Lifestyle Health Fitness Star Emily Skye Stopped Taking Antidepressants Thanks to Exercise: 'I Felt Like a Superhero' Fitness star Emily Skye says exercise saved her from depression and helped her find health after dealing with disordered eating By Julie Mazziotta Julie Mazziotta Twitter Julie Mazziotta is the Sports Editor at PEOPLE, covering everything from the NFL to tennis to Simone Biles and Tom Brady. She was previously an Associate Editor for the Health vertical for six years, and prior to joining PEOPLE worked at Health Magazine. When not covering professional athletes, Julie spends her time as a (very) amateur athlete, training for marathons, long bike trips and hikes. People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 21, 2017 10:09 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Photo: Juan Algarin Before fitness became a vital part of Emily Skye‘s life, the influencer struggled with depression, disordered eating and bullying. At just 11 years old, a doctor put Skye on antidepressants. “In grade school, they’d make frog noises when I walked past because I had big eyes, and they called me Stick Creature because I was skinny,” the Australian, 32, tells Women’s Health for the July/August cover. Skye started modeling at age 13 — her mom’s attempt to help her gain confidence — but being around the other girls only lowered her self-esteem. “I’d go to castings and compare myself to the other women,” she says. “I would think, ‘I’m not pretty enough or skinny enough.’ But I kept modeling because I needed praise to feel loved.” Juan Algarin And in her 20s, Skye was working out excessively — two hours of cardio a day — while eating just carrots, celery and hummus to stay a size zero. “[I was] on the verge of an eating disorder,” she says, “but I wasn’t fit or healthy. I had so much self-hate that sometimes I didn’t feel like I wanted to live.” FROM PEN: Delaware Woman Jessica Battle Dropped 100 lbs. Ahead of her Beach Wedding—See Her Incredible Before and After But at age 24, Skye found fitness magazines and started on a path that would eventually become her career. “The women seemed so strong and healthy,” she says. “I loved the idea of using weights to transform your body, to look and feel powerful.” Juan Algarin With each workout, Skye started to feel better about herself, and was able to stop taking antidepressants. “Before I had this cloudy feeling, and now, the sun was shining. I thought, ‘This is what being alive is like.’ I felt like a superhero,” she says. RELATED VIDEO: Fitness Trainer and Mom of 3 Works Out with Her Kids: ‘They Think Exercise Is a Part of Life’ Now Skye — who recently announced that she’s pregnant with her first child — has 2.1 million Instagram followers who love her ability to give out smart fitness advice while still keeping it real about belly bloat and “transformation” photos. Juan Algarin “It’s so important for women to remember that the people who inspire them are human and shouldn’t be put up on pedestals,” she says.