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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

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