Emily Smith: Overcomer

By: Merry Castle

“I am a recovering binge eater,” said Smith. “I am a recovering fat person and always will be.”

Fifth year super senior Emily Smith has an important story to tell. She transferred around to several different colleges before eventually landing at SAU. As a Communication Studies major, Smith is writing a blog about her personal struggles and triumphs for her Digital Influence course.

“I am finally ready to begin sharing my story,” said Smith. “My project is about finally being able to open up about my lifelong struggle with mental health and obesity.”

Smith seeks to use her personal experiences to encourage and inspire others who may be struggling with the same issues. “I want to share how I was able to turn my entire life around,” said Smith. “I want to share how I went from being at a point where I accepted that I was going to get diabetes, live out my days hiding in the house, and to die an early death from obesity and unresolved issues, to the point I’m at now: a strong, successful, motivated, outgoing, and happy woman.”

Smith’s goal is to provide a safe space for others to hear her story and learn from her struggles and her joy. “My issues are not unique, but I believe I have a uniquely personal perspective to share when it comes to my journey,” said Smith. “I’ve dealt with depression, anxiety, and body dysmorphia since I was in elementary school.”

“Through my physical health journey and meeting with a therapist, I have learned to accept, overcome and transform these chains that have kept me from living my life for far too long,” said Smith. “This past year has been the most metamorphic year of my life, and I feel that it is worth sharing with others.”

Writing this blog has been educational for Smith. Before writing her blog, Smith executed a trial run by posting a short blurb on her Facebook about her weight loss journey. “Never would I have thought that I would post a picture of myself at my heaviest weight in only a bra and underwear,” said Smith. “I needed to post that photo to acknowledge myself both at 316 pounds and at my weight at the time of 234 pounds — 82 pounds lost.”

The overwhelming amount of love and support Smith received on the post helped her grow. “Even though now I live in a body that is 92 pounds lighter, I was still me at 316 pounds,” said Smith. “I can’t pretend she didn’t exist — that person was and is me.”

Smith never imagined people would read and listen to what she had to say. “I thought to myself, why would anyone care what I have to say about my struggles?” said Smith. “But then I remembered that I found support and love in reading the words of others who have experienced the struggles that I have.”

Now, Smith hopes her blog will be educational to others, too. “I want to be that person for someone else,” said Smith. “I want to be someone who can help bring even one person through their hurdles and into the love, grace and sovereignty of God’s plan for their life.”