An Overview of Challenge Week

06 May 2017

Congratulations to everyone who finished Live Below the Line! The impact you’ve made this week and your continued impact through fundraising, along with our partners, will help make a real difference.

Our participants Wen and Amy blogged throughout the week and we’ve got a summary of their week here!

Day 1


So we all made it through day one just fine. Kees did much better than I anticipated, but I got a little hangry and cracked it at Metro. The hangry doesn't usually set in until Wednesday!

I've been thinking a lot about Sunday night. I admit it I was a little overzealous and overdid it on our last meal. I spent $9 on prosciutto. I love prosciutto, but even I know that my enthusiasm was a little overbearing there. $9 is a lot to spend on one item, and our whole meal was very indulgent. I know I like to treat myself the night before but I'm actually feeling a little guilty.

Nine dollars can buy 4 thick slices of prosciutto or a total of:

  • 43 eggs
  • 6kg rice
  • 12kg flour
  • NINETY KILOS OF BANANAS. Seriously, Henry's Mercato had a 10c/kg special. Ninety kilos.
  • 45kg of potato
  • 10L milk
  • 11 loaves of bread

Look at that. It's eye-opening to see just how wasteful our one meal was. Still guilty, but also don't really regret it even though I feel like I should. Yes, I overdid it. Absolutely and I own that - but it was a special occasion. It's the dinner ritual before Live Below the Line. I enjoy a delicious meal before giving up frivolous food like creme sauces and cheese (my gods how I miss cheese) and of course, spiced meat like proscuitto. Treat yo self because for the next 5 days, that is not going to happen.

Day 2


I’m still alive!!! Yes, you read that right. Woke up today like any other day. It felt like I'm not doing any challenge at all. Although I went to bed last night with a pounding headache, I woke up feeling refreshed. Who would have thought? My son was sick as soon as I got up and looking after him kept me distracted on having my breakfast early. That was a good thing, a very good thing!

I carried on throughout the day just having small amount of food. The biggest portion I had was breakfast, with the usual coffee and 2 slices of toast with jam and banana. For lunch, all I had was half an apple. I’m still hungry but not as much as yesterday. But my thoughts about food that I want to eat, the cravings, the temptations were so strong today.

Dinner came and I tried to give my Penne Pasta another chance (like I have a choice). I even thought and even did put a little of strawberry jam to maybe UP the taste a little bit. And yes, you guessed it right.. IT FREAKIN DID NOT!! So here I am sitting again in front of the computer, bit hungry, with a glass of water beside me thinking of all sorts of food that I could not have. That's why I am signing off now at the time of 8:30 Pm.

Day 3:


There's lots of things to reflect on from today. I saw a suitably trained, compassionate doctor the same day I decided I needed to - twice. I had x-rays taken at no cost and they were immediately provided to me. A trained professional completed a (painful) procedure with skill and hygiene, bandaged me up and then I was able to take the rest of the day to recover.

So yes, sometimes we wait for hours at the clinic but at the end of the day I received impeccable care at practically no cost. And this is a regular thing in Australia. Our basic medical needs are met, and I am particularly grateful today as I spent most of it napping. I did have a very odd and most likely pain relief induced dream about one of Oaktree's student profiles, a 19 year old girl named Mana, in which she told me biology was amazing and she would love to take a blood sample that unsettled me a little but I'm giggling about it now.

Hopefully Mana become one of the next generation of nurses or doctors in Timor-Leste, and helps provide impeccable care to those who need it most. Vale Hannah have raised just shy of $1600, which is enough to train 6 teachers - or perhaps fund a university scholarship? Who knows how far your generosity will spread? For now, more napping!

Day 4:


At my workplace, we get free butter, milk and spread. So imagine the stare I was getting from my colleague when she saw me get my little container with the jam and the sliced banana. She was looking at me in a weird way and I made a comment, "I know. It's weird but I have no choice." Then that was the start of the conversation about living below the line. I had to tell them about what it is about, why I am doing this and the rules for the challenge. They were in shock (or maybe amazed) at the extent of this. They asked me what I had been eating for the past 3 days which I gladly told them my ups and downs. Im hoping that will be enough for them to go to the website and donate. And hoping they actually remember to donate.

Remember my Penne Pasta from my last blogs? I wanted to have it again tonight for dinner as I was starving on my home. But the thought of how it tastes just makes me what to vomit. So I've decided to totally ditch that and just live off toast and jam for the rest of the week. I have to say I haven’t eaten this much jam my whole life and probably would just end up eating plain toast by Friday.

Day 5:


We're very near to the end of challenge week 2017. For now, I am torturing myself with the smell of chicken parmigiana cooking in the oven. Normally I have zero restraint and just eat whatever I want as soon as it hits midnight but I've capped myself this year. It's definitely not what I'm used to but tonight I'll only be spending $10 on this meal. It's still enough for a few things I'm super keen to eat though - cheese is always my weakness! And chocolate, and ice cream, and energy drink. Yaaaas! Kees is ordering a burger to be delivered at midnight - thank Edesia for menulog - and he has a few beers waiting. In all likelihood, Elisa is being the most rational of us and is going to sleep before eating.

What was your challenge week like? Don’t forget it’s not too late to do Live Below the Line yourself or even host a Dine Below the Line!

Previous Post Next Post 

Leave a Comment