Hi Loren! Please tell us about yourself.

I’m married to Bonnie, who many of you probably know. Our son Charlie turned two in March (he’s birthday buddies with Steph!). I am a photojournalist at the Anchorage Daily News, where I make photos and videos and occasionally write stories. 

I am also a drone pilot for ADN. I like to cook, bake, xc ski and rock climb. I used to sing in the opera but haven’t done that in a few years.

How long have you been working with FF and what initially inspired you to start training with us?

I joined FF at the beginning of the challenge in April. I wanted to support Bonnie during the challenge, and I knew that would be more successful if I also joined the FF family. 

Also, it was amazing watching Bonnie workout during her pregnancy two years ago. She made being pregnant look easy, and I know that FF helped her with that.

What are some of your favorite exercises? How about a few of your favorite muscle groups to train?

I’m totally new to weight training, so it’s all kind of mind blowing. I’m still amazed at how asymmetrical I am. I like working arms and chest – biceps curls, bench press, cable row. I also like single-leg kettlebell swap, it’s amazing how such a simple movement can be so challenging.

You recently participated in our Summer Transformation Challenge and were one of our two winners. What did you learn from that experience? 

I learned that it is okay to do more than one hard thing at a time. During the challenge I was losing weight, weight training, and running all at the same time. In the past I have tried to do each of those things their own, and nothing ever stuck. 

Doing all of those things together really helped me change my mindset around fitness in general. This time it really feels more like a lifestyle shift than a goal to check off the list.

What has been your biggest accomplishment in the last 3 months? 

I’d have to say the mindset shift that happened during the challenge. I had goals that I worked toward and achieved during the challenge (fat loss, run a 5k, do a pull up), but the change in my thinking seems more significant that all that. 

Although, it was pretty fun to run the Skinny Mini 6k almost 5 minutes faster than I thought I was going to. I’m already looking forward to the next race. 

What is your nutrition strategy like?

During the challenge I was pretty strict about restricting my calories and eating a certain amount of protein every day. Now that the challenge is over I am working with Steph on transitioning to a less aggressive plan. 

I usually eat the same thing for breakfast, granola and greek yogurt, and a high-protein low-carb dinner. I don’t like eating a lot of meat so if I plan on lentils, tofu or tempeh for dinner I’ll make sure lunch is low carb.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be either a marine biologist or a photojournalist. In high school I did a mentorship with the ADN, they let me hang out with them for a semester and that tipped the scales in the photojournalism direction. 

I still wasn’t totally sure of myself by the time college came around, so I studied philosophy but ended up working a lot for the student newspaper. I eventually went to grad school for photojournalism and now I get to hang out with marine biologists, taking pictures of them while they dissect beached whales in Turnagain Arm.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to get fit but may not know where to begin? 

Set goals for yourself, both big and small, stick to the plan and celebrate each little thing. When I started running I did the couch to 5k program and every time I got to run a little bit longer it felt great. 

It also really helps to have someone who can guide you along the way when things get challenging. I still completely rely on the women at FF to guide me through the workouts so that I’m doing them safely while still pushing myself to make progress. 

If you don’t know what a realistic goal might be, start by asking yourself what your ideal outcome is, and then look around for an outline of how to get there. Chances are someone has already had the same journey and blogged about it. 

For me, I’d love to run a marathon some day but my first running goal was a more realistic 5k. Now it’s a 10k, and I have a much better idea of what it’s going to take to get to 26.2 miles.

Who or what inspires you?

My wife, Bonnie, is my inspiration. She began training with FF right before she found out she was pregnant, and stuck with it to nearly 40 weeks. She’s also the most compassionate, loving and funny person I know. 

My son Charlie is also an inspiration. Every day he’s getting taller, running faster, saying a new word, taking a new risk, and I know that I need to keep pushing myself just so I can keep up with him as he gets older.

What new goals are you working on for the remainder of 2019?

I would like to lose a little more fat and run a 10k later this summer. Beyond that I would like to continue making this new lifestyle sustainable.