Monday, 21 January 2013

Roxy Does Plumpy

So, after deciding to do the Plumpy’Nut challenge for Merlin (find out more here), I thought I’d write a little about the experience and some reflections on the day.

To be honest I knew I wouldn’t find it easy. For those who know me, it’s pretty obvious I like my food far too much. And therein lay one of the main reasons for taking part. Could I, who moans far too regularly about what to have for lunch and dinner, be able to cope with eating just four sachets of Plumpy’Nut for a day?

So, could I? Actually, the answer is yes. And no.

Yes: I didn’t cheat at all. Nothing passed my lips except Plumpy’Nut and water. Not even an extra strong mint. Even when I got home, was on my own, and nobody would be any wiser.

No: I couldn’t manage the four sachets. I only had two and a half all day. It was too sweet, too dense, the texture was horrible, and it wasn’t FOOD.

And the ‘no’ made me think. Who am I to complain about these sachets? How dare I not eat all of them? Texture? Too sweet? How lucky I am to be able to complain about these things.

My Plumpy’Nut day coincided with the UK ‘snowpocalypse,’ where everything grinds to a halt because of the white stuff. It forced me to reflect from very early on in the day. 

A few ‘Plumpy’ notes and reflections

1. As I huffed and puffed at the station this morning because I was late for work, it struck me that I have a job to go to. A job that I love. A job that gives me great satisfaction. And I go to work on a train, in the warm, from my lovely flat that has central heating, clean running water and decent sanitation. The kids that eat Plumpy’Nut don’t have that.

2. People really can be very sweet. I’ve had lovely messages from friends and family supporting me whilst I do this challenge. And some bloody funny ones. Doing it with other work colleagues helped the day pass by. But my favourite moment was at the station this morning. When I asked the coffee lady for a cup of hot water, I explained why and what I was doing; she looked at me and handed me £5 sponsorship.

3. How blasé we can be about food and what we have. I think we know it, and we laugh ‘ironically’, but it has helped me realise. When I sat and discussed how much better the hot water would be with a slice of lemon, and someone suggested ginger, and then someone offered a Ginseng & Hibiscus tea bag….well, it makes you think.

4. I have a headache. And I feel weak. To be blunt, I have quite a store of fat I can pull upon to sustain me. But if I feel like that, after just one day, how do the children who really need Plumpy’Nut feel?

5. Perhaps the biggest realisation for me is that there really are a lot of places to buy and consume food. A lot. I caught the bus home (to avoid the train annoyance) and I lost count of large supermarkets, smaller shops, fast food restaurants, other restaurants, cafes. The list is endless. Food really is abundant here.

My day is nearly over. I’m having an early night and getting up tomorrow for breakfast. Out of all the food in the world what I want now, more than anything, is a bowl of porridge and honey.....

Thank you, thank you, thank you

PS Of course I haven’t forgotten to thank everyone who has sponsored me (like any direct marketer, I know you’ll all skip to the PS!). You’re all amazing. It’s knowing I’ve raised almost £800 (yes, really!), that has stopped me from cheating. I know this money will be wisely spent by Merlin. Thank you.

PPS And of course, if you haven’t sponsored me yet – it’s not too late ;-)

Danielle Atkinson

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