Prioritizing Health and Fitness for Law Enforcement Officers

At some point in your career as a law enforcement officer, you will find yourself unhappy with your weight, your body, your health and possibly your fitness level. During my health and fitness journey, I learned a great deal about what works for my body and what does not by trial and error. It literally took me three and a half years to lose 67 pounds on my own, plateau after plateau! After years of slowly getting the weight off, I met Michael Healea, owner of Platinum Physiques LV, who has been in the fitness industry for over 35 years. He began to educate me about health, nutrition and fitness, and I began to understand that my plateaus were being caused by overtraining and undereating, because there’s a science behind weight loss! Finally, I began training with and listening to Michael. I went from being a “skinny-fat” 167 pounds to a fit and strong 139 pounds in a little over three and a half months!

I was so inspired by my transformation and journey that I wanted to help other officers figure out the secret, too! So I made the decision to go back to school and obtain my certifications as a Professional Fitness Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. And now I am working on my Fitness Nutrition Specialist and Behavior Modification Specialist certifications, because my goal is to reach as many law enforcement officers as I possibly can with this amazing, informative and life-changing information to help them get fit and strong and stop being overweight, unhealthy and unhappy with themselves.

To get this information out to the officers of LVMPD, I decided to update the Lifetime Fitness class and made it into a four-hour NV POST-certified class called “Health, Nutrition and Lifetime Fitness.” I began teaching this to our Corrections Academy, and I currently teach it every month at LVMPD Headquarters to commissioned personnel, civilians and outside agencies, as well as to every Corrections Academy. My knowledge about fad diets, statistics of law enforcement health and mortality rates, the truth about cortisol, and the facts about science in health, nutrition and fitness is so important that it needs to be taught to all law enforcement academies and officers at some time during their career.

In the hopes of creating momentum and to raise money for a good cause, I began supervising a quarterly weight-loss challenge at CCDC in the spring of 2018. My goal is to inspire officers and civilians to get healthy and fit and to make positive changes in their lives. The winners receive prize money and a fitness gift certificate for personal training donated by Platinum Physiques LV.

Our first CCDC’s Biggest Loser Challenge, “Spring Into Summer,” was a great success! We signed up 50 people and raised $530 for the Friends of CCDC Corrections Officers 501(3)(c) nonprofit. The final 20 who weighed out lost a total of 126.6 pounds! The top female winner for this challenge was Shelly Chambers, P# 7825, who lost a total of 3.48% of her body weight. The top male winner, Renor Cabual, P# 8065, lost a total of 10.95% of his body weight!

Our second CCDC’s Biggest Loser Challenge, “Summer Challenge,” just ended and had a total of 35 people signed up, with the final 15 who weighed out losing a total of 132.8 pounds! We raised $340 more for our gym! Anita Sutton, P# 15416, lost 5.24% of her body weight and Brian Fucile, P# 7227, lost 8.83% of his body weight!

The money raised for Friends of CCDC Corrections Officers pays for equipment and repairs for our gym here at CCDC and NVC. If you’d like to contribute to our good cause, Friends of CCDC Corrections Officers is a nonprofit and can be donated to through the United Way, or via Venmo or Zelle under Franc Cadet (Treasurer). We welcome all of LVMPD to donate, and to use the gyms responsibly!

My dream is to see the paradigm shift toward making our health and fitness a priority, as we have seen the positive shift toward prioritizing the mental health of our officers. As law enforcement officers, it is imperative to get our health and fitness back so we can deal with stress, physically protect ourselves and others, overcome any injury or illness we might encounter on the job or in life, manage our cortisol levels and look forward to and physically enjoy our retirements, grandkids and families as we age. Remember, your body is the most expensive asset you will ever own! So let’s take care of it together. I look forward to seeing each and every one of you in my class — be sure to sign up on UMLV! It’s a wealth of information and can help you get started on your journey!

Health, Nutrition and Lifetime Fitness
This course will assist the student in understanding the importance of making a lifetime commitment to staying fit, strong and healthy. This course is taught by a Certified Professional Fitness Trainer who is also a corrections officer for LVMPD. Be sure to look for this class on UMLV self-signups, as Officer Healea is offering it continuously for all LVMPD employees. She also brings in guest speakers, including fitness industry representatives, modality coaches and food-prepping companies! Topics include components of a personal physical fitness program and techniques for evaluating the program, FITT principles of training, how to accomplish fitness goals using nutritional planning, role of supplementation, signs and symptoms of elevated stress levels, and recognizing that substance abuse is an inappropriate strategy for coping with physical and psychological stress.