Living on $6.65 per day, I found myself feeling frequently hungry. I know that I’m not starving but rather I’m “uncomfortable” and not eating the way I am accustomed to.
Before I agreed to the Fife House challenge, if I was hungry I would simply buy something to eat and generally it was whatever, whenever and wherever I wanted without any hesitation.
My normal daily routine has changed drastically and I’m no longer eating impulsively. I’m constantly worried about money and trying to stay within the budget. If I use up all of the $46.55 too soon, then I fail the challenge and even worst have nothing left for the rest of the week. That will not be fun.
It’s day four and my hands are icy cold. I don’t have a fever or other symptoms that resemble a cold or the flu. I just have frozen little digits. I am rubbing my hands together and blowing into them for heat, but can’t seem to warm them up. My seatmate, Councillor Layton, can attest to this as he looked quite shock when I touched his hand to show him how cold my fingers were.
This afternoon I didn’t join the women councillors for our monthly luncheon, as they were going to the fine dining room of Osgoode Hall. Their food and service is always exceptional but on the $6.65 daily budget, it was a non-starter for me. I stayed in my office and ate a big lunch heavy with protein, fibre, carbohydrates and starches. On the menu was leftover rice floor pasta, ratatouille, kale, roasted yam and mixed bean salad.
Today’s council meeting seemed excruciating long and although I had packed raw almonds, dates and raisins to keep me going, by 7 p.m. I was losing focus.
I have a relatively high metabolism and need a certain amount of caloric intake to stay alert and healthy. Today I obviously didn’t get enough food to eat, despite my best planning and was running low on blood sugar.
I generally take my coffee black but this afternoon I impulsively added two packs of available white sugar and 10% cream to my caffeinated drink. It’s been some time since I’ve dressed my coffee like this but now I’m viscerally craving the sucrose and fat.
Overall, it was a challenging day. I couldn’t warm up, struggled to stay focus, parked my car in someone’s spot and ended the day with hunger cramps because I didn’t get home soon enough to eat (leftovers again). Besides who has the energy to prep, cook and clean after 12-hour workday?
I’m still trying to figure out how to “thrive” on $6.65 per day. Habitual adjustments have already been made and although I’m not a breakfast person, today I made sure I had some carbohydrates in my system before leaving the housing. For me, Sunday night will be here soon enough. I am disciplined and know that I can finish this weeklong challenge within budget.
For others less fortunate, the end of their budget challenge may never come.