May 30, 2012

My World Turned Upside Down

It used to be that, living pay cheque to pay cheque, I was poor . . . at the bottom of the heap.  Poor me.

It used to be that, weighing over 230 lbs, getting down to 200 lbs would be the lowest weight I could reasonably go . . . any less would be "too skinny".  Not-that-overweight me.

It used to be that, being very conscious about my appearance, seeing a "dirty" homeless person made me take a wide berth around them . . . wondering how someone could allow themselves to get to that state.  Better-than-that me.

It used to be that, being a steak lover, I "needed" to eat meat with every dinner . . . it's how I'm made.  Carnivore me.

It used to be that . . .

I could go on and on, but suffice to say that as a result of this last year's experiences my world and many of the things I used to think have been turned upside down.

I now know that, even living pay cheque to pay cheque, I am more affluent than many . . . near the top of the global heap.  Grateful me.

I now know that, weighing less than 185 lbs, 200 lbs is the highest I should reasonably go . . . any more would be unhealthy.  Going-to-try-and-keep-the-weight-off me.

I now know that, having looked after myself the best I could in the circumstances of living without, every "dirty" homeless person is a real person like me with a real story . . . doing the best they can and not wanting to be in that state.  Embarrassed-about-the-way-I-used-to-think me.

I now know that, having survived essentially without meat for 3 months, I need (and crave!) fruits and vegetables as much or more than meat.  Omnivore-with-meat-in-moderation me.

I now know that . . .

The many other learnings, some of which have been in previous blogs and some of which will surface in my consciousness in the coming weeks and months, are a blessing for which I am eternally grateful.  It is my hope that some of that which I have learned in the last year has resonated with readers and illuminated their blessings; and that in some way this journey has shone light into the reality of those in need to the end that we may all work together to ensure that everyone has enough.

Hey!!  I'm That Poverty Guy . . . let's make a world of difference together.

Click Here to See WHAT YOU CAN DO

Click Here to Sign . . . A Declaration to World Leaders

May 21, 2012

Wuzzup Poverty Guy???

Yikes!!  It's been far too long since my last blog.  What the heck has been going on?!?  What has That Poverty Guy been up to?!?  Why so many question and exclamation marks???  ( . . . there I go again.)

The third phase of the That Poverty Project continues . . . having now gone 80 days eating World Food Programme refugee rations and only 11 days to go.  (See Phase III Begins! for details.)  As of this morning, I've lost 35 lbs since the start of this phase on March 1st.  And, that's 46 lbs lost since the beginning of the project last July.  I'm handling temptation very well, but the cravings are heating up again.  Surprisingly to me, while I am looking forward to a nice steak, a big salad and fruit are topping the list of food I'm desiring.  But food and weight loss aside, there are a few things that have come to light which have been occupying my time as of late.

Click Here to go to the Action to End Poverty in Alberta website.
#1 Seeking Support for Action to End Poverty in Alberta.  I made a presentation to Canmore Town Council about That Poverty Project, and they unanimously approved endorsing a provincial campaign to encourage the provincial government to adopt a preventative poverty reduction strategy. 
#2 Community Discussion on Poverty.  A short while ago, with the support of St. Michael's Anglican Church, I put out the call for participants to start a conversation in my local community about poverty.  I had expected some participation by local not-for-profit organizations and had hoped for maybe 20 people.  So you can imagine my delight when over 50 people registered, including representation of about 30 local groups.  The gathering was a day long event in which we heard from Joe Ceci, Coordinator for Action to End Poverty in Alberta, identified poverty issues affecting our community, and discussed some initial ideas to address the biggest issues (affordable housing, employment issues, food and necessities security, transportation issues, etc.).  From here, I will be compiling an interim report on the status of poverty in my area which pulls together the matters discussed along with other information gathered in the community, and then makes some recommendations for action.

#3 Krausert for Council.
  Alberta had a provincial election recently, and Canmore's mayor was elected to the legislature.  In response, two of Canmore's Councillors resigned to seek the Mayor's job.  Accordingly, there will a byelection on June 19th for Mayor and two Council seats, and I will be running for one of the Council seats.  The theme of my campaign is "Building Community for Everyone".  Wish me luck!

That's it for now . . . I need to go make some rice.  :)

Hey!!  I'm That Poverty Guy . . . let's make a world of difference together.

Click Here to See WHAT YOU CAN DO.

Click Here to Sign . . . A Declaration to World Leaders