What NOT to do on the weekend

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Don’t you just hate it when you are trying to do the ‘right’ thing, and you go and blow it straight away.
To go along with our new lives in Queensland, we really need to make some healthy lifestyle changes and I have been really determined to make it happen this week.
We MUST…
1. Be more thrifty and stick to our budget
2. Eat more healthy food and less ‘convenience’ food treats
3. Be more active

Oh, it all went so badly wrong over the weekend though.
On Saturday we went in to the Museum which has just opened after it’s refurbishments. This was great, and free, but the trouble was we didn’t get away from our house until about 11.45, so we ended up finished at the museum, in the city, and all starving at about 2.30 in the afternoon. This happens to us all the time, and it is obviously a recipe for disaster. We headed to Southbank and ended up with pizza for lunch because that’s the best value thing you can get at Southbank, but of course it still ends up costing heaps and I was cringing at the unhealthiness of it. To make matters worse, we then went on and had Churros from the market – even more expensive and unhealthy than the pizza. I’m not really sure why we did this, except that it seemed a bit early for our day out to be over and it was raining and I think we just couldn’t think of anything else fun to do.
On Sunday we had been planning on having a day at home, but it was raining again and I thought the kids would be going stir crazy, so I said we could go to a movie. This turned out to be another mistake because when it was time to go, everyone had headed outside and I was washing the car and the boys were having a lot of fun sailing boats down the gutters in the rain, so the last thing I wanted to do was stop and go to spend more money and sit in a cinema. But, I had already said it and everyone was excited, so off we went. Unfortunately the movie started at 12.50, which meant we had to leave our house at 12 noon and although I suggested that everyone should have lunch before we left that wasn’t really practical. So there we were again, coming out of the cinema at 3pm with everyone starving. Groan!
I wanted to show Greg around the suburb of Bulimba which is near the movie theatre and has a lot of nice cafes and bookshops and homewears stores, so of course we ended up at a lovely cafe/ bakery with coffee and cupcakes.
This is quite tricky I think. The cafe culture is so big in Australia now, and going out to a cafe for coffee and a treat is such an easy and fun activity to do with the family – it is one of my favourite things to do and I know I am too quick to agree to this, ‘just for a treat’.
So this morning I am lying in bed feeling really bad about all these mistakes I made this weekend but I realise that I need to turn this into something positive by thinking about what we have learnt from the lessons of the weekend.
Here are some things I think we could do differently so that we don’t get caught in these situations again.
1. Only go out on one day of the weekend if possible. I find that my youngest son doesn’t cope so well when we do things on both days of the weekend and this leads to him whinging for us to buy things and generally stressing everyone out, which is of course when I am more likely to make bad decisions and give in to treats.
2. Get going early, or don’t go until after lunch. We can do this more if we plan what we are going to do on the weekend instead of deciding at the last minute.
3. Take our own lunch and drinks with us. We can do this more easily if I make sure I do my menu plans and grocery shopping, so that we have food available that is easy to pack. I could cook some lunch type food and have in the freezer, or we could just have sandwiches (my guys don’t eat sandwiches very often). When I do my menu plans I could especially plan lunches that are easy to pack on the weekends.

Food is such a big part of what we do for fun on the weekends – markets, cafes, festivals, all of these activities revolve around buyng food. I thought it would be useful to make a list of activities we could do that are fun and active and don’t involve buying food.
1. Go to a beach
2. Go for a bike ride
3. Go Bowling (more expensive)
4. Go to a swimming pool
5. Play Laser tag (more expensive)
6. Go for a walk in a bush area
7. Go fishing
8. Go skating
9. Go to a rock cimbing place
10. Go to a creek or river
11. Go canoeing (expensive)
12. Go horse riding (expensive)
13. Explore new parks and playgrounds
14. Play tennis
15. Go to a skate park
16. Go to the science centre
17. Go to a museum
18. Go to the library
19. Go to the Art Gallery
20. Go on a boat trip on the river or in the bay (expensive)
21. Go to one of the islands
22. Go orienteering or geocaching
23. Go to an animal park or zoo

Does anyone have any other ideas? I would love to hear them if you do.

I’m looking forward to lots of happy and healthy family weekends in the future and I hope you are too.
All the best,
Sharee

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