Day 2: Live Below The Line

Our Lives Revolve Around Food.  Fact!

It may seem like I’m stating the obvious, but it’s really become apparent to me, for various reasons, how much our lives revolve around food.  This is true of babies and adults alike, and very true of me this week.

Last weekend, I was baby-sitting for my best friend’s little boy, and our schedule revolved around his meal times!  Conversely, a couple of years ago, I went on a detox, where I basically paid to starve myself for the week, which was difficult, but more than that, it was monotonous, as we didn’t have meals, so there wasn’t really anything to look forward to, or any markers to denote different times of the day, and if you didn’t want to socialise, it was very easy not to.  Food was very obviously missing.  And today, on my 2nd day of my LiveBelowTheLine challenge, I’ve noticed how much my life and many people’s lives revolve around food.  It’s not just a basic human need.  It’s also a very social need.  We are social animals after all.

Today was tough!  Much tougher than I remember last year’s Day 2 being.  I was probably too preoccupied with my broken foot last year to care too much about the fact that I was living on £1 a day, and I was pretty much housebound, so I didn’t have too many temptations.  Roll forward a year, and temptation is everywhere.  I now own a coffee machine, and it seemed to be winking at me this morning, enticing me towards it like a magnet.  But instead, I boiled the kettle, and made my 47p Morrisons own brand (M Savers) instant coffee.  It smells like soy sauce, and tastes like a really bad cup of Bovril!  It is truly egregious (love to get that word in).  I wish I had spent my money on another lemon instead.  I cooked my porridge in water and added half a banana, and simultaneously made my banana sandwich (no butter) for lunch.  Lovely!

My journey to work was ok.  I had enough water to keep my thirst at bay.  When I got out at Oxford Circus station, I felt like I was in a Monopoly game, when you a chance or community chest card, and it reads ‘go directly to jail, do no pass go’, when I had to go past my usual coffee shop stop on the way in to the office.  I’d never really noticed how many food and coffee shops there are surrounding my office.  They’re everywhere.  Literally.  And people going in and out of them like a swarm of ants.

My work colleagues spent most of the day encouraging me with gentle jibes about coffee and food.  Remember I am a coffee addict and snob (coffee snob I mean), so this coffee thing is a big deal for me.  I’ve usually downed 3 double espressos before 10.00am.  And as my colleagues went out to lunch together, I daydreamed about a soya latte as I munched on my dry banana sandwich, and filled up my water bottle from the tap.  I was tempted to make another coffee, but I just couldn’t face it.

One colleague asked if I was going to “hitch-hike home” this evening.  I politely reminded him that my £5 is just for food and drink.  But for many people living below the poverty line, it’s all they have to spend on everything.  So whilst my colleague’s comments were said in jest, it did make me feel less sorry for myself, and was a reminder about why I am doing this.

Now for the moaning.  I am really suffering with hunger this year.  I think it’s because I usually follow a paleolithic diet that consists of lots of protein, and not much starchy carbs, but my diet has completely been reversed, and although I’m eating what I consider to be a fair amount, I am starving, and constantly thinking about food.  My life is revolving around it.  I am planning what time I arrive and leave work around my meal times.  My food is in control of me for the first time ever!

I have stomach cramps, feel bloated, tired and headachey.  But I can sleep tonight, knowing that I only have 3 more days of this.  Luckily I’m not really playing the game; I’m “just visiting”.  Until tomorrow!

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About looktoyourpath78

I'm on a journey, like everyone else, and I want to start writing about it. I'm passionate about social enterprise, entrepreneurship, young people, creativity, education and the empowerment of women and children, especially within an international development context. I love meeting new people, especially those that challenge and inspire me. I love good food, pilates, coffee and laughing until it hurts. I am a participant @THNK_org, an Non-exec Director for @MindfoodCiC and Co-founder @movellas.
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