After this much time, I bet you never thought you’d see me here again. To be honest, posting has been the last thing on my mind for…well, months. And while I apologize for dropping off the face of the earth, I’m not sorry about where it has landed me.

This blog has served a lot of purposes over the years; an outlet, an escape, and a place to build friendships. It led me to discover how much I love writing and how passionate I am about helping girls around the world discover a life that they are proud to live. But it also held me back from a lot of things. It helped me to justify seclusion, an obsession with controlling every aspect of my life, and my disordered lifestyle itself. It helped me publicly put on a happy face when all I wanted to do was crawl in bed and cry. It was my ultimate excuse.

I look back at old posts, the ones where I’m convinced that I’m “healthy” and “balanced” and am reminded of a lifestyle far from what I portrayed. Sure, I had made progress from the darkest days, but was I healthy and balanced? Hell no.

My life has flip-flopped all over the place for years because I was convinced that the right job or the right lifestyle or the right friend circle would make me happy. Guys, that’s not how it works. No amount of money, no person, and no social popularity can fix the insecurities that live deep within us. We have to face those and deal with them before we can find happiness.

It took me hitting rock bottom mid-2015 to finally turn things around.

I won’t go into the details of that horrible time because it’s not worth discussing.

All that matters is where I’ve ended up.

1915442_10205422462189547_3217571950825871324_nFirst and foremost, I met the love of my life. Some may say that it’s too soon to be sure, but I am. When you know, you know. This man has brought more joy and light into my life than I ever thought imaginable and I will never be able to thank him enough for all that he does for me. IMG_8777Second, I found a job that I genuinely LOVE. It appeared out of thin air when I was jobless and virtually homeless back in November 2015, and it has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. If you feel like you have no where to turn and all hope is lost, trust. God has a way of ensuring that everything works out – usually in a way you never could have imagined. 12294666_10205179036704062_2263463058332434128_nThird, I stopped hating myself. I know that sounds so cliche and ridiculous but it’s true. I stopped pushing away good things because I thought I was unworthy of them, I stopped despising what I saw when I looked in the mirror and I stopped searching for external validation. I started to love myself and the beautiful life I have been given…and that is the most important thing of all.

So will I continue blogging??

To be honest, it’s not in the cards right now. I’m not going to delete this page because I think it serves as a huge representation of my journey, but I won’t be posting on here anymore – at least for the time being. I want to focus on the beautiful life in front of me, not the life hidden within a computer screen. There’s so much to be seen, felt, heard, experienced…and I want to enjoy it, completely.

To all of you who have followed and supported me for the past 3 years, I thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. You all mean more to me than you will ever know. If you ever need to reach me or just want to talk, I am always available at emily.dryden(at)yahoo(dot)com and you can also follow me on instagram @missemmmysue <3

Here’s to the future…

-Emily

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.

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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)yahoo.com. 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…

-Emily

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @missemmmysue

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.

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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…

-Emily

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.

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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…

-Emily

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…

-Emily

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…

-Emily

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @missemmmysue

This is my 200th post on BuildMyBliss.com.

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…

-Emily

Follow me on Instagram & Twitter @missemmmysue

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