Wellness Work

Ditching the Plan

November 4, 2013

I think I’ve written and rewritten this post at least 10 times. I’ve had a lot on my mind lately, and while the words are there, I’ve had trouble putting them together into a coherent post. I’m not sure I’ll be able to cover everything that I’d like to talk about, but it’s a start.

Friday night I got together with a close friend of mine. Zan and I have been friends since middle school. She is someone who I deeply admire and can always turn to for quality advice. We met up at a wine tasting event called Grand Cru where they were tasting over 200 wines. Thank you brother for being a wine agent/having the best job in the world and getting us in.

In the midst of our catching up I was snapping pictures of the wine, the food and the people (couldn’t find Goldie Hawn or Kiefer). I was smiling, I was laughing, I was eating and drinking what I wanted and I truly felt at ease. Unfortunately this version of me, the best version of me, hasn’t always been around.

I’ve always had an incessant, borderline compulsive need to plan. It’s a coping mechanism for me. When life gets crazy, as it inevitably does, I’ve turned to planning as a means of control. Planning meant consistency and predictability and I’d plan every second of my day to a T. The majority of my planning was focused on diet and exercise e.g. 5:00 AM runs, Sunday food preps, Tuesday yoga etc… While this helped me to get through some challenging times, it also left me incredibly stressed out. No matter how many people or how many times I was told to relax, I was not willing to listen. I would freak out if life deviated from “the plan”, even if that plan only existed in my head.

My stomach has always been the first to react when I’m feeling stressed out. Though I was eating a perfectly clean diet and exercising 6 days a week my stomach still continued to react badly to almost everything I ate. I tried eliminating every food under the sun, which ultimately stressed me out even more because I felt I needed to cook everything. I turned down social invitations. I refused alcohol. Meeting a friend for a wine tasting just wasn’t an option. I was following the plan. And I was unhappy.

It took me up until about few months ago to realize this was the source of my unhappiness. That I was leading a rigid and overly-planned life and I was missing out on all life’s beauty that happens in those unplanned moments. That all of these foods I’d eliminated and all of the exercise I was pushing myself through in an attempt to be “healthy” was stressing me out. And my body was trying every way to tell me this. I was preaching that healthy meant balance when deep down I knew my life was the furthest thing from balanced.

The reality is that I am young. So young. I basically have zero responsibilities and now is the time I should be having fun and letting the chips fall as they may. I can worry about planning once I have a family and other people’s lives to organize but for now I want to let go of the reigns. I want to workout when I want to and if I have the time, not because it’s scheduled. And I want to meal prep if I feel like cooking, not because it’s Sunday. I want to go out late and come home late. I want to make mistakes, and then I want to try to not make them again. I want to relax. I want to do all of these things, because I can. They say that “youth is wasted on the young”. I don’t want to look back in 20 years and wish I’d done things differently.

I got home Friday night after wine tasting with Zan and I truly felt comfortable with myself. I overdosed on cheese and drank too much wine and when I woke up Saturday morning surprisingly stomach ache-free and hangover-less I went to yoga, because I wanted to. It’s crazy how all the things that stress you out in life, the stomach aches, the injuries all seem to resolve when you just relax.

These past few months have been difficult and challenging, but for the first time in a long time I feel happy. My definition of healthy has changed and inevitably the blog will change. You won’t be hearing me blog about my weekly meal prep or workouts, my diet-du-jour or anything that starts with a p and ends in lan. What you can expect are some delicious and healthy recipes, the occasional indulgent one and perhaps a recap of nights I don’t actually remember. I’m trying this whole “fly by the seat of your pants” deal. I hope you’ll join me for the ride.

Have you ever found yourself overly planning your life? 


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  • Reply
    Kim @ BusyBod
    November 4, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Beautiful post lovely, I know that feeling of it bouncing around in your brain, so I’m glad you were able to share it. More importantly, I’m so happy that you are happy! Self-reflection is hard enough, making changes based on those reflections are even harder. As I think you may know (or at least suspect), I too am something of a super planner. I wasn’t always like this, but I became very compulsive about it because it’s my key to time management, and time management is what allows me to take on so much. Luckily, planning itself hasn’t become a source of stress for me, because I rarely mind changing the plan as long as a plan still exists. For me, the issue has always been control, and it took me a long time to figure that out. Whenever negative things happen that are outside my control, I reach out desperately to control what I can. That’s what turns my healthy life not so healthy and leaves me not at all happy. You’re amazing and inspirational. Thanks so much for sharing! *hugs*

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      November 10, 2013 at 9:26 pm

      Thank you for sharing Kim! I agree that planning is so necessary especially when you’ve taken on as much as you have. For me the planning got to a point where it was stressing me out and preventing me from enjoying my life, rather than helping to manage it. But so far so good on the changes. Lots of hugs in return!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Davida, your words were so therapeutic to me. I cannot even begin to express how greatly I needed to read this post. I’m horrible when it comes to scheduling my days out. Sure I can relax, but not like a 24 year should. I love that you mentioned your young, so young & now isn’t the time to worry about complete responsibilities.
    Such an eye opener. Thank you, darling <3

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      November 10, 2013 at 9:27 pm

      Jessie! I’m so happy my words were able to resonate with you. I hope you too are enjoying the beautiful life you have in front of you!

  • Reply
    Ksenija @ With An Open Mind
    November 4, 2013 at 10:39 am

    True words. Stress is always the worst for my health. Currently I am stressing out about getting my Master thesis done until the end of this year and I am sick all the time. Everything from a heavy cold to constant migraines. No fun. But when I losened up last weekend and enjoyed a party at my boyfriends house I felt perfectly fine the next day. We really tend to underestimate how important it is to take the time and relax.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      November 10, 2013 at 9:30 pm

      Exactly! The effect stress has on our health is immense and to think we are the only people responsible for it!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Yes, yes and yes. I can totally relate and love this post. I’m learning to love intuitive eating, intuitive fitness, and intuitive living – and it’s the best!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      November 10, 2013 at 9:28 pm

      I love that! It’s not just about intuitive eating but intuitive everything! Now it’s just a matter of me trusting my intuition 🙂

  • Reply
    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl
    November 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

    What an awesome post!! It is wonderful that you have realized your need to plan was unhealthy for you. Hopefully, you will now be more able to just sit back and enjoy the ride!!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ .running with spoons.
    November 4, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I love this post because I can relate so much to your words. I used to be obsessive about planning, and when all my carefully made future plans fell apart completely, my mind went into panic mode and turned all its focus on something it could concretely control — my diet and fitness. This eventually lead to a 5-year struggle with an ED and other countless miseries… But if there’s one thing I’m thankful for, it’s that going through that really taught me how to ease up and go with the flow. I realized that the world doesn’t end when you don’t stick to the plan, and that you usually end up having a better time than if you try and be rigid. I’m glad to hear that you’re finding this out for yourself, and you better believe that I’m along for the ride 😀

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      November 10, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Love you lady! You are such an inspiration for me about what it means to leave a truly balanced life. <3

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    November 4, 2013 at 11:32 am

    It is something I struggle with currently and it is so hard to break out of a planned out by the clock and day life. But I am aware and trying my best to break out of this and I can say I think I am slowly making some positive progress!

  • Reply
    Gabby @ the veggie nook
    November 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I hear you 100% on this. Stress is totally my nemesis when it comes to my digestive issues. I was feeling so great during the summer and then about a month back into school BAM- upset stomachs! I need to start incorporating more stress reduction techniques- I can’t go back to where I was last winter it was terible!

    Good for you for recognizing this- you are right. THIS is the time to enjoy life, be crazy, make mistakes and go against the grain. You have so much freedom and missing out on experiences now is hard to regain later in life. Life later on will be beautiful too, but in a different way. Enjoy the beauty of not knowing what each day brings and of being impulsive. We are young and we better make the most of it 🙂

  • Reply
    Chelsea @ chelseashealthykitchen.com
    November 4, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    I love this post girl! I can seriously relate. I’m a total Type A personality so I’m usually all about planning. I’ve never planned my workouts, but I actually used to stress myself out about meal planning. How silly is that? Haha. Also I’m the kind of person who likes to plan my schedule way ahead of time when it comes to hanging out with friends, etc.

    It’s awesome that you’ve loosened up lately and it’s made an obvious improvement in your life. You’re so right that we’re still young and there’s no need to stress ourselves out. I’ve become a lot freer lately too, but I could probably become a bit less rigid about always needing to have my weekends planned out to a T. Sometimes being spontaneous is the most fun!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      November 10, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      I know, it’s so silly when you think it about it! Meal planning and exercise planning is supposed to make our lives easier, not more stressful! When I think about it this way, I realize how imperative it is that I make these changes now because if I’m feeling stressed now, I can only imagine how I’m going to feel 10 years from now!

  • Reply
    Liz @ iheartvegetables
    November 4, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    I can totally relate to this! I used to TOTALLY overplan. (I’d track every calorie, planning ahead, putting in a days worth of meals before I ate anything, to get everything “perfect” and balanced.) It drove me bananas! Luckily, over the past year or two, I’ve been able to relax a LOT and I feel way better now!

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      November 10, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      That’s awesome! I’m hoping that a year from now I’ll be where you are 🙂

  • Reply
    Elise @ 9toFit.com
    November 4, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Such a great post! You are definitely not alone. I feel like I often fall into this trap too and forget to just stop and ENJOY the moment, and not always be planning for the next workout/meal/event.

  • Reply
    Erin @ The Almond Eater
    November 4, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Great post, Davida. What you’re saying–straying away from the plan–is not easy, but totally worth it. I’ve gotten MUCH better at it these past couple months. I don’t beat myself up if I’d rather go to bed early than go to the gym in the evening. It happens and you know, that’s ok! Spending time with the people who mean the most to you is always more important than isolating yourself in the gym or in the kitchen (though those are important sometimes). Relaxing is so important and, though having a plan is smart, it’s not necessary every single day, in my opinion.

    • Reply
      Davida @TheHealthyMaven
      November 10, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      I completely agree. It’s okay to plan in order to enjoy your life, but your life should not be all about planning. I’m glad I’m learning this lesson now.

  • Reply
    Meghan @ fitnesscrEATures
    November 4, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    This is a beautifully written and heartfelt post my sweet Canadian lover. I can relate 100% to this… I used to control everything in my life, down to bathroom breaks (not really, but you get it). I used to be anal, organized, anti social and just kinda mean about things in life. I don’t know what it was, but something changed over the past few years and I just realized that life is better lived when you actually live it.
    I am a firm believer in being reasonable about everything and though that is subjective, that is what works for me. 🙂 Stress makes me feel sick to my stomach so I threw that out the window and focused on just being myself and having a good time, each and every day. I think you’ll look back at these moments and realize how wonderful it is that you’re realizing this while you’re still young. Some people live their whole lives and never really release and let go. There’s no room to have fun if you plan your life away.
    You are the most adorable human being ever and I’m so excited to read these things that you shared! You’re a wonder woman, and don’t ever forget. Bring on all the cheeses and wines in the world for Davida (or Davs, as you so cutely put it on Halloween!!!). Adorbz. Have a wonderful day!

  • Reply
    Alex @ Kenzie Life
    November 4, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    So beautiful, Davida. I absolutely loved this post and it resonated with me so much. I’ve had chronic stomach problems my whole life and part if it is emotional stress and worrying too much. I know I’ve also been so worried in the past about how things will turn out in my future and what will happen to certain relationships and will I do well on that test/get that job/internship/whatever that it doesn’t end up making me feel better, it just makes me feel stressed and I don’t enjoy life as much. I will definitely ditch some of my own plans. Here’s to a wild and free November!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. Personally, it could not have come at a better time! I am 100% the same way; I sit down on Sunday nights, I plan some of my meals and all of my workouts for the week, and as the days go by, I check it off my list. It’s great until the weekend hits and I veer off course a bit. By Sunday night/Monday morning, I feel like I need to make up for the fun that I had over the weekend. I’m slowly trying to move past those feelings, but I know a lot of it has to do with feeling like I have a lack of control. To top it all off, I’m moving across the country at the end of this month and have nothing settled in the new place yet (place to live, gym, etc.) so I’m definitely trying to hold tight to what I do have control over.. though it seems it sometimes inevitably causes a lack of control. Go figure!

    Anywho, long rant over.. I really appreciate reading this post today. Perfect for a Monday morning reminder and I’m so happy for you that you’re beginning to let go.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    Oh I love this post! I think it’s amazing that you’re rediscovering how to just let go and enjoy yourself. I completely agree with everything you said. Life is way too short to turn down cheese and wine! It’s exhausting to plan everything and even MORE exhausting to worry about the guilt that comes from not following the plan. I look forward to hearing more about your wine and cheese exploits and adventures!

  • Reply
    Christa @ Sit-ups and Sequins
    November 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I can definitely relate! I am a notorious over-planner and when things don’t go according to plan, it really stresses me out! I’m trying to be a more go-with-the-flow kind of gal, but it’s really hard to break old habits! One of the areas of my life I tend to over-plan is my exercise schedule. I always plan workouts early in the morning and it was getting to the point where I would still force myself to go, even when it was obvious that I didn’t get enough sleep. Lately, I’ve been trying to be a little more relaxed about this and if I’m sore or exhausted I’ll skip my workout. I realized I won’t gain weight or lose everything I’ve worked for, just by changing my plans. In fact, my body is thanking me for it and I’m able to do more with my workouts when I’m not so tired, sore and stressed! Thanks for this post, I’ll join you and make an effort to ENJOY more of life! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles
    November 4, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Love this post, and definitely proud of you for coming to these realizations! I have a tendency towards planning everything – meals, workouts, social events…and I’ve realized how much more enjoyable things are when I go with the flow. I still meal plan dinners because it’s easiest for me, but I don’t worry about breakfast, lunch or snacks and don’t worry about it if the week doesn’t go exactly as planned. As for social events – I feel like I wasted most of my undergrad in the social sense because I refused to push my boundaries or go out of my regular routine, and that’s disappointing to me. I wasted my early twenties being withdrawn and afraid to push my boundaries, and I refuse to let that happen to my mid twenties. Which probably explains why I was out until almost 1 am on a Sunday night last night 😉

  • Reply
    Megan (The Lyons Share)
    November 4, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Oh you know this resonates loud and clear with me! I am also a compulsive planner, and honestly, sometimes I feel like it’s the only way I can get everything done. I actually do enjoy being busy, but the stress of planning so rigidly and the inability to be flexible (and comfortable with it) definitely do impact me – and it shows in my stomach upset as well. I am learning to let go on the weekends, but I think it’s a process, and I honestly think the “right answer” is a balance – plan when you need to, let go when you can … and truly enjoy it. The balance is sure hard to find, but I look forward to approaching a better balance alongside you. Glad you had such a wonderful night!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ FruitnFitness
    November 4, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I need to bookmark this to read it whenever I start to overplan! I’m happy to hear that your happy and were able to enjoy a weekend without worrying about the plans. Sometimes I start to worry when I don’t have plans but really I should start to loosen up more and just enjoy what comes!

  • Reply
    Kathy @ Vodka and Soda
    November 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Davida – this is such a wonderful and heartfelt post and i loved reading every word! While scheduling and planning is an important aspect of my life, I only do that with certain things in order to keep me on track like workouts and family plans since that stuff always has to be scheduled. For everything else, I try and roll with the punches because you never know what life will throw at you.

    I think this is a refreshing change that you need to explore!! you may go back to scheduling certain things but for the rest – for life and friends and things that make you happy – just go with it! know that as long as you eat healthy and keep moving (and it doesn’t have to be in a gym) but just doing things that make you happy – you’ll be healthy and fine.

    i’ve also relaxed the chains when it comes to food these days. when i was in my ‘weight loss mode’, i never ate anything that i wasn’t sure about – no restaurant meals, no pasta, none of it. now that i’m good with where i am, i will eat that bowl of pasta (which i totally demolished over the weekend) or eat those 5 chocolate covered almonds because my PMS was so bad AND I WON’T FEEL GUILTY ABOUT IT EITHER. when you have a healthy approach to life, you will be happier!

    hugs and seriously, WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET TOGETHER. I NEED TO SEN YOU AN EMAIL ABOUT THIS THAT MIGHT SURPRISE YOU. #bbm2014 <-- this is a hint; those FitnessCreatures biatches know what i'm talking about :D -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    LOVE this post, girlie…so honest and well-written! I can definitely relate to an extent. For a period, I got very obsessed with working out and eating a certain way. Any deviation would be a huge stressor and I’d avoid having to do so as much as I could. Looking back, all that planning was just a control mechanism. The more I planned to be healthy, the less healthier I was becoming. Like you, I decided to take a breather and just live: eat what I want and when…no more macro counting or striving to eat a perfect diet. As for workouts, I am much more relaxed in that I am flexible with what I do and when. Even though giving up control can be daunting, I promise you will be in a MUCH better place as a result :-)!

  • Reply
    Molly @ The Happiness Recipe
    November 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    These are the types of post I enjoy reading most… okay I do love a good recipe from here to there but this is SO relatable and makes me feel less alone (even though deep down I know I am not). This past month has been a whirlwind for me in terms of emotions, stress, schoolwork, diet and exercise. I was working out too much and eating too healthy that eventually my body caved and I began sleeping through my workouts and craving “junk”. This month I am dedicating to getting back on track health wise since my coursework is at bay and I am on top of grades. But what I love is that I’m not saying “I must go to the gym x times and eat y calories – I’m going to try to do it half intuitively but of course have a guideline so that I do stick to my “intention” somewhat! My outlook on “health” and “scheduling” has definitely changed thanks to posts like this.

    I’m glad that you are re-finding happiness and realizing that not everything needs to remain organized and planned. Control is such a tricky and tough topic especially when you have perfectionistic tendencies.Thanks for this! As usual I admire your strength and courage to speak openly about what you might once have thought were “flaws” but in actuality make you unique and powerful. Cheese, Wine and Yoga sound divine. Glad there was no guilt! Happy Monday Beautiful!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    Davida, this is such an AMAZING post. I, like you, plan as a coping mechanism. I remember after a break-up a boy told me, “We’ll talk about in a week because I know you’re such a planner”. I get SO STRESSED when my plan is messed up. I get stressed thinking about my plans being messed up. I’m just like you – the 5 a.m. runs, the declines to social invitations if they revolve around drinking or eating, being too stressed to have fun… I’m trying to lighten up but it’s just so marvelous when you have a night where you are so carefree and so happy because of it. Thank you for this post, I really need the approval that it’s okay to just live and not have every second and morsel of food planned out.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    I just found your blog via FitnessCrEATures, and am I ever glad I did! This is an awesome post, and it’s so very true. I tend to plan myself into an oblivion, and then I get really stressed out when the plan gets messed up. (Freaking out about missing meal plan Sundays? Holy moly, do I ever do that. Like a boss.) Thank you for the reminder that “the plan” isn’t the most important thing!

  • Reply
    Alex @ Cookie Dough Katzen
    November 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I went to yoga this weekend too. It always works out that when you just relax, all is okay. I think your realization is the most important part in all of this. As long as we realize we are over-planning, we can understand it and locate the reasoning. Great post!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    This was written beautifully. Absolutely beautifully (and all coherent, so no worries there.). We come to self-realizations at the strangest times, and I think that those realizations happen when we are willing to open ourselves up to the world around us. So it’s really no surprise that you finally figured out what was gnawing at you when you were enjoying yourself. I can attest that planning can be a burden if you place too much weight on it. I look forward to following your continuing journey, lovely.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Ok wow. There is so much in this post I can identify with. I too love to plan. I actually enjoy planning and feel better about myself when I have a plan. I plan out my meals, I plan out weekend activities, I plan vacations, I plan workout schedules. I love it. But, like you, I get major stomach aches and I freak out if things don’t go according to my plan. I think for me, finding more of a balance between planning and not planning is what I need to do. I know that I will not be able to make it through the workweek if I don’t have an idea for meals and the groceries to make them but I leave weekend meals open for spontaneous dinners out or whatever I feel like cooking. The same goes for other facets of my life. I think this is a really great post and I totally support you on your changed perspective. I can’t wait to hear more about your journey. Great post!!

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Thank you soooo much for sharing and opening up! It is NEVER EVER easy to do that. I know you’re not looking for compliments but I just want to encourage you by saying that I’m so happy for you–it just seems like God is leading you into a place of letting yourself be loved just the way you are, without having to achieve anything. I feel as though the lack of that truth and not knowing our true identity is what gets most of us. We’re always trying to perform and do something because we subconsciously want to be worth something, when really we just need to rest and love and be loved. I don’t know where that came from, but I’m just so happy to know that you’re finding your balanced place one day at a time! 😀
    And as for me, I’m definitely not a planner (AT ALL!!! AND IT’S KINDA SCARY TO MY LOVED ONES, LOL) but I went through an overly planning stage when I struggled with my skewed image mindset in high school. That’s the only time in my life that I can recall being so uptight, unhappy, and stuck to a routine that I didn’t even know the reason for being so entrenched in it. Have a beautiful day and take care, beautiful! <33

  • Reply
    Shashi Charles
    November 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    So love this post Davida!
    I am so looking forward to where your outlook takes you and what delicios food you put out!
    Healthy, at the end of the day, is very much about balance in all things.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    congrats girl, welcome to the joy club 🙂 I’ve been following you here and there for a while, but it was not until this post – THIS post!!! – that i actually felt inspired to comment and shout out, “yeahhhh, high five! amen sister!!!” i totally get what you said, and can TOTALLY relate. i gave up my Plan as well, which has been incredibly freeing, joyful, emotional, and frightening… but i feel like now i’m living life in HD, rather than black and white. i’m so happy you are sharing this journey and i support you and am cheering right there with you! and by the way, it is totally awesome and okay to crave a healthy salad AND a decadent dessert in the same day… you actually CAN have it all. life has so many delicious flavors!

  • Reply
    Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    November 4, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Great post Davida! I agree, I really believe that planning too much can cause so much stress and also disappointment – because you’re anticipating how things “should” be and will go, yet a lot of the time it doesn’t work out as you’d expected/hoped. I think I’ve found a happy balance with planning & just letting things happen. Life is too short to have everything little thing scheduled out – where’s the fun in that?! Good luck with your new way of taking on life – I think you’ll continue to be much happier (I sure hope so!).

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    You could not have said this any better! I feel like I’ve been planning since I was in high school and it’s part of the reason college was probably a little tough. I didn’t know how to have fun and still struggle with not planning every single moment and worrying about food, fitness, etc.

    I love when you said “leading a rigid and overly-planned life and I was missing out on all life’s beauty that happens in those unplanned moments.” It’s so true that things happen when you least expect it and for our type A personalities that like to plan and control, this can be hard to comprehend. I blog because it helps me see how other people relax and how I can learn from people like you 🙂 We all have our quirks and it’s fun to share.

    Hope you had a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Consuelo Morcillo
    November 4, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post. I was like that last year and it felt terrible. It wore me out instead of making me happy :(( Even now, I do have a hard time doing stuff sunch as skipping workouts and eating out, but I’m working on it. It makes me incredibly happy to see that there are people like you who have succeded at it. Thanks for writing this kind of posts, dear!
    Oh and I’m happy you had a great weekend 🙂

  • Reply
    Amy @ Long Drive Journey
    November 4, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I love this post. You know how I feel about planning, and you know that I share your incessant desire to do so. I’m proud of you for breaking away from the plan, for branching out, for seeing what happens, and for deciding to just live life. It’s easy to be unhappy with where you are, but somewhere along the way, there comes the time when you realize that you may not be able to control ANYTHING in this life, but you can control how you react to it. And by deciding to react with grace, like you have chosen to do, I believe that happiness often follows. I’d read your blog if all you talked about was food prep, meal plans, and if all you cooked were desserts that were so healthy I’d never actually eat them (hehe) but I’m even more excited about the new direction that you’re taking! Love you!

  • Reply
    Heather Wilson
    November 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Sounds like you had an awesome night and a very well deserved one at that! I agree with you 1000%. I think just enjoying life and relaxing makes life so much more stress free than trying to control and plan everything. Reality is, plans never go as planned! SO let’s just not make any, just live life day by day!


  • Reply
    on a daily basis
    November 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Amazing post!! I have always been that same person! And felt almost as if I was writing that post myself! A year ago on the 17th, I gave birth to my handsome baby boy. From that moment on, I realized nothing, no matter how hard you try will go perfectly planned when you have a baby, let alone being a first time mom! It was really hard for me at first and at times it still is, but I wouldn’t change anything in the world, and he has only shown me how to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life!! I wrote a post about that and after reading yours it really put things together for me! So thank you!

  • Reply
    Tina @ Tinas Chic Corner
    November 4, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I admire your strength for writing this post. I can absolutley relate! My husband got me a magnet that says “Plan to be Spontanious…Tomorrow.” Planning is ok…in moderation. I haven’t figured out the moderation part yet, but it sounds like you’re well on your way to figuring things out for yourself. Kudos! Um, yea, you can’t get rid of me that easily. 😉 I’m looking forward to what you have in store for your blog. 🙂

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    this post is SO great. it seriously defines what i am trying to do in life to a t. i am such an overplanner and am ultra type-a. i literally have to force myself to stop “future tripping” (a phrase i learned from the book ‘spirit junkie’) multiple times a day. i spend eons wondering what snack i should eat before the gym…but maybe i won’t even be hungry for one. on friday i worked myself into tears debating over whether i should or shouldn’t go out after dinner…and then after dinner i was so tired that i just wanted to go home. all that debate and stressing was for naught! it is great that you are working on not overplanning. it’s true we are young and while planning things is good to a point, this is the time in the life when we can probably afford to plan half as much as we currently do!

  • Reply
    Sarah Pie
    November 4, 2013 at 9:03 pm

    I can be a planner to a fault sometimes… my BF will make fun of me for my color coded highlighter, overly detailed planner, with a seperate to-do list on the side. Part of this compulsion is the product of grad school, clients (and all the corresponding paperwork) for two different sites, coupled with classes, work and regular life requires a bit of finesse to organize and I’ve always been an overachiever.

    That being said I do feel as though all this organization and responsibility takes it toll sometimes. I don’t go out very often because I always have to work on the weekends. I’d hate to be irresponsible with my job so I’m irresponsible with putting the fun in my life (though I don’t think an occasional shift running on fumes would hurt my reputation). I’m struggling now with the holidays on the way to keep my traditional plans with the BF, visit with friends from out of town… and still be able to stick to my work schedule. Having a large part of my life so out of my control (school) is nervewracking and I’m still struggling to try to live for myself when I feel like I have so much to do for others.

  • Reply
    Suzanne @ hello, veggy!
    November 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    You are amazing, amazing, amazing! I can’t say this enough; truly I am so inspired by you. I have read this post over and over, and I’m hoping it permeates somewhere within me. Thank you so much Davida.

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Yay for you! I’m so glad you realized what was causing you so much stress! I used to way over plan things and was much more stressed than I am now. Having my son made me realize how quickly life passes you by and that sometimes the best things are the unplanned ones 🙂

  • Reply
    Maria @ Little Miss Cornucopia
    November 4, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Davida, this is so beautifully written! i am so proud of you (and you should be so proud of yourself too) for addressing this issue and sharing it with us. and like you mentioned, you should be so thankful that you are at such a ripe young age to come to these realizations about yourself. i can already tell that your thoughts are changing into something so much better. #ThoughtsBecomeThings

    oh, and i think you and i have the same stomach 😛 my stomach always responds to worry, stress, and anxiety though. i’ll trade you for over-planning 😀 xx

  • Reply
    Kelsey @ Ramblings of Change
    November 4, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    I definitely have that tendency as well, and agree with everything you said. Planning = control. But that control definitely leads to stress, especially if it means deviating away from the plan. I’ve had to take this approach with my 20-credit semester. While, yes, I do plan out my assignments/readings/tests/etc., that is about it right now. Whenever things happen, like groceries or working out, is just when it fits in. I do make it to my CrossFit box 4x per week, and that is just to keep me sane.

    Thanks for a beautiful post!

  • Reply
    Lauren Lomsdalen
    November 4, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    I’m so glad you found the root of your stress! As I’m learning in school, health is not just about diet & exercise but also primary foods like work, life & relationships! It really does make all the difference. Since starting school I’m less strict than I was this time last year. I’m definitely a planner by nature as well but sometimes we have to chill out and let life take us where it takes us! 🙂 If you ever want someone to talk to I’ll kindly lend an ear. Or eyes in the case of reading. Hehe

  • Reply
    Arman @ thebigmansworld
    November 4, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Beautiful, honest post Davida- as I’ve mentioned to you before, at the end of the day this is your blog and whichever direction you choose for it to be, we’ll be along for the ride! When it comes to planning, I think there’s a fine line between ‘good’ planning and ‘bad’ planning- the latter being one which ultimately hinders what the initial goal was- to make life easier. I’m looking forward to seeing how it all goes for you 🙂

  • Reply
    Run like a G!
    November 4, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    A wonderful post! Live your life… you never know when something may happen 🙂

  • Reply
    November 4, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Loveeee it. Totally been trying to be more spontaneous and stop following such rigid plans too

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Feeeding the Brain and Body
    November 5, 2013 at 12:16 am

    You have no idea how much I can relate to this post. I am a total over planner and plan every detail. When things go off plan my mind goes into overdrive with how I can get it back on track. It feels like my mind is a train that just won’t stop planning. But you are so right, we are young. We should live our life while we can. Unfortunately it is so much easier said than done. Good luck on ditching planning. I think I will try again!

  • Reply
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    November 5, 2013 at 12:20 am

    I’m a chronic planner when it comes to everything in life from dinner to daily agenda to my own personal artwork. For my work I think planning is the way to go, but sometimes in life I wish I could be a bit more spur of the moment! Thanks for this post girl. 🙂

  • Reply
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama
    November 5, 2013 at 1:12 am

    I can relate to this post very well! I like a good plan but over the years I’ve learned that flying by the seat of your pants IS a really good thing. It’s called living your life not planning your life!

  • Reply
    Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers
    November 5, 2013 at 1:25 am

    Good for you! I know it sounds backwards, but for a planner to NOT plan, well… it takes a lot of work! You can do it though. Relax and enjoy life girl – you deserve it!

  • Reply
    November 5, 2013 at 1:39 am

    I love this post! I feel like we are all under pressure to try to be so “perfect” in this world, with our healthy meal plans and workout plans. But the truth is, we can never be perfect, and we just have to try our best to live healthy, be happy, and love people.

  • Reply
    Paige Podbelsek
    November 5, 2013 at 1:54 am

    This is so honest and open! It’s hard to admit when you need to take a step back but I can definitely sympathize with how you feel because I’m somewhat the same way. So glad you are finding a healthy balance that leaves you happy 🙂

  • Reply
    Kierston @candyfit
    November 5, 2013 at 2:10 am

    I am in. All in. Cheers to being perfectly imbalanced 😉

    p.s. I appreciate the honesty of your post. It makes you real. xo

  • Reply
    November 5, 2013 at 3:04 am

    Love this for so many reasons!! Life is meant to be lived and enjoyed – I think that sometimes we over-plan the fun out of everything!!! I was much older when I truly learned this – actually I had kids already and I realized that I was keeping them from enjoying some things because it didn’t fit into my original plan – oops, can’t undo but I can make sure not to repeat!!

  • Reply
    Melanie @HappyBeingHealthy.com
    November 5, 2013 at 7:26 am

    I love this post and can definitely relate! I am also an incessant planner and always try to accomplish way too many things! I find myself having mini breakdowns from time to time and always realize I need to simplify and just enjoy life. I wish you the best of luck!

  • Reply
    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats
    November 5, 2013 at 10:23 am

    Oh lady I overplan like nobodies business and can totally relate to this!! Well done for writing this post and getting it down on paper how you are feeling.

    I think us over planners definitely like to know how things are going to ‘play out’ and by planning them we almost feel like we can predict how they will. But knowing too much in advance and overplanning really can suck the fun out of things and can also make you forget to just enjoy the moment you are in (something I know I am guilty of).

    <3 this post, always happy to email you about what has helped me somewhat stop overplanning.

  • Reply
    Karen B
    November 5, 2013 at 10:41 am

    I am coping with some of the same issues, friend! Thank you for being so open and honest in your post. Realizing that there is a triggor/issue sometimes is very difficut for me and I admire people who identify these things and own it (something I am still working on).
    My stomach responds to all kinds of crazy things and it’s a daily struggle for me. My stress and anxiety level is often very high and I don’t even notice it! It’s become my “normal”. My fiancee notices things like I bite my lip or fidget with my hands….I get super quiet when I am nervous.
    THANK YOU for sharing this today! It’s a great reminder that I don’t always need to plan and that sometimes it’s okay (and healthier/happier) to go with the flow 🙂

    <3 Karen @karenlovestorun

  • Reply
    Miss Polkadot
    November 5, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Davida, you can be SO proud of yourself! Being an overplanner myself in many aspects of life I can relate so well to how hard letting go and just going with whatever happens is. Deep within I know that right now is the time I should be enjoying every opportunity I can get but I’m … scared (?). Of what? I’m not sure. Maybe yes, because planning – like for you – is one of my coping mechanisms. “Protecting” myself from unknown hurdles – but also from possibly fun happenings. Sigh.
    It’s great to see and hear how awesome your spontaneity felt this past weekend!
    Definitely joining you for the ride [blog-wise] – also in hopes some of your newfound relaxed approach might rub off on me :). Thanks for you honesty and wise words!

  • Reply
    Amy @ Elephant Eats
    November 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I’m so glad you’re finally finding your balance! I can totally relate to this…I used to avoid going out with friends because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to control my eating. You definitely need to allow yourself to enjoy life, thought, and trust that your body will do what’s best for it. Somehow when I got happier and stopped worrying about everything so much, I finally was able to do everything in moderation.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    i was very much like you couple years ago but i have become lot more spontaneous and i am okay with it. Since you have no responsibilities like you mentioned, its really the time to enjoy, explore and find out who you truly are rather than being in panic mode.Also, I know its easier said than done but we all need to break free of our weakness and enjoy life. XOXO dear.

  • Reply
    November 5, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I’m so happy I stumbled across your blog today and read this post. It really hit home. I’m also trying to find that balance in life where you can just live and not stress yourself out with trying to emulate this idea you have in your mind of how your life should be, and beating yourself up when you stray from it. Thanks for sharing this honest post. I’m excited to follow your journey as you let the chips fall as they may.

  • Reply
    Sarah Cook
    November 5, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    I love this Davida. You are wise beyond your years for realizing that. I am more than guilty of falling into the trap of planning and you’re right, the best and most healthy life is lived in a relaxed state of mind. I need to take a few tips from you!!

  • Reply
    Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate
    November 5, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    You are amazing. It takes a lot to acknowledge that you definition of what is “healthy” may have been holding you back from enjoying social situations. I definitely work on this every day, whtehr it be by accepting an invitation to go out wayyy past my usual bedtime, or not worrying about what I am going to eat out with friends or family, food sensitivities be damned. One thing that was really easy for my to let go of, though, was ditching the workout and meal planning for the most part, because it was just plain stressful. I would much rather spend by time on other more productive aspects of my life!

  • Reply
    November 6, 2013 at 12:50 am

    LOVE this! Just tweeted it!

  • Reply
    Nikki @ will run for pizza
    November 6, 2013 at 3:25 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this! I can relate! I have lists for everything and if I lose one, i’m a hot mess. It’s something I’ve been working on recently as well. So glad you found some freedom in letting all the planning go out the window! I know it’ll be hard to not fall back into that planning mode, but you can gradually learn to change that habit. And as you feel better living “by the seat of your pants”, you’ll want to continue living that like that and it will get easier.

  • Reply
    Karey @ Nutty About Health
    November 6, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Great post girl!! So happy for you that you’re letting go & realizing that you were unhappy & are doing something to change it. Everyone has a different version of healthy & I think it’s important that we all find one we’re happy & comfortable with. Glad you’re feeling better & thanks for sharing this! 🙂

  • Reply
    Em @ Love A Latte
    November 6, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    I must have missed this post a few days ago, but I’m so glad I see it today! What a fantastic post. Seriously awesome. So I’m a crazy planner (or used to be) and I have learned that you can plan all you want and life is just going to keep on going so you should enjoy it. Things have happened in my life in the last six months that have flipped my world upside down and that’s ok. I can’t plan everything – life just happens. Thank you for this reminder and I’m very excited about this mental realization for you! It’s truly amazing because you are young (myself as well) and we should just be enjoying life. Thanks for this post 🙂

  • Reply
    November 6, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I am sooososo happy you have realized this part of yourself, and can now figure out how to find that balance in your life!! Sometimes things take forever to come to fruition like this, but they are almost always worth the wait!! I love that we are total opposites with this right now, BUT I do want to say it’s definitely about the balance. While I LOVE having a plan and want some kind of routine, I won’t let that ruin my week if I deviate!! Cheers to living life!

  • Reply
    Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli
    November 7, 2013 at 11:08 am

    Love, love, LOVE!!! You are absolutely amazing Davida and I’m so happy for you that you’ve uncovered this new UNPLANNED chapter in your life! “It’s crazy how all the things that stress you out in life…all seem to resolve when you just relax.” <- So true! I know this, yet I haven't been very good at practicing it myself lately. I definitely needed a reminder. So thank you! xoxo

  • Reply
    Nikki @ The Road to Less Cake
    November 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    I love plans. I live by lists and plans and deadlines. I totally agree that you should be enjoying your youth. Something I probably need to do more of as well truth be told.

  • Reply
    November 12, 2013 at 2:47 am

    I am such a planner, and I feel lost without one. That being said, I can relate to stressing myself out with my own need to plan and list everything and when I feel anxious to get everything done, I make it a point to back off entirely and just relax. Then when I am less stressed, I get back to knocking things off my lists, and almost always in a much better frame of mind.
    Good for you for opening up and being willing to get footloose and fancy free.

  • Reply
    April 22, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    I know I’m a bit late to comment, but this is a wonderful post. I recently found your blog and have been reading through it nightly and find it really inspiring. I unfortunately struggle with similar issues in terms of over planning, especially with what meals I will eat and how much I have to work out. What do you think were the best ways for you to get “out” of this planning mode?

    • Reply
      Davida @ The Healthy Maven
      April 23, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Hey Daniela! So happy you found this post and it resonated with you. Honestly, I think taking risks and changing things up can be super helpful. Go out of your way to step out of your comfort zone. Travel helps with this too because there are so many factors you can’t control when you’re travelling!

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