Fitness influencer Emily Skye said she tried to take her life at age 18 while struggling with depression

By Julie Mazziotta
February 06, 2018 10:26 AM
Credit: Juan Algarin

Fitness influencer Emily Skye says she battled depression at a young age, and tried to commit suicide at age 18.

“It’s the most important thing,” Skye said. “I struggled pretty badly with depression for a long time and tried to end my life when I was about 18 … Now I think back to that and see it’s so important to talk about things, especially with young girls. A lot of people feel ashamed to have these feelings, but it’s actually a lot more common than we think. If we talked about it more, maybe we could help more people.”

Skye said this was also during a time in her life when she thought it was better to be thin than strong.

“When I was a lot younger, I thought it was all about being skinny, so I did a lot of cardio and I wasn’t eating much. I thought to be lean you had to eat less, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” she said. “Then I started lifting weights, and met my partner who I’ve been with now for eight years … I loved the look of a strong woman; that’s what I wanted to be, strong and healthy. That’s when I started doing [online] posts to educate people.”

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Skye has since built a workout empire — she’s worth an estimated $25 million U.S. and was named to the Australian Financial Review‘s Young Rich list last year — on being strong and healthy. But she also credits her success to being honest with her followers.

“It’s become a [social media] trend now for people to be more honest, which is good, but I started years ago before it was the trendy thing,” she said. “It was a bit scary to put myself out there and be so vulnerable, but I had a great response. I got fed up with seeing perfection everywhere — you want to see all parts, not just highlight reels — so I show a bit of everything and people do really appreciate it, especially throughout pregnancy because I think a lot of women struggle with the changes to their body. They see a fitness expert who’s changed and has fat, fluid, cellulite and everything else, and they feel like, ‘Oh God, she’s normal!’ ”

Skye said she’s now in a great place in her life, where she’s truly happy.

“S—-y things happen and [so do] bad days — I used to be the person who looked at what I didn’t have and let it consume me, but then I flipped that way of thinking,” she said. “I started doing this before I actually achieved anything — really focusing on what I had rather than what I didn’t, and being grateful. [Now] I’m genuinely happy.”