Has anyone else noticed that “health” continues to constantly manifest itself into different extremes? I mean, we’ve all seen it and talked about it…thinspo, fitspo, orthexia, IIFYM, low-carb, all-carb (okay, so maybe the last one is only in my dreams…) but you get my point.

I’m the first to admit that I’ve fallen victim to the fads. I spent 3+ years obsessing over “good” vs. “bad” food and never letting a single processed morsel pass my lips. I tried counting macros, I attempted to incorporate fish and chicken into my diet (because “I must need meat to build muscle”…). Then I went clear to the other extreme and swore off eating super “healthy” like the plague because I was afraid of falling back into an obsession. Guess what? I felt even worse. Duh.

Two weeks ago I had a breakdown. I felt bloated and disgusted with myself for falling so far off of the track. To be blatantly honest, I felt like a failure. It took a night of crying, feeling sorry for myself and looking back with a critical eye on my last 5 years to realize that extremes were the problem all along.

I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to give up friends and boyfriends and delicious dinners with cocktails to be healthy. You don’t have to say “no” when someone offers you a cupcake BUT you also don’t have to eat 3 in one sitting to prove that you’re “free”. You don’t have to go out every night and drink just because that’s what everyone else is doing BUT you also don’t have to deprive yourself of a beer and pizza night every once in a while. It’s those extremes that are dangerous and it’s those extremes that have deprived me of true happiness and bliss for half a decade of my life.

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After my breakdown, I sat down and created this ‘I’m Happy When…’ list:

  • I’m happy when I’m writing
  • I’m happy when I’m healthy
  • I’m happy when I have a body that I’m proud of
  • I’m happy when I balance alone time and social time
  • I’m happy when I’m active and exercise (in some form) daily
  • I’m happy when I surround myself with positive people
  • I’m happy when my life is organized
  • I’m happy when I’m working (no matter what the job might be)
  • I’m happy when I feel independent
  • I’m happy when I get dressed up for a night on the town
  • I’m happy when I sleep in and spend a day in sweats with no makeup
  • I’m happy when I fill my life with things that make me happy

Some of these things may sound contradictory but I think that’s the point; balance IS contradictory. Life is ever-changing. We’re ever-changing. That’s why it’s so unbelievably important to stay in-tune with the things that bring you joy, even if they’re different than they were yesterday.

Where does that leave me? Well, I’m still focusing on bringing healthy back into my life. I want to feel confident and proud of my body, inside and out and frankly, right now I don’t. Deep down, I’ve always aspired to be strong, lift heavy and truly push my limits in the gym. I want to see what I’m capable of! I’ve dipped my toes in so many areas of fitness but my mind has circled back to that one goal time and time again. So, I’m going for it. Will it be easy? Of course not. Stepping out of your comfort zone never is. But there isn’t an ounce of doubt in my mind that it will be worth it.

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But don’t you worry, Build Your Bliss isn’t about to become just a “fitness blog”. I’ve got quite a few things up my sleeve and I’m ready as ever to write, create, be inspired and (hopefully) inspire a few people along the way. So, let’s do the damn thing.

Here’s to happy…

-Emily

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @missemmmmysue

I have no words…no excuse, no explanation, no reasoning…

How long has it been now? Months? It have to assume 3 or 4, at this point. Ugh.

I’m sorry. 

Not that you really care. I know without a doubt that the lives of my [small] handful of readers went on as normal, probably not even realizing my absence until it had been weeks or months without an update in your blogrolls. I know I have a few close friends and family members that frequent(ed) Build Your Bliss but even they didn’t seem to notice. Life truly does go on without documentation on the internet and sometimes, just sometimes, that realization is unbelievably refreshing.

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With all of that said, the past few weeks have had me really missing this little corner of the internet that I created. It had become such a positive, beautiful place for people to connect and I love that. Not to mention how much I miss using it has an outlet for my thoughts, feelings and experiences.

So, I’m back.

I don’t want to lose Build Your Bliss. I love what it stands for [read more here] and that it has the ability to grow and evolve with me as life happens. But I want to…build…on it– for lack of a better word. I want it to benefit you in more ways than just being an interesting diary of some girls thoughts. I want to use my triumphs and struggles as an outlet for creativity, tips & tricks, advice, etc.

Am I perfect? HA. Do I have it all figured out? Hell no. But I’ve learned a lot over the past few months and I’m in a better place mentally, emotionally and physically than I’ve ever been before. Now does that mean I’m the thinnest I’ve ever been? No, I’m actually the heaviest. The healthiest? Nope, ate a pint of ice-cream last night. The happiest? Mmm…no. More on that in future posts. What it does mean is that I’ve opened up my heart and mind to the idea of change. I’ve learned that life isn’t always going to be handed to me on a silver platter and rolling with the punches is part of the human job description. I’ve realized that “bliss” has virtually nothing to do with perfection and everything to do with acceptance of circumstances. When you truly see, feel, and embrace every moment, they suddenly begin to hold more value and…to be honest, life is a hell-of-a-lot more fun.

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Alright, that’s my spiel. The bottom line? Build Your Bliss is back.

If you don’t follow me on instagram, here’s what you missed over the past few months;

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Here’s to getting back to what we love…

-Emily

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @missemmmmysue

My relationship with food and exercise has always been a wonky one. I tend to fall into “extremes”- whether that be a restrictive, vegan diet or eating out 24/7, over-indulging and not caring.

It has taken a long, long time for me to get comfortable with my body and stop viewing food as the enemy. The road to where I am now hasn’t been easy at all but every challenge and moment of struggle has been worth it to find the freedom that I have now and share it with you.

That being said, I’ve definitely let myself get a little toooo relaxed over the past few months and I can feel it. I have less energy and I don’t crave healthy foods like I used to…I crave carbs and sugar and all of the other junk that I’ve been eating. Not good. 

So, it’s time to pull in the reigns a little bit and find a healthier balance.

In the past, I’ve always taken extreme measures to lose weight and get in shape and I refuse to do it again. I’m going to prove to myself and, more importantly, to everyone reading this who has struggled (or is currently struggling) to find a healthy relationship with food that you can eat healthy and get in shape while still having fun. You don’t have to sit at home every night with a bowl of raw vegetables while your friends are out on the town. You don’t have to exercise for hours every day and you definitely don’t have to force yourself through workouts that you hate. It’s not all or nothing. 

I’m going to focus on nourishing my body with more nutrient-dense foods, moving a little more often and reaping the benefits of a healthy body and mind. And you better believe I’m still gonna have fun.

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So, who’s with me? I’m not going to make any more blogging promises because, let’s be honest, my schedule never seems to coordinate with my plans. But I’m hoping to document my progress as much as possible and use Build Your Bliss as an outlet for my discoveries, accomplishments, setbacks and to chat with all of you about your journey. After all, this blog was created on the idea of building our own personal bliss and that definitely includes a happy and healthy body.

Here’s to squats and smiles…

-Emily

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter: @missemmmysue

Can you believe it’s mid-January already?

and could my post-opener be any more cliche? 

In my last post, I talked about my intention to make this year different. To find happiness, balance, bliss. I thought about it (a lot); what I wanted to do, how I wanted to feel, which direction I wanted to take. My deepest desire has always been to make a difference by making people smile. Silly? Maybe. But it’s true and I realized I would never accomplish it until I started truly smiling myself.

So, I decided that’s where I needed to start.

My goal for this new year came down to one thing: having more fun.

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I’ve lived in a world of safety and comfort for as long as I can remember. I’ve continuously convinced myself that I liked it that way. I liked having a life that revolved around work (and work only). I liked coming home early. I liked always getting enough sleep. I liked skipping nights out because it proved that I was “responsible”. I lived that way for so long that I sincerely believed it.

Well, I’m done. I can’t explain it but something finally clicked.

Recent years in my life all blur together. I made all the “right” choices and painstakingly lived on repeat. And guess what? I don’t remember any of it. I don’t remember any of the nights I skipped the party in lieu of a solo-meal at home and an early bedtime. I don’t remember any of the dates I didn’t go on. I don’t remember any of the chances I didn’t take. They weren’t worth remembering.

Over the past two weeks, I’ve had more memorable experiences that I’ve had in the past 3 years combined. I’ve surrounded myself with amazing people, stayed out too late, danced, Iaughed…and smiled brighter than I even knew was possible. I’m having fun and sorry, I’m not sorry.

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Take a look around you. What are you holding back? Why? So many of us try to create a “perfect life” when, in reality, a life of bliss will always be more fulfilling than perfection. A life filled with unbelievable people, unforgettable moments and immeasurable joy…that’s the life you deserve.

Here’s to having fun…

-Emily

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter: @missemmmysue

I’m just going to say it, 2014 was not my year. At all. 

I’m not going to dwell on it or delve into details because that doesn’t allow me to change anything.

What I can change from this point forward is my mindset; the way I see myself, my outlook on the world around me and the way I react to every situation I face. I have the power to change those things and I have every intention of doing so this year.

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I don’t take making resolutions lightly. When I set out to do something, I want to succeed and this situation is no different. My goal for 2015 is to take back control of every aspect of my life.

I’m going to focus on loving my body and all of the wonderful things it is capable of. I’m going to surround myself with positive, uplifting people and always aim to bring joy and laughter to those around me. I’m going to follow my heart instead of letting my head get in the way. I’m going to fuel myself with healthy, nourishing foods. I’m going to exercise as a reward, not a punishment. I’m going to take every opportunity to say yes, even when it scares me. And most of all, I’m going to life my live for me— not my parents or friends or anyone else– me.

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No matter who you are or where you are in life, happiness is achievable. It’s not going to arrive at your doorstep in a beautifully wrapped package and tied with a bow, but it is possible. It’s a matter of learning to love and appreciate the little things. The silly moments with your friends, a perfectly brewed cup of coffee, a hug from your sister, the endorphin rush after a workout…whatever it is that brings you a moment of joy. And when the negative thoughts and feelings set it, focus your attention on the little joys and one day you’ll wake up and realize that your life is overflowing with them.

So, take a moment to reflect on the past year. What did you love about it? What did you hate? And most importantly, what are you going to do to make the next 365 days even better?

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Here’s to a beautiful fresh start…

-Emily

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter: @missemmmysue

The rain in LA recently has had me (and the rest of So-Cal) all kinds of confused. But despite my general dislike for wet weather and its affect on my hair, makeup, clothes, car, etc. we needed it. 

Plus, the less-than-stellar weather got me thinking about this…

058a03a67b9939e30f4c21ae36cf3c93The funk that has consumed me for the past few months has definitely felt like a storm. I’ve let it confuse me, consume me and control me rather than embracing my discomfort and turning it in to something positive. Despite common misconception, I believe that there is always a silver-lining.

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5 Simple Ways to Be Happier:

1. Be Thankful

Think about all of the things you’ve been blessed with. Family, friends, a home, food, two legs to walk on, two eyes to see…that’s only the beginning of my [seemingly] endless list and I have no doubt that yours will be just as extensive. We. Are. So. Lucky. Make a list of the things that you’re thankful for and make it a mission to show your appreciation (through words or actions) for one thing every day. Saying ‘thank you’ is more satisfying and eye-opening than you could ever imagine.

2. Be Present

Don’t run away from discomfort, embrace it. Feel it. Running away only allows it to marinate and manifest within you. So, aim to understand why it’s there and what’s causing it and then use that knowledge to transform it into something positive. You have the power to do that.

3. Be Honest

Be honest with yourself; your brain, your body, your friends and family…honesty is beauty.

4. Be Confident

You are you. It doesn’t get more simple (or obvious) than that. But it’s true and it’s often forgotten. You are the only you and this is your only life. Why waste it feeling ashamed or uncomfortable? Find beauty in yourself, your talents, your appearance, your quirky characteristics…everything. Above all else, you owe it to yourself to love everything about you.

5. BE

Simple as that. Just be. Right here, right now. This life is yours.

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So, how am I doing with all of this? I’m getting there. I’m finding my way and choosing to be open about it and that’s terrifying. I’m putting my most-vulnerable self out there and admitting that life isn’t always perfect. I’m telling you that sometimes there will be tears and that’s okay. 

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They say that “good things come to those who wait” but, after months spent waiting, I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t work that way. Good things come to those to allow good things to happen to them. Feeling the sensation of personal bliss is a journey, not a destination. When you begin to search for the positive and celebrate every single time you stumble upon it, happiness just happens.

Here’s to dancing in the rain…

-Emily

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter: @missemmmysue

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