By Dani M. Stone
Emily Joy is a bright and bubbly 5th grade teacher from Huntersville, North Carolina whose last name could not describe a person more. At 29, Emily loves to spend time with her friends and mentor her students, but her 254-pound frame is constantly getting in her way. As a Junior Olympic Medal winner, Emily is no stranger to competition and hopes to bring the same intensity to the Biggest Loser competition. This year she is paired with former WWE wrestler Kim Nielsen as the “Strangers Team,” on Biggest Loser 13.
Emily, the younger of two siblings, grew up in Silver Creek, New York. At the age of eight, her father began coaching her in Olympic weight lifting. She excelled in her age group, winning medals in the National Junior Olympics and Empire State Games. She continued to lift weights through high school but it wasn’t enough to combat the secret eating disorder she developed in the second grade.
After high school she attended college in New York and received her bachelor’s degree in childhood education, as well as a master’s degree in literacy. Although she loves teaching she admits her weight can be an issue in a small classroom. While moving through the maze of desks she often says “I’m not so thin, tuck it in.”
Emily’s “ah-ha” weight loss moment came recently when she was on a hike with friends. She admits it was “wicked hard” for her and even though the friends stayed with her to encourage and spur her on, she felt bad she was slowing them down. Later when the friends discussed going on a hiking trip to Europe, she was thrilled because her family’s homeland is in Sicily but knew she’d never be able to keep up unless she made a drastic change in her life.
Emily looks forward to the competition and feels like the structure of the ranch is just what she needs to finally get some real perspective on where she’s been and how far she has to go.
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