A couple of months ago, while thinking of a topic for an article to write for Officer.com, a light came on: take normal public servants and get them to change their life. Project Nearly Impossible was hatched with the goals of getting 1 dispatcher and 2 Police Officers to change their diets, sleeping habits, and exercise for 8 weeks. The layout of the project was as follows:
- Week one, the test mules…. Ummm subjects, changed their diets only.
- The second week, I encouraged the subjects to attempt to get more quality sleep.
- Weeks 3-8, the subjects had workouts added on top of diets and sleep.
After 8 grueling weeks for me (and them too I guess) here are the final results!
Elissa- Dispatcher (5’09”)
- Weight- 141.4/135 pounds
- Chest- 36/32.5 inches
- Thighs- 12/12 inches
- Biceps- 10/10.5 inches
- Waist- 34/32.5 inches
FOOD- Elissa’s food challenges were everything sweet and salty, especially chocolate. At one point during the project I was talking with Elissa and asked if she felt like giving up. Her reply, “Yes. PMS and no chocolate is deadly combination.” (Side note, PMS for the single men is Pre Menstrual Syndrome also known as “Shark week.” Hey, I’m a woman and I can say that so back off!) Anyway, after she said that, I tried steering clear of her at work for the rest of that week. As a dispatcher she can really make my life a living hell.
Elissa noted she learned a great deal from tracking her daily food intake, “By tracking my calories, I realized that I hadn’t been eating enough and definitely not eating well.” Initially Elissa had a difficult time with the diet change, but after 4 days she said she started feeling much better. When asked if she had ever lied to me about eating cheat food, she replied, “I’m too scared of KP to lie.” I remember seeing Elissa up in dispatch a few weeks after we started this project and being stunned at the transformation she had already started. There was more color in her face, her pants were too big (which I loved seeing her so excited to show me!) and she was overall in a great mood. She said she felt so much better! At first Elissa was skeptical of the Cellucor Peanut Butter and Marshmallow flavor protein that was provided but said it was actually very good!
SLEEP- Elissa said she routinely got between 4 and 7 hours of sleep a night. She said after starting exercising and eating healthy, she slept “better and longer.” She also said she slept much better on the days she exercised and did NOT eat a cheat meal.
EXERCISE- Elissa was brand new to weight lifting at the beginning of this project. She said she loved the workouts and especially loved working her triceps. Elissa is still hitting the gym and said she will continue weight lifting.
Ryan- Police Officer (5’11”)
- Weight- 204.4/197 pounds
- Chest- 42.5/43 inches
- Thigh-23.5/24 inches
- Biceps- 14.5/14.5 inches
- Waist- 37.5/35 inches
FOOD- Ryan was instantly able to tell a difference in the way he felt when he changed his diet. He said even his heartburn subsided and he had a lot more energy. Ryan missed pizza, beer and wings the most during this project. It took Ryan about a week to get used to the new diet. When asked if he had ever hidden cheat food or lied to me about cheat meals, Ryan responded, “Nope, I told you straight up when I going to $1 hot dog night.” I just have one problem with that statement: I did catch Ryan in the patrol briefing room with Jack in the Box tacos…. Just sayin’. Despite Ryan sneaking some cheat food in on duty, I was amazed when I saw him out of uniform. Ryan made a huge transformation.
SLEEP- I asked Ryan if he felt a difference when he got more sleep, and he responded, “HA. Sleep.” So I am guessing he did not get much more sleep than usual with a newborn baby and 2 year old at home. This was more of a birds and bees conversation that I should have had with him about three years ago so we will skip this section.
EXERCISE- I asked Ryan what he thought about the workouts and he said, “I thought the workouts were great and very effective, other than the 100’s, those were just stupid.” Trust me, I heard enough bitching about those 100’s workouts from Ryan while at work. I started to think Ryan believed “100’s” was how many complaints he was supposed to tell me. Still my problem child!
Joe- Police Officer (6’1”)
- Weight- 235/238 pounds
- Chest- 47/47 inches
- Thigh- 22.5/24.5 inches
- Biceps- 16/17 inches
- Waist- 37/36 inches
FOOD- Joe mentioned this as the hardest part of this project. Joe said he started feeling better within the first 2 weeks of heating healthy. Joe said, “The hardest thing for me to give up eating was Blue Bell Ice Cream. There will be hell to pay when it returns to the shelves. Joking KP!” Yeaaaah, for some reason I don’t think he is joking. When I asked if Joe had ever lied to me about cheating on his meals and he said, “I can’t confirm nor deny this question!!!” Quicker than an ex-convict, he said “It’s my constitutional right to plead the 5th and you can not make me answer.” Ok, so that answers it, Joe! Joe loved the Cellucor pre-workout C4 that was provided said the Cellucor protein and pre-workout were the first supplements he’d tried that really tasted good.
SLEEP- When Joe first started this project he averaged 4-4.5 hours a night. After he started eating healthy and exercising, he said his body was so exhausted from the workouts and fueled by good foods during his awake time, that he started sleeping 6.5-7 hours a night.
EXERCISE- Joe said the workouts were difficult at first due to him not having exercised in a very long time. As he pushed through this project and trained it got easier for him. Joe said, “I have continued exercising and I’m actually training for the Tough Mudder and Spartan Race.”
Joe said that this project has been a life changing experience for him. He also stated, “The only thing I can really say is thank you KP and RP, and Cellucor for changing my life.” Ryan said, “The workouts provided by KP and RP were amazing.” Elissa said, “I actually had fun doing the project and loved the workouts. Overall I would definitely do it again.”
So there you have it, successes! Project Nearly Impossible was very possible. My hope is the project provides inspiration for those in out profession struggling with getting healthy or those that have fallen off the bandwagon. The fight doesn’t start on the streets it starts in our hearts and minds so get fit and be prepared.