Living below the line - The finish line

May 5, 2013

After all is said and done, I lived below the poverty line for 5 straight days. Monday to Friday night, and I must say, it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do!  I had to live off of $8.75 over 5 days, or $1.75 a day for food, which means anything I was ingesting.  I wasn't able to accept anything from anyone, and believe me that wasn't easy.  If I were to do it again, there are definitely things I would do differently.

Some may think it's crazy that only 5 days affected me so much, but it was two fold. The first was emotionally.  It is such a weird feeling knowing that others in the world were starving like I was, but for their whole lives, not just 5 days.  There are millions of people out there without the basic needs of a human being, yet most of us can spend more than $8.00 on one meal alone.  I don't think we really put that into perspective too often.  It definitely helped me change my spending habits and how much food I buy.  I really don't need as much as I thought I did.

The second was physically.  Turns out I don't do well on only 600 calories a day without my basic nutrients.  The first night alone I was a few minutes from passing out running half a field.  Through the 5 days, I definitely learned a ton about my body, in terms of what I can and cannot handle.  Taking in so few calories, I wasn't able to do much of anything. I had very little energy and sleeping seemed to be my only option in terms of activity.  By day 2 I was going home every lunch hour to nap/rest and it did wonders, when before I started this project, I never napped at home even once on my lunch hour.  I also noticed how moody I was.  I'd say I wasn't the nicest person to be around last week.  It's amazing how much your mood and attitude is related to the food you eat. I noticed I was snapping at people more than normal, and little things tended to bug me which normally wouldn't.  The third thing I noticed with my body was my brain function.  As funny as it sounds, I felt dumber.  Brain food really is a thing you guys! Along with a co-worker of mine, I noticed that I was stumbling over my feet more, I was forgetting what I was saying, and I had a harder time thinking in general.

All in all, I'm very glad I did it.  I raised over $250 and my team raised over $2000 in total towards poverty.  I had amazing support from all those around me, and I can't thank them enough for being there for me.  It also makes me feel proud that I was able to make even the slightest impact for others that are less fortunate.  We all need that sometimes; to step back from our daily lives and think about others in the world and things we are doing in our daily lives that would be easily be changing. 

Would any of you be willing to do something like this?


  1. Good for you! That's amazing - I don't think I could do this

    1. Thank you! It was very tough, but an amazing learning experience!