From the 28th of April – 2nd May 2014, I participated in a challenge to raise global awareness and funds to fight extreme hunger and poverty. Together with thousands of people, I lived #belowtheline on just £1 per day for 5 days! Join us!
Photo courtesy of Live Below The Line UK
First of all, much apologies to my dear readers for not updating after Day 3. It seemed so far away now, this time 2 weeks ago. It was like getting past the bad times and living the good days now. Funny what 5 days of “poverty” can do to you. The week I was living below the line was also my study week. I had a paper the following week, which was last Tuesday. While I was getting along just fine, by Day 4 I realized I still had much to catch up on and I simply had to go offline from the blog.
Well, 2 weeks it has been, my exam is over and now I’m back in the blogosphere. Again, my apologies.
Day 4 and Day 5 of living below the line went well and I am proud to say that right up to day 5 I have managed to keep myself in check. May I also proudly add that I have managed to fundraise a total of £113 up to date and it has to be my biggest achievement ever. I don’t believe I have ever fundraised this much for any other cause before and I am eternally grateful for each and every one who has so generously sponsored me, and supported me throughout my journey. ♥
This particular week had been a very interesting week indeed. Not only did I have to exercise discipline from reaching into my snack cupboard and chocolate stash, I also had to keep myself sane. Every single night since the challenge started, I have been dreaming about food without fail. I even dreamt about McDonald’s and trust me – I haven’t eaten McDonald’s for what…8 months now? So on the second day, I decided that to control my desires (for food), I will watch all the food channels and cooking shows there are on TV. You must think I’m either insane or some sort of a masochist for putting myself through such…torture. Lol. It’s not. I put myself through it, to control my mind. After a while, I appreciated food presented on TV just as it is. Wondrous, glorious food. Sure, I would love to eat it. But it surprised me just as well when I didn’t seem to want it just as much. I have all these cravings I wanted to satisfy but it didn’t seem as important. Knowing that I had food for my every meal was more than enough for me. In fact, by the end of the challenge, you would think that I would throw myself into a buffet and eat myself crazy. I thought I would too. Lo and behold, I lost all my cravings. I know then I could eat if I wanted to. And I realized that I have somewhat gotten rid of my impulsive eating. I didn’t want to buy food just because I can and then end up having to discard it or anything like that because I didn’t like it or I couldn’t finish it. It was…a whole new experience. The very next day when a friend dragged me for a mini celebratory meal, I was actually wracked with guilt for eating like normal again. Which I think isn’t exactly a good thing because every time after that, I would stare at my meals with such forlorn, you’d think it’s a crime to be eating. I got over that soon enough but there will always be a twinge of slight guilt and sorrow, sadly. At least, now I am aware. 🙂
One thing I also picked up after this challenge was the fact that now after knowing that it is possible to buy groceries under £5, I was getting more careful about what I was buying. I know then it is possible to get cheaper things elsewhere, as long as I know where to look. Sure, it still isn’t practical to go all out of the way but as long as it is still possible & convenient, why not? That spare change that I save could very well go to fundraise this very cause and allowing someone else to have a proper meal, or send someone to school. :’)
Day 4 dinner: Rice coated with sweet & sour sauce + veggies. Surprisingly yum!
But another thing I am extremely proud of is that I lived WITHOUT my coffee! Yay! I have to admit, I was really worried at one point before the challenge. I was worried about the caffeine withdrawal but thank goodness I had none of that! I can totally prove that I CAN live without expensive cups of coffee every single day. Yaaaayyyyyy! Well done me! 😀
Day 5 lunch: Egg Shakshuka. Expensive (£0.54??? I scoff!) and I believe I can make a better version of this.
I am still considering doing it again but this time, I will definitely change the ingredients. Oh, the guilt is hitting me again. I get so worked up thinking about the fact that we are still able to CHOOSE what we want despite trying to live below the line. I know, it sounds really crazy but I cannot help it. All I can do is just be thankful and weave my way around it. 🙁
Day 5 dinner; my final meal below the line: Similar to day 4’s dinner but it’s actually tomato rice! Still yum!
Such a humbling journey to live £1/day. I will definitely not look at food the same way again, knowing how even the most basic, or smallest (and possibly insignificant to some) ingredients, e.g. garlic or onion can make such differences in the flavours of what seem like an unappetizing meal (as you can clearly see from my not so awesome pictures). Oh how I will treasure you little bulbs of garlic and that spoonful (or two) of salt that I put in every dish~ *among all my other appreciation of every other food/ingredients available to me.
If you are taking part in this challenge, do drop me a comment and share your journey with me! I would love to hear all about it!
Do contact me (or drop me a comment) if you are interested and willing to be involved. Or, you can choose to join me and participate in this challenge yourself, pick your own charity group that you may wish to fundraise for and experience an eye-opening, humbling 5-day journey. You don’t have to do it this week, this campaign runs until the 30th of June so anytime from now until then!
If, for whatever reasons you are not able to participate in the challenge but still wish to support, you may choose to sponsor me HERE! Remember, this campaign runs until the 30th June! No amount is too small for any cause, and rest assure that all the money will go to UNICEF UK. If you need all your spare change right now but still wish to make a difference, do spread the message and share what I am doing with your friends & family. Your support is invaluable.
N.B. The Paypal system does not allow donations to get through from Singapore (and possibly from Malaysia), unfortunately. I am still trying to get a list of countries from Live Below The Line UK that allow/disallow donation to get through. If you are interested to sponsor me, please get in touch with me via email/comment, and we can arrange something. I apologize for the inconvenience!
What’s £1 got to do with ending poverty?
From April 28 – May 2 2014, I took part in the Live Below The Line challenge
in support of UNICEF UK. Join me and thousands of people living on just £1 a
day for five days. Fight extreme poverty. Transform lives.