After 2+ years of talking about my story, struggles and successes, it is time to turn the tables.

This blog is just as much about you as it is about me…and I want you to shine the brightest. I’ve had unbelievable support over the years and MY words can’t express how amazing you all are…so I want to use yours. We’re all on this journey of life together and I want to showcase you.


Next Friday, I will be publishing a post that is filled with your stories, photos and smiles…and I hope it’s the longest post I’ve ever published. I want each and every one of you to be included.

Sometime before next Wednesday, November 4th, send me an email with a brief paragraph on what bliss means to you and/or a time that you’ve experienced it with a photo that represents your bliss. I literally just want this post to be about YOU…whether you’ve been following my blog for 3 years or 3 hours, whether I’ve known you my entire life or only spoken to you once via social media, whether you’re female or male, 65 years old or 16 years old…this is about you.

Send all emails to buildyourbliss(at) Include your first name and a social media outlet, if you’d like one to be linked. If you prefer to remain anonymous, include that as well. :)

I can’t wait to hear from you…


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So, you’ve heard me rant and rave about how much I love 3S Fitness before

But I can’t help myself…this company is amazing.


The Founder, Abby Esbenshade, has created a fitness + meal-planning program unlike anything else available. For an extremely affordable price, 3S Fitness Clients receive detailed daily workouts (with video examples!), a customized meal plan and access to the 3S Women Facebook Group…which, in my opinion, is the best part. The group offers 24/7 support for your journey and has given me (and so many others) the opportunity to make friends from all over the world– yes, the world.

We all have different stories and different goals but, at the end of the day, we’ve all joined 3S Fitness to become the best version of ourselves…and that is a seriously beautiful thing.

Why am I telling you about all of this again? Because I want you to join.

Not because I benefit from it and not because I’m biased in any way…because I honestly believe that this program is unbelievable. The support, encouragement and guidance each and every member receives from Abby, her team and fellow members is un-paralleled and I think we all deserve that, especially if we’ve had a rocky past trying to find balance with food and exercise.

9fbd528d73e44ec5b4f714f74788da3bNow for the super sweet Halloween Deal! Anyone who joins before the end of October and uses the CODE: TRICKORTREAT will receive an exclusive 3S Fit Swag Bag which includes a 3S Drawstring Backpack, 3S Water Bottle, Pen, Journal and Wristband! Um, free stuff? Yes, please! AND you’ll join just in time for 3S Fitness’ Birthday Celebration all through November!

If you’re interested in joining 3S Fitness or want to know more, please feel free to email me! You can also add @3SFitFam on Instagram or follow Abby on Periscope (@abby_esbenshade) to hear how passionate she is about helping you find your best life ever.

Here’s to a new world of health…


Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @missemmmysue

So if you read my last post, you know that I’m currently pumping the brakes on my high-intensity workouts and focusing solely on low-intensity, body weight style training. Over the past 5 days, I have incorporated light yoga and pilates (working on breathing, meditation and stretching rather than strength), walking, and other forms of low-resistance steady-state cardio…and yesterday I did something that I don’t do nearly enough– took a complete rest day.

I feel amazing. 

My body feels healthier and happier than it has in quite some time, my flexibility is slowly but surely coming back and I’m more and more at peace with the idea of low-intensity workouts. Today I wanted to activate my muscles a little more and decided to throw together a variety of body weight exercises with a higher rep range than I ever do. I completed each exercise just one time through and really focused on performing them slowly and with controlled, proper form. Holy burn.

I was honestly surprised by how well this routine worked for me and I plan to continue training like this on a regular basis. Plus, since it requires no equipment, it’s a perfect way to sneak in a little exercise while travelling or on days when getting to the gym just isn’t an option.


I included brief descriptions of the less-common exercises but feel free to comment below or email me if you still have questions! Mind-Muscle Connection is a huge part of workouts like this– focus on the specific muscle that you’re trying to work and squeeze into it with each rep. Also, move through the list in any order you like…but I wouldn’t recommend doing the wall-sit right after your squats. ;)

I can’t wait to hear what you all think!

Here’s to body love…


Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @missemmmysue

First of all, I just have to say thank you so much to everyone for all of your support on my last few posts. They have been some of the hardest for me to write, but seeing how many of you can relate is absolutely unbelievable. My hope is that, no matter where you are in your journey, my posts can serve as a reminder that you are not alone and you are so, so strong.

Ever since I published my [real] story, I’ve been thinking, praying and writing about what is next for me. How can I continue to implement kindness and self-love into my life on a daily basis? I have come such a long way over the past few years; however, I’m the first to admit that I still struggle. I still have comfort zones that I want to escape and negative thoughts that I want to silence. I still have work to do but who doesn’t? This journey of self-love and peace takes time…for everyone.

This week, exercise has been on my heart and mind a lot.

I’ve been working out consistently for 6, maybe 7, years now. I’ve gone from running long distances, to high intensity circuit-style training, to heavy weight lifting and back again. Over the years, I’ve pretty much tried it all and prided myself on how “hard” I work in the gym. Now that’s great, don’t get me wrong, but my body just isn’t responding anymore…It feels like I’m just working myself to death with no results other than fatigue, extreme soreness and a grumpy attitude. What gives?!

While reflecting over the past few days, I’ve realized that my exercise routine always revolved around “intensity“. How hard could I push myself? How much could I sweat? How sore could I be? Always. Whether I was running, lifting, dancing, whatever, I always pushed myself to my limits. Now that’s great in moderation but consistently for 6+ years? That’s excessive.

Our bodies are fragile. They can be pushed but they also need to be nurtured and loved.

So, it’s time for a change for me.

IMG_7687For the next few weeks, I’m going to focus on low-intensity workouts. I’m going to revisit yoga, pilates, stretching and walking…the types of exercise that I once loved but “haven’t had time for” in years. I’m going to steer clear of pushing my muscles with heavy weights and get moving with body-weight exercises instead. Does that feel totally against the grain for me and contradictory to the “lift heavy” mantra that everyone seems to be preaching right now? Yes. But right now, it’s right for me.

The thought of not having to kill myself in the gym for a few weeks makes me feel anxious…and relieved, which is exactly how I know it’s what I need. I’m breaking down another mental wall that I’ve built up over the years and I’m ecstatic at the thought of what life will be like on the other side.

I’ll be sharing my thoughts and feelings throughout the journey and I encourage you to join me, especially if you have been pushing yourself through intense workouts for a while. Your body does so much for you…it deserves a few weeks of being nurtured, nourished and truly loved.IMG_7591When was the last time you took a break from intense exercise? Favorite low-intensity workouts?

Here’s to healthy changes…


Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @missemmmysue

I kind of hate the word perfect.

But, at the same time, I idolize it. I crave it. I dream of it. I spend half of my time fantasizing about how much “better” life would be if I could finally achieve it and the other half wishing I could destroy the concept all together. It haunts me.

The burning desire for perfection seems to consume some people more than others; though, I think it’s rooted down somewhere in all of us. For me, the dream of a perfect life, perfect body, perfect career, perfect boyfriend, perfect everything managed to take over my mind for longer than I’ve ever been willing to admit. Over the years, many of the times I claimed to have found “freedom” from the burden, I was actually just changing direction to obsess over something else.

Through my experiences, I began to realize that “perfect” was a figment of my imagination.

I starved myself down to my “perfect” dream body and found discomfort and unhappiness.

I dated guys who were tall, ripped, rich a “perfect” and found emptiness and loneliness.

I pursued the “perfect” career that I thought I was destined for and found absolute misery.

It didn’t make any sense. I kept getting all of the things I wanted and still never felt satisfied, let alone happy. The discoveries eventually led to depression. If I wasn’t able to be “perfect” or “the best” at everything I did, what was the point? What could possible be my purpose? Mediocrity?

That’s the problem with perfection. It convinces us that these outward things will brings us bliss. That if we just try a little bit harder, we’ll get there and everything will fall into place.

It doesn’t work that way. 

Perfection doesn’t exist and happiness isn’t found in the world around you. If we ever truly want to discover bliss, we have to let go of those notions and shift the focus to the beauty, strength and kindness within ourselves. It’s all in your control.

12096168_10153362854079753_1831635123174899083_nTrust your body. Eat well and move often and you will settle into your happiest weight. Stop looking for the love you think you’ve always wanted. There is someone out there beyond your wildest dreams. Listen to your heart. Allow yourself to fill your days with things that make you joyful. Those are your passions. Don’t be afraid to pursue them.

When the desire for perfection is removed, your mind, body and soul are free to become what they should have always been…and that is far more  remarkable than perfection could ever be.

Here’s to beautiful imperfection…


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This is my 200th post on

When I started this blog back at the beginning of 2013, I could have never predicted where it would take me and how much it would influence my life. The people I’ve met, the lessons I’ve learned and the realizations I’ve had over the past [almost] 3 years are unbelievable and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to everyone who has supported me on this journey. Whether you were here for my first post or my last, I am so thankful for you.

It seemed fitting to use my 200th post as a time to share 20 things that I’ve discovered over the past few years of blogging here. For all of my fellow twenty-somethings out there. This is for you.  Everyone else? Don’t stop reading. I have a feeling these 20 thoughts will still apply.

  1. Your parents didn’t have everything figured out at your age either. In fact, they probably still don’t. They don’t expect you to be perfect and they won’t be disappointed if you change course during this time in your life. That’s what your twenties are for.
  2. The love of your life is out there. Don’t rush it. They will come.
  3. Take time to be single. Learn about yourself. Love yourself.
  4. When you do fall in love, make sure it’s with someone you can also call your best friend.
  5. Your bills aren’t going away. Find a method that works for you and pay them on time.
  6. And while we’re on that topic, don’t buy things you can’t afford. Debt sucks.
  7. Eat food, enjoy it, move on. It’s there for fuel, not comfort or control.
  8. Drink water. A lot.
  9. Hang out with people who inspire and motivate you. It will change your life.
  10. Before you even consider having kids, get a pet. It’s great practice.
  11. If you fail at something, don’t dwell on it. Figure out why, learn from it and move on.
  12. Your body is beautiful and it’s not okay to miss out on opportunities because you don’t accept it. Fall in love with your body and everything it does for you then put on that bikini and rock it.
  13. Learn to say ‘yes’ to new opportunities, even if they scare you.
  14. Learn to say ‘no’ to things that don’t benefit you, even if they’re tempting.
  15. No matter what job you have, work hard at it. You never know what it could lead to.
  16. Time is money. Never be late.
  17. Take pictures. Treasure them.
  18. Maintain a certain level on privacy. Social media doesn’t need to see everything.
  19. Push yourself. Take risks. You are capable of anything you’re willing to work for.
  20. Travel. It’s worth every penny. I promise.

IMG_7052This list is just as much for me as much as for you. This time in our lives can feel so confusing, overwhelming and never-ending, but it’s flying by…faster than you think. You’re doing better than you believe and you have so much to offer the world. Embrace that truth and never forget it.

Here’s to the twenty-somethings…


Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @missemmmysue

I can’t believe I’m writing this post.

For the past 3-years, I’ve always been honest here…but that doesn’t mean I’ve always been completely transparent. That’s the beauty and the beast of the internet isn’t it? We can pick and choose which parts of our lives we want to share. We can be “open” and share struggles…but leave a few out. It’s easy. It helps your image. It makes you “more inspirational”.

Yeah, I’ve done that. And I’m done doing that.

So, this is it. This is the post that will lay it all out on the table and share exactly what I’ve gone through personally and continue to deal with. I’m done hiding the not-so-pretty parts of my life.

As many of you have probably noticed, I’ve jumped from job to job and career path to career path over the past 5 years and nothing has stuck. It has been extremely frustrating and confusing because, growing up, I thought I had my whole life figured out. Well, fate had other plans.

It has taken every minute of struggle, pain and loss to understand why nothing has ever felt “right’. The reason? I never allowed myself to just be me. I buried my flaws and poured all of my energy into fitting a mold (whatever it was at the time) and killed myself to achieve “perfection”.

But where did that begin?

In high school, I remember being happy. I’ve struggled with self-image problems for the majority of my life but the thoughts were quiet during those 4-years. I dreamed of being a famous actress and invested every ounce of energy in theatre productions, choir and the drama department at school. Did I really love it? I don’t know. I think I did…but it became more of a lifestyle than a true passion. I was the “drama kid” and, deep down, I loved being the best at something.

So, I did what any die-hard aspiring actress would do and auditioned for the Acting Conservatory of my dreams, was accepted and packed up my life [a semester] ahead of my peers and moved to Los Angeles– the city that was sure to make my dreams come true.

My desire to be the best continued. I spent 2 years giving that school everything I had. I never once missed a class, I was always prepared (except for one day in Shakespeare class which still mortifies me) and came out with a 4.0 and the ranking of ‘top student’ in my class. I was proud of that. Once again, I was able to work hard enough to be “the best”.

Unfortunately, another issue began to arise during those two years. I gained a little weight at the start of college (as most do) which made me uncomfortable. Was I unhealthy? No. Just average…and, sadly, that doesn’t cut it in the entertainment industry. So in an attempt to lose the extra pounds, I took on a bet proposed by a very influential person in my life– who could lose 15lbs the fastest. 

That was all it took. In yet another attempt to be the best, I became obsessed. I went from eating normally to cutting out “unhealthy” foods left and right. My long-time vegetarian diet became a strict, mostly-raw vegan one. The more pounds that fell off, the more praise I received and the more determined I felt to be just a “little bit better”. I began skipping out on social events that included food and rarely (if ever) ate out. I prepped every, single freakin’ meal with this meticulous precision that makes me sick to think about now. I had to have my food laid out certain ways, on certain plates and consumed in certain areas of my apartment. I exercised excessively. I would literally get to the gym at 5am, run on the treadmill for 2 miles, take a 60-min conditioning class and then do abs and the stairmaster…then go BACK in the afternoon for round 2. What the f*ck? My OCD habits skyrocketed and I would freak out at the drop of a hat over nothing. Everyone annoyed me. And as disgusting as it sounds, I thought it was because I was better than them because I “had control” and they didn’t.

Looking back, I can’t believe that person was me.

I lost friendships. I pushed people away. I stopped caring about anything except food and exercise.

As you would expect, my weight plummeted and my normal, beautiful body became a skeleton.

I didn’t understand. I was doing everything “right”. I was following all of the diet and exercise rules and even going above-and-beyond and I still wasn’t happy. I was trying to be a fitness blogger and a food blogger (on my old domain) and preaching balance without taking my own advice and living it. I knew I needed change or I was going to deal with lifelong consequences…if I didn’t kill myself first. But I was terrified. Terrified of what losing control would feel like.

I can’t exactly pin-point when the shift happened because I don’t remember a good portion of this time in my life; partially because I was so severely underweight and partially because I chose to block out the darkest days. But at some point, I finally decided I had had enough. When my family life back home began to crumble, things started to finally come back to perspective. Starving myself wasn’t going to fix anything– especially not my family– and I had missed out on the last few years of my family being together because I was too pre-occupied with my body and maintaining control.

IMG_7482So, I started the process of recovery. I didn’t go to treatment or work with a therapist. I just did it.

It was hard as hell.

I have no words for how much I struggled. It was just hard. But I told myself every day that it was going to be worth it. That one day I wouldn’t have to think obsessively about every morsel of food I put in my mouth and every minute spent at the gym. I believed in my strength, more than I ever had, and I pushed through even when I desperately wanted to recoil into my life of comfort and control.

The stream of tears has been non-stop since I started writing this post…

Nearly 3 years after I hit rock bottom, I’m finally beginning to taste freedom. True freedom. Not the “freedom” I talked about in posts 2 years ago when I was obviously still in the heart of the struggle. At long last, I’m free enough to open up and allow all of my cracks and crevices to surface. To share how and why I lost all control in my desperate attempt to achieve it. To reach out and hope that my journey can help someone, anyone, get through theirs.

For the first time in my life, I’m learning to love myself…and that’s not something I could have honestly said 3-months ago. Sure, I was physically recovered by that point but, mentally and emotionally, I was still in pain. Depression has hit me hard time and time again and I’m here to admit that it’s something I’ll probably always battle. But I’m learning to love my laugh and my smile and my curves and my weird+sarcastic personality and my flat-as-hell hair and my social awkwardness and working out because I want to not because it’s part of my ‘image’. All of the things I spent years trying to hide are the very traits that make me, me. Imperfection really is beauty. 

This post has nothing to do with being preachy or saying “look what I did, guys”…no. I still have bad days. I still feel ashamed of the past and I still fear the future. I still have walls built up that I’m, slowly but surely, chipping away at. I still have problems that I deal with every. damn. day.

But I’m real.

No metaphors or super positive, inspirational quotes or forced-smile selfies or whatever else…

This is Emily.

IMG_7282Of all the different paths I’ve taken, I finally feel like I may have found the right one.

I want to share my story in hopes that someone won’t have to feel another day of pain. Life is hard. Being vulnerable, letting go of control…it just doesn’t come naturally sometimes. Life can feel completely hopeless and tomorrow can look even darker than yesterday. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m here to tell you that you can smile. Whatever demons haunt the darkest corners of your brain can be destroyed by the light within you. Surrender your facade to the person buried underneath it and joy will begin to surface…a joy that you absolutely deserve. We all do.

You are not alone.

If you want to talk, vent, ask a question, reach out for support…anything…email me. Whether you’re struggling with an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, stress, self-hatred, ocd…I’ve been there.


Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @ missemmmysue


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