Welcome to the 30 percent mark of the Hunger Challenge.
Here are a few examples of meals I’ve had this week so far:
Macaroni and Cheese with a hot dog
Leftover macaroni and cheese with a peanut butter sandwich
Pork and potatoes
Leftover potatoes and tuna with half a peanut butter sandwich
Everything tastes like pepper because that’s the only available seasoning. Otherwise, things end up fairly bland. I imagine that’s the life of a person living on SNAP benefits.
While I haven’t been unbearably hungry, I don’t think I’ve felt full or as satisfied as I usually do.
As I mentioned in the title, the greatest thing I’ve noticed is what I like to call the “Where am I?” factor. I’m typically on task throughout the day and very direct in my work; however, that is not the case this week. I walk into a room and forget what I’m doing. I attempting turning my car on without keys in the ignition. I’ve been lethargic, disoriented, and unfocused. Since I haven’t felt extremely hungry, I can’t blame this change on hunger alone, but I think a lack of fulfillment is contributing.
One of the biggest challenges I’ve faced is continually worrying about my next meal. What will I have? Will it be enough? Should I eat less to save up for the remainder of the week?
People living on SNAP benefits likely have these thoughts routinely. They likely struggle with concentration, focus, and motivation, especially when they’re hungry and preoccupied with the search for their next meal.
For the last two days, co-workers have been eating a cake here in the office that one of our photographers brought it. I see it every time I get up from my desk. It seems to be serving as a reminder, for the moments when I forget, that the struggles and frustrations I’m having this week are nothing compared to those who live with these every day.
Through an e-mail chain, my fellow Hunger Challengers have taught me a great deal too as they learn through the week. I hope to share some of that with you in the coming days.
I’m off to workout on a semi-empty stomach. After that, I’ll make a dinner of two hotdogs on two pieces of bread and some rice. Having to make it all the way to breakfast on such a small meal definitely makes the evenings the most difficult. On top of that, there is more free time and calories being burned without any hope of being replenished till the morning.