and developed an obsession with exercise. I started overtraining to manage stress, but I wasn’t eating enough because of that same stress. At the time, I thought I was healthy and that I looked great. I was so blinded by my own pride that I couldn’t see that I was deteriorating. My body wasn’t functioning properly. I didn’t have a period for months, my hair was falling out in clumps, and my clothes kept getting looser. Despite these alarming signs, I convinced myself that I didn’t need help and that I had everything under control.

Over the course of a semester, I lost a dangerous amount of weight and was forced to quit exercising for a few months. My BMI had dropped so low that I was referred to an eating disorder treatment facility, but they turned me away because my low BMI put me at risk for heart problems and refeeding syndrome. They didn’t want to take on the liability risk if something happened to me.

That was my rock bottom. I felt hopeless, even the health professionals had turned me away. I had nothing left to fall back on but my faith and my own actions. My dad always said, “Control what you can, and give the rest to God,” so that’s exactly what I did. I decided not to let my circumstances break me and to face them head-on.

Since then, I’ve restored my weight, gained additional muscle, and equipped myself to help others with similar struggles. I am currently pursuing my bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, have earned my NASM certificate in personal training, and teach group fitness classes at my university and the YMCA. I also actively post on my Instagram account @eatwithsay, which is continuously growing in following and impact.

The best way to drive out darkness is by bringing it to the light, which is why I am consistently driven to share my story with the world. I believe I went through my struggles for a reason, and I know my story is meant to help others. It has equipped me to make a positive impact and guide others through their own challenges.

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