It is important to be able to see how this challenge affects us, so John will be sharing his perspective throughout the month as well. Here he talks about conflicting feelings and a little about his own history with food scarcity.
The food challenge has another face, and it’s one that will not be found in the photos or videos. It still has a voice though, one that says, “I am confident, but with concerns.”
That voice is mine.
Michael introduced this challenge to me, and frankly, I think we can do it. I have been a cheap ass most of my life – not accruing much wealth but eating regularly, having a good time and buying the things I want, pretty much when I want them. That includes snacks. As Michael explained, we have approximately $4 each per day to spend on food. When I worked this week, I looked at my purchases for just snack foods and soda. My daily average was over my daily food allowance for October!
We have a joint challenge ahead of us, one that Michael feels nervous about, but I was comfortable with until I realized what I spending without a second thought.
I once survived for 6 weeks on overripe bananas, mayonnaise sandwiches and Ramen that gave me the occasional opportunity for a hot meal. Not by choice, but out of necessity. The bananas were given to me by my local grocer, the bread was quarter-a-loaf and days old, and the mayo came from packets I’d saved from eating fast food. I never was good at asking for help when I needed it and when I did I was met with some scoffing as I explained what left my cupboard bare.
We all land where we land at times it’s a matter of making sure we have the basic necessity to maintain our strength and spirit. I have never been as humbled as I was by someone standing next to me in a restaurant once asked me to buy something for their child to eat. I agreed, asking what they would like they refused, saying “just something for my children”. I knew that they were standing on their feet in front of me but inside they were praying, scared and on their knees.
This month I have a sub-challenge that Michael won’t have to do because he works from home. No snacks or sodas at work and no money spent on food of any sort that comes from my pocket. After all, if I were on SNAP, I would not be able to pull out that card and buy what I wanted if I had others to be concerned for.
I’m still confident that we can meet this challenge head on. It is important that we do. For that reason and for Michael’s fear, I am giving up my “treats” for the next 31 days.
Wish me luck.