Bonnie’s Stomach Rumbling live below the line challenge

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My Stomach Rumbling Challenge for Charity – A Week of Living Below the Line.

During the $2 challenge you can feel your stomach rumbling from the void. You’re hungry. More so – you feel like you’re starving. You glance at the person sitting next to you biting into a sandwich. Not for you. Not for another 4 days…
You feel the saliva building up in your mouth and just before you start to drool, you peal your eyes off of the delicious bready goodness and drink a glass of water instead to relieve the emptiness in your rumbling void.
The feeling of hunger fades.

Hours later you get to have your next big meal. You can’t wait. It’s like birthday, Christmas and New Year’s together and you devour it like birthday cake wrapped in ham and stuffed with Christmas pudding. Except it’s rice. And yet every bite of the simple meal feels like the best you’ve ever had in your life and suddenly, after giving your body all it could possibly desire, you’re one massive lump of happy.

Living on $2 a day is a reality for 1.2 billion people around the world. $2 a day for all meals and drinks. There’s no room for luxury items.

When I first heard about the charity I was excited to be challenged in a way that would get me to realise what it’s like to really struggle for food and raise money for a charitable cause at the same time. So I randomly signed up. I told Clyde about the challenge and we talked about how hard it would be. Out of the blue he decided to do it with me. Clyde being a 1.9m tall, muscly and fit man. I was afraid about not being able to handle the diet myself, let alone him being able to live off of $2 when he really needs the energy. We easily spend $100 a week going out for drinks and dinners, but the challenge was on!

Planning for the week

On the last Sunday before D-Day (Monday) we went to the market together right before it ended, which meant that most items were a bargain $1. This is easy! I thought to myself. And so our super healthy salad-feta-avocado hipster-esque diet turned into a carb-loaded feast of rice, potato, sweet potato, bananas, (Fear of constipation? Nah!) Add eggs, milk, tuna and tofu for protein, capsicum, onion, cucumber and a hand full of rocket for a bit of vitamin c to brighten our sugar-low days. We added in a few coins for what we considered ‘luxury food’: sauces (miscellaneous), a few spoons of granola and a tiny bit of cheese.

$20 budget gone. Our breakfast mostly consisted of a banana milkshake with a hard boiled egg, fried rice with tofu for lunch, fried rice with capsicum for dinner, potato mash, fried potato, oven potato… We lasted 4 out of 5 days until we ran out of food. In that time we raised over $200. Big thank you for those who donated for us!

There’s a big empty space in your belly that is eager to be filled. But you’re not filling it.
I learnt so much during the live below the line challenge. How hard it is to eat for only $2 a day. That you can only have 3 meals a day. No snacks. I noticed how much I had been snacking. How much nonsense food I had been feeding my body before. Salted nuts and chocolate mostly. During the challenge, I felt strong. My body would tell me that I’m hungry and I could have caved at any time but I had the willpower to do it all the way.

Mind, Body and Soul

It was hard but I really loved what I learnt about my body and mind. That your body only needs a certain amount of energy; that food can be cheap and yumm; that you haven’t felt the feeling of being hungry in a long time and it feels good; that the reality is there are people in the world that have no choice but to live off of $2 every day; that throwing away food is not an option; that random people you meet along the way are generous and kind when you tell them about your mission; that you can have plenty of fun doing nothing at home or get super creative, play chess, tell stories, read books to each other and dance in the living room; that there are many of us who have far more than we need, and so many more who have far less.

Part of the staying at home doing nothing was coming up with the idea to write this blog. To reach out to other people and be able to tell our stories. In two varieties. Him and Her. Bonnie and Clyde. On a stomach rumbling mission.

Clyde wrote something about living cheaply with me here if you want to read it.

Yours truly,

Bonnie

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