Bathing suits used to be Sara's biggest nightmare, even though swimming is her favorite sport. "When I feel sad or angry, I'll go for a swim," she added. "Swimming was everything to me. I even got the chance to train kids and adults. But I was so insecure with my body, I hated wearing bathing suits in public. I used to be called 'the bulky girl' and 'fat'." Sara was constantly immersed in an atmosphere of negativity. This stifled her from achieving her health and fitness goals. "I put on a fake smile and pretended that I didn't hear the laughs," she recalled. "I joined PumpUp at 186 lbs. [Though I experienced] a lot of ups and downs, I never gave up. I kept going, and it's only because of the endless support that PumpUp gave me. I realized that PumpUp was a place of positivity, so I shared every moment of my journey." Sara stepped out of her comfort zone and got back on track. Her transformation is all natural: no pills, supplements, or wraps. "I worked hard for what I've been wanting my entire life: to lose all the insecurity and to be happy with myself," she insisted.

Sara made small changes to her eating and exercise habits. She lost 31 pounds in the process. "I used to hate veggies, but now I make it a point to have them with every meal," she hared. "I started taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking instead of taking the bus, and drinking water instead of a family-sized pop." What's more, Sara is no longer as insecure about her body. "Before PumpUp, I was insecure," she revealed. "My friends and family never knew how [unhappy] I was with my weight and with myself."

It has been one year since Sara began her journey with the PumpUp community. She finally found something that she could consistently return to, time and time again. "A had a lot of fitness apps on my phone and none of them ever lasted," she professed. "I would delete them the next day. It was just too hard to stick to them. The unique support that PumpUp provides, [combined with] the positive's all I ever need, forever."

Sara's Best Advice

Be true to yourself and treat your body with love. It's worth your time, trust me. Even if you work out for 30 minutes, that's great.

Sara's greatest source of motivation

@w_navafitness is my #WCE (woman crush everyday).  She's honestly amazing. My dad has always supported me with swimming and with everything else. He always told me that the key to success is in my hand. He's my hero.

Sara's workout routine

I lift 3 times a week and [when I don't lift], I do cardio. I started doing planks one year ago, and I still do them to this day. I used to hold them for 26 seconds - now I can hold them for 2 minutes. My goal is 3 minutes.

More about Sara

Working out is what I do when I'm bored! I love to capture each moment. My friends hate me for that! I'm always taking pictures of everything I do.

Keep Sara pumped! Find her on PumpUp @letspumpit_up and on Instagram @sara.gasem. Leave positive words of encouragement for her below!