BYU Basketball’s Jennah Isai Opens Up About Struggles With Bulimia

Apr 13, 2023, 4:42 PM

BYU Women's Basketball, Curtain Drop...

BYU women's basketball transfer Jennah Isai opened up about struggles with bulimia. (Donovan Kelly/BYU Photo)

(Donovan Kelly/BYU Photo)

PROVO, Utah – A newcomer in the BYU women’s basketball program opened up about her struggles with bulimia with the hope of helping others feel less alone.

Jennah Isai, a heralded transfer from the University of Oregon, shared her story on Instagram. Isai said she had battled bulimia and restriction for five years. Bulimia is a life-threatening eating disorder.

Isai also noted that two months ago, while enrolled at BYU, she admitted herself to an inpatient eating disorder facility.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by jennah isai (@jennahisai)

Here’s what Isai wrote in her Instagram post.

Jennah Isai on battle with bulimia

“I’ve decided to come on here after being away for awhile and want to share something very personal about myself that I’ve kept a secret for quite some time. Never in my life would I have thought I’d be this vulnerable, but in recovery I have learned that vulnerability shows bravery and not weakness. In sharting this, my hope is to help and/or relate to anyone going through a similar problem as me.

“My name is Jennah Isai and I have struggled with bulimia and restriction for 5 years now. Being an athlete, competitiveness is a positive characteristic, but through the years I’ve turned it into something very negative. I’ve turned it into comparing myself to everyone I’m around, competing with myself on how much weight I can lose or how secretive I can be with it. I felt I had no control in my life and tried to control it in calories or numbers on clothes or on the scale. The scale and mirrors were my best friends, body checking in each mirror any chance I got, standing on a scale multiple times in one day, getting high off the feeling of the numbers going down. Not only was this hurting me mentally, it started taking a toll on me physically as well. It got to the point where I couldn’t practice or play like I wanted to, I had no energy to go anywhere or do anything, and I couldn’t think straight. This is no way to live. While doing this, so I wouldn’t get caught, I started isolating myself and had absolutely no one around me in my life which drove me into a deep depression. I was angry with life, myself, and everyone and everything around me. It had taken up my whole life.

“About 2 months ago I hit my lowest point and admitted myself with the help of my family into an inpatient eating disorder facility.

“Although it was extremely hard, it was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. I have learned to surround myself with people who are healthy for me and who love me and my imperfections unconditionally. I’ve learned patience and to finally be at peace with myself. Recovery is a long process, but throughout, it has given me an opportunity to live again and enjoy life and not just go through it. I thank God every day for the support I have now, the new amazing people in my life, and most importantly for helping save me from something designed to kill me. Asking for help is nothing of which to be ashamed and is always best to do sooner than later.”

Moving forward with BYU basketball

Jennah Isai played in 10 games at Oregon last season before transferring to BYU in December. She is part of a talented 2023 recruiting class for BYU that is among the best nationally. Isai has three years of eligibility remaining in her collegiate career. BYU is preparing for its first year in the Big 12 Conference this season.

Resources available

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder or disordered eating, NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) has resources available 24-7. Available at

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

  • BYU Cougars Scoreboard

  • BYU Cougars Team Leaders

  • BYU Cougars Standings

BYU Cougars

BYU Football, Strength of Schedule, Big 12...

Mitch Harper

Strength Of Schedule Metric Suggests Fewer Wins For BYU Football In 2023

If you're trying to predict what BYU's record will be in 2023, this strength of schedule stat indicates the odds are not in BYU's favor.

13 hours ago

Puka Nacua, Los Angeles Rams, NFL, BYU...

Mitch Harper

Puka Nacua Receives Praise From Rams WR Cooper Kupp, Coach Sean McVay

Faces of the Rams franchise issue praise to former BYU star Puka Nacua.

2 days ago

BYU Basketball, Mark Pope, Recruiting...

Mitch Harper

BYU Basketball Makes Top Four Cut For Prep Recruit In Canada

BYU Basketball is looking to fill its final roster spot with a recruit currently playing in Canada.

3 days ago

Kyle Van Noy's Son...

Chandler Holt

Kyle Van Noy’s Son Undergoes Successful Surgery, On Road To Recovery

Kyle Van Noy's son went through emergency surgery just a day after getting his tonsils removed. He was just cleared to go home.

3 days ago

BYU Football, Aisea Moa, Freshmen to Watch...

Mitch Harper

Eight BYU Freshmen Who Could Make An Impact In 2023

BYU freshmen that appear poised to make an impact this fall.

4 days ago


Kyle Ireland

Former BYU Guard Joins Utah Valley Men’s Basketball Program

Utah Valley men's basketball announced that former BYU Cougars guard Tanner Toolsen transferred to the Wolverines program.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.


KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.


KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

BYU Basketball’s Jennah Isai Opens Up About Struggles With Bulimia