Eating your feelings

“I’m a foodie”, “I love food”, “I live to eat”, “I woke up thinking about what food I’ll eat today”, “All I need is love.. and good food.” Have you found yourself saying these? Me too.
There is nothing wrong in being passionate about food. Although, it is a little worrisome when food acts as a medium to escapism.

Have you found yourself feeling stressed/ sad/ frustrated/ tired and craved for something unhealthy to eat? In my case, it happened too often. I realised everybody has a vice they escape to – some smoke, some drink – I felt a bit relieved that I wasn’t one of them. “I dont have such addictions!” I’d say to myself. But then again, I craved an ice cream everytime I was upset. Wait – is food my addiction!? Uh-oh.

“Eating your feelings” is actually a thing.
When you feel something you don’t want to feel, you eat your feelings – you eat something to escape those feelings.
It can happen on a small scale, for eg. I’ve had such a long day, I need a drink ice cream. Or, I fought with xyz, I feel too emotional to deal with this, I’m stepping out for a smoke fat burger.
Or, this is something that can happen day to day too.

For example- “my schedule is so busy/I have too much on my plate/I need something to look forward to get through my day, that way I’ll be able to get through the day”
Any vice practiced in moderation isn’t bad, until it starts taking control of your life.

Unfortunately, if the discipline to moderate isn’t achievable it can lead to tons of health problems.
So I thought of trying two solutions:
1) When you really crave something – eat it but in moderation.
2) Find another vice (I picked binge watching TV shows/ playing a game on my phone/ reading a book as a destresser)
Over time, I gathered some tips that hopefully will be helpful for you too.

Be aware
I’m not suggesting you to count your calories, because after a point you’ll drive yourself crazy. But be aware of the nutrition values of what you are eating.
Did you know a pack of chips contain as many calories as 250g of hummus?
It’s OK to eat chips once in a while, but when you’re aware of this, you’ll opt for hummus when you’re bored-hungry instead of chips. Hummus additionally also has lots of protein & fibres.

Rewards in moderation
When you feel like rewarding yourself with food, opt for a smaller portion.
Your craving is satisfied & you aren’t consuming too much junk!
Sometimes, I reward myself (by spending an extra hour doing a leisurely activity) for being able to reward myself in moderation.

A tasty and healthy mid-day snack
The villain of it all is our dear enemy – mid day snack.
When you’re terribly busy with work in the evening and you don’t have the patience to look for healthy options to eat – you’re stuck & give in to the whiff of vada pav (guilty).
So, problem-solver-Pranita found easy peasy recipes for you. You can prepare this in bulk at the beginning of every week.
Craving something crispy? Ditch store bought chips, and try Carrot Chips (click for free download)
Want something with a bit of flavour and spice? Try Makhana (Lotus seed) Munchies (click for free download)
Craving something sweet? There’s the super healthy Granola (click for free download)
Want something creamy that can fill you up? Try Hummus (click for free download)

Talk to your feelings
My biggest takeaway was understanding my body and feelings – to be mindful about my hunger, needs or wants.
“Am I really hungry?” “Do I want to eat because I’m stressed?” “Do I want to eat because I’m bored?” Just knowing why you want to eat helps, you’ll automatically do what your heart wants 🙂

By the end of it all, as long as you are healthy, free of diseases/ addictions, remember – beauty comes in all shapes and sizes <3

Please feel free to drop your suggestions that you think may help me or other readers! 🙂

Lots of love,
Pranita

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Food VS Fitness

#FoodVSFitness is a series that elaborates the almost depressing worries of the food vs fitness dilemmas. The series consists of 10 illustrative scenarios describing the mental pressures one goes through. It talks about the lack of balance between extreme food eating habits or extreme fitness.
Creative Direction, Art Direction & Illustrations: Pranita Kocharekar

 

When you’re playing ‘Waiting for weight loss’ game every morning 🙈#FoodVSFitness I’ve struggled a lot for the last few years with the food versus fitness (fit body) dilemma. I love food A LOT & I love being fit A LOT. Finding a middle ground is very difficult & I know I’m not alone! This series elaborates the almost depressing worries of the food vs fitness dilemmas. Made on #iPadPro #Procreate #1195 #pranitasdrawingaday #drawingaday #dailydrawing #drawingeveryday #drawing #art #illustration #illustrationdaily #illustrationartists #ilustree #picame #pirategraphic #supplyanddesign #ballpitmag #100daysproject #1000daysproject #365daysproject #pranitart #pranitakocharekar #food #foodie #fitness #muscles #girlswholift #weightloss #weighingscale

A post shared by Pranita Kocharekar (@pranitart) on

When you're sad about it either way 🤷‍♀️🍰#FoodVSFitness I’ve struggled a lot for the last few years with the food versus fitness (fit body) dilemma. I love food A LOT & I love being fit A LOT. Finding a middle ground is very difficult & I know I’m not alone! This series elaborates the almost depressing worries of the food vs fitness dilemmas. Made on #iPadPro #Procreate #1197 #pranitasdrawingaday #drawingaday #dailydrawing #drawingeveryday #drawing #art #illustration #illustrationdaily #illustrationartists #ilustree #picame #pirategraphic #supplyanddesign #ballpitmag #100daysproject #1000daysproject #365daysproject #pranitart #pranitakocharekar #food #foodie #fitness #weightloss #weighingscale #dessert

A post shared by Pranita Kocharekar (@pranitart) on

I've heard this way more than I'd like and it is not coooool! 🤷‍♀️ #FoodVSFitness I’ve struggled a lot for the last few years with the food versus fitness (fit body) dilemma. I love food A LOT & I love being fit A LOT. Finding a middle ground is very difficult & I know I’m not alone! This series elaborates the almost depressing worries of the food vs fitness dilemmas. Made on #iPadPro #Procreate #1199 #pranitasdrawingaday #drawingaday #dailydrawing #drawingeveryday #drawing #art #illustration #illustrationdaily #illustrationartists #ilustree #picame #pirategraphic #supplyanddesign #ballpitmag #100daysproject #1000daysproject #365daysproject #pranitart #pranitakocharekar #food #foodie #fitness #weightloss #weighingscale

A post shared by Pranita Kocharekar (@pranitart) on

When you permanently break up with food that’s 100% damage. 🥤 #FoodVSFitness I’ve struggled a lot for the last few years with the food versus fitness (fit body) dilemma. I love food A LOT & I love being fit A LOT. Finding a middle ground is very difficult & I know I’m not alone! This series elaborates the almost depressing worries of the food vs fitness dilemmas. Made on #iPadPro #Procreate #1203 #pranitasdrawingaday #drawingaday #dailydrawing #drawingeveryday #drawing #art #illustration #illustrationdaily #illustrationartists #ilustree #picame #pirategraphic #supplyanddesign #ballpitmag #100daysproject #1000daysproject #365daysproject #pranitart #pranitakocharekar #food #foodie #fitness #weightloss #weighingscale

A post shared by Pranita Kocharekar (@pranitart) on

While at a birthday party. #FoodVSFitness (This is the end of the series, can’t thank you guys enough for the support & love ❤️) I’ve struggled a lot for the last few years with the food versus fitness (fit body) dilemma. I love food A LOT & I love being fit A LOT. Finding a middle ground is very difficult & I know I’m not alone! This series elaborates the almost depressing worries of the food vs fitness dilemmas. Made on #iPadPro #Procreate #1205 #pranitasdrawingaday #drawingaday #dailydrawing #drawingeveryday #drawing #art #illustration #illustrationdaily #illustrationartists #ilustree #picame #pirategraphic #supplyanddesign #ballpitmag #100daysproject #1000daysproject #365daysproject #pranitart #pranitakocharekar #food #foodie #fitness #weightloss #weighingscale

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The Balance

When I began my career, I was almost certain that “the freelancer’s balance” didn’t exist, and those who claim to have it are lying – haha!
But over time, I forced myself to create a balance (mostly because I was at the brink of insanity) and today I can proudly say that I have almost found it.

A bunch of you asked me some questions which will help me compose this article!

How do you deal with stress? I am asking you this because I have always found positivity, inspiration and happiness in your posts. – @reenanaik
How do you manage work, fitness and everything else together? What keeps you motivated? – @design_breeze @mandala_aesthete

Stress is inescapable for me, especially with tight deadlines, commitments and so much more!
Stress leads to anxiety which leads to a semi-paralysed state of mind.
The solution to handling stress and anxiety is about what you do when you’re NOT stressing.
What I mean is, you have to train yourself to handle these situations better – by practicing.

Here’s what I do:
Meditation & mindfulness

I try to meditate at least once a day. My idea of meditation is observing my breath and pushing other thoughts away while doing so – to be in the present moment and observe each breath entering and exiting your body. This is tough in the beginning, because your mind is not used to focusing on such a simple and obvious task. But the more you practice  – the more you’re able to bring yourself in the present moment.
How does this help? When you’re stressed/ anxious, you’re too deeply involved in a problem, and looking at it too closely leads to a limited perspective. Meditation helps you be in the present moment, detach yourself from the problem and analyse it with a different perspective – solely because you can stay calm,composed and mentally observe from a distance.

Take breaks regularly

While working, I make sure I give myself quick breaks to stare at green trees outside my window. (Good for your eyes – especially if you’re staring at a screen all day!) Again, this is so I can get my mind off work and simply “be” for a while. This helps me refocus and work better!

Scheduled rewards:
Look forward – As much as I believe being present in the moment, sometimes it’s hard. I allow myself to look forward to something fun planned by the end of each day – read a book, meet a friend or watch a movie.


Analyse from time to time:

Sometimes, I forget why I’m doing what I’m doing. When it starts becoming mechanical, I lose motivation. During times like these, I take time to analyse my project (and life!) and put things into perspective again.

Channelise feelings:

I’m not ALWAYS happy. I choose to show my happier side so it rubs off on the people viewing it. I want to make sure people get a good and happy vibe from my posts, and I try my best to spread that. When I’m sad or angry – I simply don’t post about it because those moments are very personal and temporary for me. But I too have times when I have my downs. Sometimes when I feel there are others who may suffer through the same emotion – I create projects about it, like the one on anxiety and depression.

And finally,

The Balance –
Work, fitness and leisure are all equally important – it took me three years to realise this and act upon it. By experience, I believe, to excel at one of these – one should practice all three.

Work –
I used to be an over-worker until I realised that the quality of my work was being compromised because of being in a poor state of mind (the lack of leisure and fitness).
To be able to work efficiently, I believe three things need to be in order – goals, a plan towards your goals and discipline. Once goals are defined, a plan must be made to achieve them, without which your goals are mere mortal fever dreams. The plans need to be broken down into tasks that can fit in your daily schedule which will eventually help you reach your goal. But for this to happen, one requires discipline. How did I develop discipline? Fitness.

Fitness –
Fitness really helped me with my discipline. In my previous post about PCOD, I mentioned why fitness is so important to us. (Go ahead, read it!) When I realised exercising is as important as brushing my teeth – it was immediately a part of my schedule. The discipline of brushing my teeth, exercising, showering and eating on time helped me stay disciplined with my work too!

Work for the week – done! Exercised everyday – done! What keeps me motivated to repeat the same for the next week? – Leisure.

Leisure –
It is good to allow yourself to enjoy from time to time. I always have something planned for myself every weekend. Be it ample time to read a book, visit my friends, a family dinner or simply sleep a few extra hours.
Planning leisure is also kind of important – this way you can have fun + meet your friends/ family.

What is your daily management routine like? – @doodlebug_57

I work 5 to 5 and ½ days a week and take the weekends off.
Weekdays:
7.30 -10.30: Breakfast + newspaper + read a book/ Sudoku/ spend time with family
10.30 – 1: Work
1 – 1.30: Lunch + TV
1.30 – 7.30: Work
7.30 – 11.30: Read/ Hang with friends or boyfriend

Exercise: Strength training/ HIIT/ Run on alternate days, Yoga/ Pilates/ Stretching on the remaining days. I exercise whenever I feel like I need a break. Can be first thing in the morning or after work or in the middle of a workday or a run in the afternoon – whatever my mood feels like.

Weekends:  I spend time with family/boyfriend/friends. I make sure I plan a leisure activity or try a new restaurant. (It is important to give time to your family and friends!)
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So many of you wish to be more productive, want to manage your time better and also enjoy life at the same time sooooo…I created a fun, multi-purpose product for you – the 2018 calendar. This calendar includes commemorative days, fun illustrations & every new month helps you achieve a new goal! Stay tuned for more details of this calendar (next post!) and how you can grab it.
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I would love to create a conversation with you. If you have anything to add to the post, feel free to drop comments. We learn from each other! 🙂

Have a lovely day!
Love,
Pranita.

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PCOD – My Best Friend

If I got a rupee for every time I heard someone say “Stop losing so much weight”, “A scoop of ice cream won’t kill you”, “What is this fitness obsession?” “You’re not fat!” “You’re not enjoying food, you’re not enjoying life”, I’d be a millionaire.

I’m writing this simply so I could link this post to every person who mentions the above. And probably, so can you! But this is for everyone who thinks being fit is just about looking good – it’s not.  

For those of you who don’t know what PCOD is,
PCOD (Polycystic Ovaries Disorder) is a hormonal disorder that causes the ovaries to enlarge and creates cysts on the outer edges of the ovaries. A lot of women suffer through PCOD or PCOS. The common cause for PCOD is hormonal imbalances and genetics. PCOD affects everybody differently. The common symptoms are hair growth, acne, weight gain, irregular period. It can also lead to depression, infertility, type 2 diabetes, pot belly.

My story
When I was 15 I was diagnosed with PCOD (like the other 20 girls from my class) – most of us had irregular periods, most of us happily ignored the problem ( I personally for 5 years!) until the symptoms  began to escalate.  
I was known for my fiery metabolism (I mean, who eats a whole cake and doesn’t gain weight?) but eventually, the food I consumed would show on my body very easily.
This made me revisit my doc once again. After multiple tests, I realised that the PCOD had become really, really bad. My doctor put me on a strict diet and asked me to exercise at least 5 times a week.

For 6 months, I threw a fit about how “life is unfair!!” “why can’t I eat a whole cake whenever I want to??”, “why do I have to exercise so often??” etc. Over time,  it lead to weight gain, acne, my hair quality went bad, I had way too many mood swings, I developed anxiety, my periods were irregular – nothing felt right – I lost my confidence!

About 3 years ago, after everyone around me was sick of my cribbing (myself included), I decided to let PCOD be my motivation to lead a healthier life. I stopped eating out every day – instead ate out only once a week (I enjoy my pizzas better now). I also decided to moderate my sugar content. I started exercising moderately, a mix of cardio, HIIT, weight training, kickboxing, running. Variety in my workout routines kept things from getting draggy, and an upper limit (45 minutes) made sure my daily schedules were on track as well.
I’m constantly battling PCOD everyday – but it is definitely my best friend. It taught me how to bring a balance.

Had it not been for this disorder, I wouldn’t have realised the benefits of staying fit.
Because of a healthy lifestyle I have better skin (I don’t use make up), I’m physically fit, I’m mentally stable (exercise helps you gain focus & be more mindful), I’m stronger (I don’t need help to lift things!), and the best of all – I’m confident.

I get a lot of questions from people asking “How do you make time for working out?”
Honestly, that was a battle I fought for a long time. But it is only the matter of perspectives. As children, we were trained to brush our teeth, shower, and eat food daily. We make time for this – no matter what. Because we realise it’s importance, right? It’s the same logic. When you know how important exercising is – you automatically make time for it. Be it mornings, afternoons, evenings or even midnight!
(I’ll elaborate more on balance and time management in my next blog post – stay tuned!)

I am twice as productive, mindful, confident and happy ever since I began exercising and eating right.
Strong is sexy, ladies, always remember! ☺

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