*From Friday, 09 May – https://www.livebelowtheline.com.au/blogs/7432
I woke up to day 5 I was exhausted, but keen as a mung bean to get this last day going. All I could think about was that moment that was finally approaching, that moment when the clock would trick midnight and I could gorge myself on everything insight. I had packed a good amount of food for the day and I went into work really excited. People were keen to chat and see how I was going. At this point I was really exhausted physically. Unlike the previous two days were I could just lay in bed and get that extra hour or two of sleep I couldn’t today.
But none the less I was still smiling because I knew it was almost over. The smell of toast from the staff kitchen was amazing, and I could feel myself salivating. It made me think that it would be wonderful to have a fresh loaf of sourdough bread at midnight, and I knew just where I could get one from… only it would involve going to one of the best bakeries in town. That’s when another light blub went off in my tired head… What if I make these last few hours all about really challenging myself. And that was that.
When a colleague brought in my favourite Polish wafers to work ‘prince polo’ to work that day I happily took one and put it aside… I wasn’t even tempted. When my boss mentioned craving hot chips, I decided to use the opportunity to go with him, buy my bread from the bakery and walk with him back from the shops with those hot chips. He ate them next to me and the smell wafted through my area of the office… And I was still going strong.
I’d had my pear and oats for the morning, but the next time I looked up from my keyboard it was into the afternoon and a little headache started sneaking in. I’d realised about 1:30pm that instead of splitting my lunch into two meals as I’d planned, I had already missed my first meal. The headache kept getting worse so I decided to have one of my lunches. Unfortunately that didn’t help, and the headache only got worse. I didn’t know if it was from staring at a screen all day without a break or just from being exhausted and wanting to sleep desperately but I wasn’t feeling too well. On the bright side I’d managed to rustle up a couple more donations from work colleagues which did help my think it was all worth it.
As I headed home from work I decided to try the one thing I’d tried avoiding all week, heading to the supermarket. As I walked into my local supermarket I couldn’t help but smile because I knew that anything I bought I was going to be able to eat in several hours. This is when the strangest thing happened to me. Normally when I enter that supermarket I B-line it to the bakery section and pick up my favourite cookies or pastries, but today as I walked through the bakery section nothing really took my fancy. The same thing happened when I walked through the chocolate isle, the freezer section… nothing. The one thing that did however cross my eye was a man reducing freshly made curries and pastas for the end of the day. I snapped up some various curries, some spinach and ricotta cannelloni, some veggie lasagne and some creamy pasta with the intention of waiting until 11:30pm at night and selecting the ones I was craving the most to have with my crusty sourdough bread. I don’t know if it was a week without sugar and caffeine, but the fact that chocolate, cookies, sweets and fried foods weren’t tempting me was something that I hadn’t experienced in a long time. It did make me wonder though, when did my everyday diet get so bad? And how was it possible that LBL was the thing that put it back in check.
Now for anyone that’s done LBL you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say, the best part of the whole experience was this… 11:45pm. 15 minutes before I could gorge myself on whatever I wanted. I had a massive selection of treats, sweets, cakes, curries, pastas and so much more to choose from. I made my choice – spinach and ricotta cannelloni, veggie lasagne, creamy carbonara, my crusty sourdough bread, some of mums homemade plum cake, a bowl of cereal and a teaspoon of Nutella. At 11:59pm I was standing there, food ready to go, a piece of bread with butter in one hand and a spoon in the other and I was staring at the clock. I was so excited. My heart was pounding, my eyes were going in and out of focus on the numbers and I was fidgeting like no tomorrow. My dad was sitting on the couch smiling at the whole ordeal and I couldn’t believe that I was more excited counting down the seconds for it to turn midnight than I could remember being at any New Years. The moment had come… 12:00am! The buttered bread went into my mouth and I had barely finished shallowing it when I started shovelling cereal with cold milk into my mouth. It was all so satisfying and then it came time to tuck into the rest. But rather than standing around the kitchen table, grabbing at food left right and centre like a mad man I decided to do it properly and eat like a King… I did deserve it after all. So I sat down in front of the tv, turned on survivor, pulled a blanket over my lap and over the course of the hour long episode, each meal slowly disappeared. And I couldn’t have been happier. I’d raised $452, gone through an emotional roller-coaster and come out a little better on the other end.
Saying all that, I’d just like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported me throughout LBL 2014. Your kind words, care, patience and donations over the last 5 days have really meant the world to me. I couldn’t have done it without you. A special thank-you has to go out to mum and dad for putting up with my terribly snappy attitude during LBL, my boss for not eating at his desk (until I said he could go ahead with the chips), that IT guy for entertaining me with a good daily dose of torture at work and Phil for kick starting my journey by giving me the most awesome donation ever! Because of you, there will be a whole lot of young people in East Timor a lot better off, and for that I can’t thank-you enough.