A Walk in Other’s Shoes is returning to this year’s Week of Action Against Poverty. This challenge is being undertaken by individuals in the community who have interests within the health field. Participants have been asked to attempt to stay within a social assistance benefits’ budget. A single person on Ontario Works would receive $337 monthly for all of their personal needs and $384 for all of their shelter costs. Because participants cannot replicate the housing conditions realistically, shelter costs are not included within this challenge. For the five day challenge, participants will have $11 daily to cover all food and drink, entertainment, some personal supplies and transportation costs. Each day, every participant will be given a challenge card which will reveal an unexpected challenge to be completed before the end of the day.

A Walk in Other’s Shoes is not a competitive challenge. It is a challenge that raises awareness of the hurdles that people living on social assistance face daily. As we within our community develop our own understanding, we can begin to reduce the barriers that they encounter and ultimately increase opportunities for increased prosperity for all. The challenge takes place February 10th-14th, 2018.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Happy Monday

Usually my day would start at 4:50 am, waking to my alarm, crawling out of bed, throwing on some workout clothes and heading out to the door to be at Boot Camp ready to work out for 5:30 am.  Boot Camp doesn’t fit in my budget this week so I slept in … well sort of … alarm went off at 5:00 am.  I threw on some workout clothes got to work on a home workout.  A good warm up followed by:

AMRAP = As Many Rep/Rounds As Possible (in 20 minutes)

(Please note: I am not an exercise professional, you should always consult your healthcare provider before undertaking a physical activity program).

I am a firm believer that physical activity doesn’t have to cost a whole lot, or anything for that matter …  Walking, running, body weight movement, use water bottles or soup cans, just getting “up off your butt time”.  Below are some FREE ways be active in our community:
- The Neechee Friendship Centre offers a variety of activities for free, including Boga Fit, Ballroom Dancing & Yoga
- Do you know of more?  I’d love to hear!

Shortly after my workout I opened my challenge card for the day:

“Lost your hairbrush.”

Luckily I’ve been avoiding washing my hair too often during the challenge and didn’t need to today – running my fingers through my hair did an ok job for this morning.  I’ll have to see if I can get my hands on a new one somewhere throughout my day.

Today was my first day of work since the challenge has started.  I work at the Paterson Medical Centre and had a personal appointment to attend at the rec centre late morning.  I would rather not spend the $2.50 each way on a ride, I have clients booked all day and the bus times won’t work, so I put on my warm walking clothes (for which I am more and more thankful for) and made my way over and back.  

The walk gave me some perspective into what people do to do get to appointments here at the Paterson Medical Centre.  It is not an easy place to get to.  It is a long / cold / snow covered walk, the bus schedule isn’t great, a taxi wouldn’t be cheap because it is kind of out of the way.   I needed an extra hour in my day to make the walk – this extra time is something I often do not have at work, it is something that many people may not have.

While walking to and from my appointment I did swing into a grocery store for a bag of iceberg lettuce salad ($1.97) which perked up my lunch and picked up a new hairbrush ($1.13).  Thankful I had room in my budget for both.

Meals so far today: 
Breakfast: oatmeal with peanut butter and a fruit cup
Snack: apple + hard boiled egg
Lunch: salad + quinoa + chickpeas
Snack: banana + rice cake with peanut butter
Supper: to be determined

I feel my nutrition has been fairly good to this point, but I have to admit … I’m missing meat (and I’m not a big meat eater to start), finding lean protein sources on a budget is TOUGH, I’m getting sick of carrots already, I might actually get tired of hard boiled eggs by the end of this.  I’m learning tons about what it is actually like to stick to a food budget this strict and this is only 5 days, I'm feeling a bit like I can’t even begin to understand what it would be like to do it day in and day out …

Budget update: $15.63 remaining

Nutrition & Physical Activity update:
Fruit & Veggie servings today = 6 (not including supper)
Extra Walking (walking as a result of the challenge) = 5 km

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