David Tilley writes regularly for Vegas Beat to highlight the importance of fitness and to share some of our members’ fitness routines and secrets. If you would like to be profiled, feel free to reach out to him at D14202T@lvmpd.com.
Ramona R. Logan
Weight: 130 (current goal is 125)
Years on the Department: 9
What motivated you to begin this journey of a healthy lifestyle?
When I was in high school, I was one of the laziest teenagers, who didn’t care that it took me 15 minutes to walk a mile when I was supposed to run. Senior year photos were taken at a group breakfast and I couldn’t believe how much weight I gained. I was so embarrassed looking at this photo of myself stuffing my face with pancakes. I started running and taking fitness classes at a local college. When I became an adult I continued to go to the gym, but nothing ever changed. I realized it was insanity to do hours of cardio just to eat junk food and repeat it again later. Finally, after being consistent with my training and incorporating some weights, I lost weight, but it wasn’t good enough for me. I wanted to take my body to the next level and not be one of those people who blend in at the gym. I wanted to stand out physically so that people knew that I was “about that life.” I hired a few personal trainers, and I learned so much about my body and how it responds to being pushed to the limit. I found out through this journey that I not only can run long distances but am a sprinter as well. During my first competition this year at the Police and Fire Games, I took gold in both the 100- and 400-meter races. I’m currently with a trainer who has changed my physique beyond what I could imagine, and I’m so grateful. I’ve come to realize that this journey is all trial and error. It requires so much dedication, patience, mental discipline, and literally blood, sweat and tears. I’ve never competed in a bodybuilding show, but I train and live like one. It takes a passion and overall joy for the gym in order to continue to push forward.
I know you attend the Olympia Expo every year. For those who don’t know, the Olympia is the most popular bodybuilding contest of the year. Which bodybuilding personality had the biggest impact on your fitness journey?
I’ve never met this person, but I’d have to say Mike Chang’s YouTube videos called “Six Pack Shortcuts” had the biggest impact on my fitness journey. All I knew was cardio machines, but I never understood the art of building muscle. When we had the gym at CCDC, I knew nothing about super-setting. Mike Chang had endless muscle-building workouts that not only elevated your heart rate but often didn’t exceed 30 minutes! That was perfect for getting a quick “pump” on your lunch break! “Six Pack Shortcuts” YouTube videos made me motivated and helped me build muscle. His videos were the foundation for my physique.
I’m in the process of eliminating body fat, so it’s intense right now. Remember, a lot of this is after 12-hour shifts.
- Monday: Back and triceps, 60 minutes of cardio
- Tuesday: Legs and glutes, no cardio
- Wednesday: Shoulders and biceps, 60 minutes of cardio
- Thursday and Friday: No weights, just 60 minutes of cardio
- Saturday and Sunday: Rest days, but I usually do some sort of active recovery
Is there a specific diet you have, or are you more liberal in what you eat?
Right now, because my goal has changed to cutting body fat and building muscle, I stick to a regimented diet: high protein, minimal structured healthy fats and little to no carbs is currently my meal plan. I have a cheat snack like a cookie or some chocolate-covered almonds once every two weeks, but I have no cheat meals at all. When I’m not on a meal plan I use my culinary arts skills to turn what I’m craving into a healthier version. I’ll always keep my breakfast healthier, opting for egg whites instead of sweet, syrupy confections, but lunch and dinner may vary. For example, sweet and sour chicken breast with brown fried rice, or butternut squash ravioli (portioned amount) with fresh tomato sauce and sugar snap peas, or grass-fed beef lasagna loaded with fresh vegetables. The number one thing people say to me when they have questions about changing their lifestyle is, “You can’t eat anything good anymore, can you?” I believe that you can’t eat mindlessly anymore. So many of us grab food just because it’s available, free, convenient or offered to us. Living a lifestyle of health and fitness is being mindful of what you are eating. You can no longer just reach for something just because — and if you do have a cookie, you don’t need to eat a dozen. Maintaining a healthy physique is about being mentally strong as well, and not feeling pressured by others to eat something you choose not to.
What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with that first step to a healthier life?
A lot of newbies I encounter at the gym often don’t maintain fitness due to not knowing what to do in the gym. In 2008, I started taking my fitness journey seriously but I was intimidated by the machines. I’d go to the gym at 3 a.m. on one of my days off and get familiar with the weight-lifting machines. There were at least 20 people in the gym, so I felt comfortable. As extreme as that was, it was still a plan. I soon felt confident enough to use them during the day. When I grew tired of the same routine, I started researching different YouTube workouts, utilizing information from fitness magazines and taking what I learned from group classes and customizing them to my own routine. I found that when I didn’t know what to do I wandered aimlessly in the gym, and when I started planning, writing down my workouts and mimicking other people’s fitness routines, I became not only consistent but excited about going to the gym.
Any New Year’s resolution that pertains to fitness?
Last year I solely focused on my body aesthetically. I’ve changed beyond what I imagined and still continue every day. The real test is learning to live a life without meal plans, and utilizing food for energy and not gluttony. This year I will be focusing not only on maintaining my physique but maintaining my physical and mental health as well. As officers we internalize so many negative situations. Dangerous encounters happen so quickly that when you finally have a chance to sit and be quiet in your thoughts, you can find yourself with a flood of emotions you haven’t had a chance to process yet. This year it is all about wellness of my mind and body — physical exams beyond the annual Metro physical, and wellness retreats to various spas and resorts around the state and country to relax, reflect and appreciate life. I want to focus on being mindful and present amid the beautiful that still remains in this world.
If you were the Sheriff, how would you incorporate fitness into the Department?
I believe fitness starts with availability. After 12-hour shifts I go to the gym. Not everyone has that luxury because of time, family, etc. When the renovation began at CCDC and we lost our gym, I don’t think many realized what that meant to a lot of us. That gym was not only a way for us to maintain physical standards within the Department, but it also became a mental break for us. So much stress was released with every leg press and every bicep curl. A set of pull-ups gave us the determination to get back to work and finish strong. Without the gym it has been very hard for some of us. If I were the Sheriff, I’d make sure every facility had good-quality equipment where employees felt comfortable working out. Sometimes it becomes hard to let your guard down, even in the gym! If a person can lift weights and enjoy cardio without looking over their shoulder, that’s a huge step in being consistent with fitness.