There’s an old saying in social media: One does not simply reach ten million followers without doing something right.
The follow-up saying? One does not simply keep said followers without knowing when to keep it real.
OG ‘fitluencer’, Emily Skye, knows a thing or two about balancing the gloss of social media with the grit of real life.
With a collective social media following of 12.4 million followers that love and follow Emily’s every move (including Khloe Kardashian), from her stretch marks to her squats and everything in between, suffice to say, this gal is pretty much #goals personified – and it ain’t just because of that bod.
A champion for women embracing themselves, especially after having her pregnant body scrutinised for the world to see, we caught up with the fitness icon herself to talk all things body after baby, why women should work the weights room and what we would find in her Stylerunner cart:
What does a day in the life of Emily Skye currently look like?
Generally, I’ll wake up in the morning and get myself and my daughter Mia ready for the day.
Once we both have something to eat, I’ll check emails and check in with my manager, Sam Mangan.
I’ll spent a bit of time in my FIT community talking to my FIT program members. After that I’ll jump on social media and reply to peoples messages and comments.
I’ll be on a call of some shape or form a few times during the day, whether it’s for business, press or any other reason.
As a team, we usually have a set day during the week where we meet to discuss content creation, as well as other media requests and requirements.
For two other days of the week, we go out and produce that video and image content. I’ll usually try and get a workout in during the early afternoon.
This also gives me the opportunity to create content at the same time. After dinner, I’m usually editing video and picture content as well as scheduling the posts for that night.
I’ll also take the opportunity again in the evening to reply to messages, comments and emails. A lot of what I do is actually getting back to people!
I have a fantastic team that help me get back to everyone. But even with that being said, I get hundreds and hundreds of messages a day.
Take us back to the moment you felt the shift from simply wanting to be skinny to wanting to be strong. What was that like for you?
I used to be the in-house model for an evening wear company in my mid and early twenties.
There was actually quite a bit of pressure on me to maintain a pretty slim and skinny physique.
This was around the time I was really unhealthy, both physically and emotionally. I finally decided one day, enough was enough, and I had to take action and responsibility for myself.
Then, I started to learn everything I could about health and fitness. I really admired the women in the fitness magazines who looked fit and strong.
I stared lifting weights and eating really well – two things that up until that point, I definitely didn’t do.
As I started to become a little more toned and muscular, I started feeling pressure from my employers at the time that I was “taking it too far” and I was starting to look “masculine”.
Mind you, I was 48 kilograms at the time and in no way whatsoever, “masculine”.
I realised I didn’t care at all what they had to say and I stopped working for them. I knew right then that I had really committed to what I wanted to be, and that was fit, strong and healthy.
Women are becoming less and less afraid of taking up weights (yay!), but for some, “gymtimidation” is still pretty real! What advice do you have for women who want to get into the weights room but feel self-conscious and unsure of how to start?
The biggest bit of advice I give to ladies is that most of the fears they have they’re inventing in their own minds.
If you think that when you go to the gym, guys will be staring at you, making you feel uncomfortable – I can tell you right now, they absolutely won’t.
Most of the time when I’m at the gym, the guys training there are far more concerned with how they are looking to even worry about what I’m doing. I see such a huge cross section of society when I train at Goodlife Health Club in Robina.
I have never once experienced or seen someone else experience an incident that involved some sort of intimidation or behaviour towards anyone what would make them feel uncomfortable. My suggestion to all ladies out there wanting to go the the weights section of the gym is to stop overthinking it.
Throw your workout gear on. Put your headphones on, go into the weights room and get it done.
Has becoming a mother changed your perspective towards your body? Did you feel pressure to “bounce back” after giving birth?
It definitely has changed my perspective towards my body. I’m amazed as a woman, what our bodies are actually capable of.
You would think that, as a fitness professional, there was pressure on me to “bounce back”. But it was a decision I made very early on in my pregnancy that I was going to take my time and do everything right.
I followed my doctor’s instructions to the letter and when it was time for me to start training again, I did. I think women need to realise that the women who bounce back after childbirth are generally, genetically quite lucky. We’re all different and none of our journeys are the same.
When you think about it, terminology like “bounce back” can be problematic, implying that a woman’s body before her baby is inherently “better” somehow. How do you think the media can change the way they talk about women’s bodies after giving birth to promote a more positive perspective?
I think the landscape is changing, as you see more and more stories of famous people showing the realities of their experiences after childbirth.
I don’t there’ll ever be the day where magazines and other media aren’t going to promote celebrities’ “bounce back” bodies in shining lights.
Because at the end of the day, that’s what sells magazines and clicks to websites. It’s just that now, there are way more outlets that want to and are willing to share the stories of women who don’t fit the “bounce back” mould.
You’ve talked openly about the impact that magazines and social media had on your mental health in terms of body image. Do you feel trainers, particularly on social media, have a responsibility to their followers to be more real about #fitspo?
I think they do but at the same time there’s nothing wrong with taking are really great photo where you look and feel amazing.
It’s about finding that balance. With my content, for example, I work really hard to balance the real stuff like stretch marks, saggy skin and bloating with everything else.
If I was to decide tomorrow that every single pic I was going to take was going to be “real” I’d have no one coming to my pages [laughs].
No one wants to see me in my trackies that I wear after 7pm every night, even though that, for me, is real. People would much rather see something that is eye-catching and thumb-stopping. Social media is the business of getting people’s attention.
I feel I have a valuable message to share, so I have to work my hardest to get their attention first. With all that being said, as trainers, our duty is to improve the health of people in general.
Trainers need to ask themselves the question, “Is the content I’m producing in some way impacting on people’s lives in a positive way?”
What advice would you give to all the women out there that may be struggling with body image or their post-baby body?
The advice that I would give would be to go a little easy on yourself. You have to remember that what you just went though is a pretty significant, life-changing event.
You’ve just brought a human being into the world. That is the most amazing thing anyone can do. Give yourself time and focus on recovery first and foremost.
You have plenty of time to get back into shape. Go out there and enjoy being a mum. It’s the most fulfilling thing in the world!
What would you say has been the most challenging moment in your career thus far?
Juggling being a mum with all the things that come along with doing what I do for a living.
Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I absolutely love being a mum, but the two together can be pretty tough.
On the flipside, what would you say has been the most rewarding, “pinch-me-is-this-real” moment?
I don’t think there has been one specific moment. There’s been quite a few. I think the most overwhelmingly rewarding thing about what I do is when I get to meet people who say how much of a positive influence my message has had on their lives.
There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing you’re changing people’s lives.
On a totally different note, if we were to sneak our way into your pantry, what three things would we be guaranteed to find?
Baby food [laughs], almond spread and coconut amino seasoning.
What’s something you think people would find surprising about your life?
I’m actually quite a naturally introverted person. I love kicking back and staying at home. What I do for a living has me out and about meeting people all the time, but it’s actually something I’ve had to work quite hard at as my actual nature is quite reserved.
Activewear fiends that we are, we have to ask: What five things would we find in your Stylerunner cart right now?
Anything P.E Nation, I’m obsessed with their collections – Pip is incredible. I’m loving all the neon and bright colours coming through, so they’re in my cart for sure.
Final one would be some of the new Running Bare pieces. I’m loving their new patterns.
Lastly, what is next on the horizon for you?
I’m working on some really exciting things at the moment. I’ve invested in an exciting start-up called Archa which I think is going to really change the way young people treat and use their finances.
I’m also off to Dubai and London shortly for some exciting projects, too.
Time for our rapid-fire round! Please answer or complete the following questions:
Currently binge watching… The Haunting of Hill House
It’s sort of embarrassing, but I am obsessed with… Putting on lip balm about 100 times a day!
I can’t go a day without… Moisturiser, haha!
Go-to exercise… Sprints
Tea or coffee? Definitely coffee
My last meal on earth would be… Not much of a meal, but a block of chocolate!
Shot exclusively for Triple White. Emily Skye dressed by Stylerunner. Shop her entire look now at www.stylerunner.com!
Photography: Jody Pachniuk
Hair & Makeup: Ariela Ramljak
Location: The Well Bondi
Interview: Sukriti Wahi