Day 6 & 7 – £15 a week

So I’ve done it – I did it! I survived on £15 a week and didn’t starve.

But at what cost?

I’m not sure I can even remember what I’ve eaten over the weekend, that’s how exciting my diet has been but you’ve seen what the past week has consisted of. It probably started with porridge and ended in soup.

Come to think of it Saturday was pretty bad. I had breakfast and made it big as my rehearsals started at 12pm. There was no time for lunch and I thought I’d be finished early but things just mounted up. By the time I arrived hom at 17:45, I had a very empty stomach and I was knacked. I ate some terrible soup then crashed. Luckily I woke up at 10pm to say goodbye to my flatmate who has left for 2 months then I had an intervention. All week I’ve been super strict with this diet, not even drinking tea or coffee in the house, I’ve been miserable and isolating myself and it’s been pretty hard. I think I’ve been forcing myself to be miserable, I’m not entirely sure why but I think it would have something to do with wanting people to understand this diet it terrible. I had been turning down help to prepare meals because I’m so busy at the moment. I was also paranoid about wasting food. I also refused people buying me food or coffees and sharing food with me until the very end. Not a pleasant existence I can guarantee.

I’m currently working on 2 major theatre projects, I’m never off my email, I sit in rehearsals all day then I have tonnes of homework from that. Information flows to and through me constantly and this cognitive power also requires energy and a good mental attitude. If I truly was on benefits I would not have this extra stress (others granted) and no major deadlines or  constant correspondence. I’ve been making my life much more difficult than it needs to be as well as those around me.

There have been many negative aspects I’ve experienced on this diet:

  • Malnutrition (I’m not being over dramatic here there’s been noticeable changes in my body)
  • Fatigue I’ve not been so tired since the first time I discovered I suffered with Hypothyroidism.
  • Lack of cognitive power.
  • Broken record-itis – Apologies to everyone around me who had to listen to me harp on about what I was doing.
  • Putting my boyfriend under undue stress as he watched my walk around like a zombie and act like the world was ending but yet I refused any help.
  • Mood swings – I’ve been so frustrated and angry it’s unreal.
  • Feeling hungry a lot of the time.
  • Loneliness

But there’s been some positives which I’ve not really dwelled on:

  • I came up with some pretty amazing ideas and meals which I will share as this next week goes one.
  • I’ve started to research more into how I can use my time to help families and people who may be effected by the new benefit cuts.
  • I’ve learnt a lot about my body, what it needs, what’s an excess and how food fuels the body.
  • I’ve also experienced great kindness and support from people I love and those I’ve only just met.

Much to my disappointment, I feel I’ve done a dis-service to the people who will be forced to live within in such meagre means. I’ve proved that yes you can live on £15 but I want people to know it’s not a great quality of life. There have been no processed meals or food items in my diet but there’s been no iron in my diet, no other animal protein in my diet and only vegetable fat. My skin is dry and cracking, my usually spot free face is blemished beyond belief and I’ve suffered a lot of muscular pain, particularly in my lower spine.

We need to educate and support people who are unable to work or find themselves out of work. We need to give them self respect and motivate them to work. I’m not saying that a good diet will solve all these problems but if we had a healthier society I know they would be a happier.

I was sent this link today which has done the rounds before but it seems very relevant to me now.  (apologies it’s the Daily Mail)

I don’t want to change the world, it’s never been an ambition of mine but if I could help educated 1 person so they ate a better diet who then passed on their information to someone else, I could live a happy woman.

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