Day 2 of Living on $1.50 per Day

I’m living on $1.50 worth of food per day for five days as part of Live Below the Line, a project to raise awareness about extreme poverty and raise funds for charities. I am fundraising for UNICEF.

I am 20% of the way through my challenge. I’m honestly a little surprised I’ve lasted this long. I am impulsive and eager to start new things, and just as quickly come up with excuses and quit. I have a collection of athletic equipment I’ve collected over the years that I no longer use. There are gloves for my brief stint at weightlifting, boxing gloves from Muay Thai and cardio kickboxing, shoes for Zumba, and uniforms and weapons from doing Wushu. I refer to this collection as my “Duffle Bag of Shame.” I recently started doing aikido again, but haven’t been going because I’ve been going running instead. Point being, I’m no stranger to quitting.

What’s keeping me going in this challenge is partly pride. Tom Hiddleston did this challenge last year, as did many other people, and if they can do it, I can too, right? Tom Hiddleston is 6’2″, and he lived on £1 per day for five days in London. I’m only 5’2″, and I’m 10-15 lbs. overweight, so I figure the challenge should be easier for me.

I think sometimes about the billion people around the world living on so little, and sometimes it helps me tolerate my growling stomach and resist the temptation to quit, but it also reminds me that my doing this is a bit hypocritical.

I am still living in my comfy house with heat, plumbing, and electricity. I’m still driving my SUV around, which incidentally gets better gas mileage than my minivan. My husband and I own three vehicles. It pains me to think of how much food we waste because I forget to prepare it before it spoils, or my children don’t eat all of their meals. We have two refrigerators. I feel like a poster child for excess.

I confess that part of me is vain enough to want to do the whole challenge to be able to say I did. To brag even. That seems kind of sick, but I have to accept all the parts of me, not just the ones I’m proud of.

I’ve had 11 people/families sponsor me now and two people who’ve shared my fundraising page. I’m grateful that they believe in me enough to support me. I’d like to stick with the challenge for as long as I can, as a way to show my gratitude towards them. I’m usually really lazy about sending thank you notes, but I am definitely sending some after this challenge is over.

I’ll close this post with something my birth instructor taught my husband when I was pregnant with our son Zach. When a woman in labor says, “I can’t do this!” the birth instructor says the husband should say, “You can do this, you ARE doing it!”

You can do this, you ARE doing it!

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