Daily Archives: December 31, 2006

8 Week Challenge

My wife and I challenged each other to get in shape in time for our 11th wedding anniversary (February 28). That gives us 8 weeks, starting today, to start exercising with earnest and eating better. We both did the Bill Phillips “Body for Life” plan about 5 years ago and it really did help us from spinning out of control. We eat well, have low blood pressure and are in generally good health.

My motivation is with my new look I want a “new body” to go with it. I want my wife to look at me with out having to squint to see the “old me”.

I took a “before” photo from the front and from the side. I’ll take one each Sunday and compare them over the next 8 weeks to remind myself just how far I have to go. I debated with myself about posting this, but I figure I’ve got everything to “lose” so…

Week 1

Weight today: 217.8 pounds

One of these things is not like the other

Steve in 2004As some of you may know, a lot of things changed for me in the last four months. I got a new job, a professional certification, an office of my own (yeah!) and most of all a new look. The photo you see at the beginning of the post is a picture of me from 2004 that I used on my weblog for years. It is also a pretty accurate “self image” or what I expect to see in the mirror each morning and indeed, has been exactly that for 30 some years. I’ve looked this way since maybe high school where my hair was very standard: short, cropped, parted, boring.

I don’t look like that any more.

Steve in 2006

I’ve worn my hair long now for six months and added a beard at the same time, two things I’ve never done in my thirty-six years of life. I’ve had bad moments with the hair, wondering if I look like a “hippie” or just a sloppy head floating inside a sweater. While this isn’t the best picture of me, it’s pretty representative of what I look like today. I catch myself, from time to time, looking at a stranger in the mirror. It’s a little disconcerting, to say the least. Overall, I’ve decided that I like the new look and the new me. Last Thursday, Tammy and I went to Chesterfield Eye Works and I picked out a new pair of glasses and new dark lenses for my old frames. I’ll upload some new photos when they arrive.

Christmas Wrapup

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Santa's Sleigh

Santa’s Sleigh,
originally uploaded by warwick.

We had a great Christmas with Tammy’s family in Des Moines, IA this year. If it was up to me, we do it the same way every year except I’d remember to wash my hands more often as I picked up a nasty sinus infection. Yuk!

We arrived on Saturday and stayed through Tuesday morning. Tammy and I had a great time watching Blair and Mary (Tammy’s sister) prep their house for Santa’s first visit. Their daughter/our niece Julia was finally old enough to understand the concept of Santa but Blair and Mary handled it well. Santa would only bring her three presents because “that’s how many Jesus got on his birthday”. That allowed her to understand some limits on gifts, reinforce the role of Jesus in Christmas celebrations and also explain where the big pile of “stuff” came from.

I took a bunch of pictures with a new camera, a Canon PowerShot S2 IS that I picked up from Amazon earlier in the week. It’s a fantastic camera, purchased mainly so we could take better pictures of jewelry for a catalog for Tammy. The PowerShot also does movies in full 640px480p which makes them easy to shoot and watch later. If your in the market for a camera, your first stop should be the [Digital Camera Resource Page](http://dcresource.com). Jeff’s been doing reviews for *years* and keeps the format the same, allowing you to easily and accurately compare cameras, features and quality of pictures. The site (and Jeff’s review) helped me understand that there was little difference between last year’s PowerShot S2 IS and this year’s S3 model. That meant that I could get a great camera at a closeout price.

I got some great gifts, starting with the trip to Des Moines. Tammy bought me the *best screwdriver* I’ve ever used, a Craftsman model with a bit reservoir and an easy change mechanism. No more losing bits! She also got me Polo Double Black cologne, new drill bits, the Ken Jennings book “Brainiac” (review coming soon) and a great sweater from Banana Republic.

In all, the best Christmas ever.