How a Philadelphia Police Officer Stays Fit for Her Demanding Job

This week's Sweat Diary, featuring a Philly law enforcement agent.


Photograph courtesy Ashley McAteer.

Welcome to Sweat Diaries, Be Well Philly’s look at the time, energy, and money it takes to pursue a healthy lifestyle in Philly. For each Sweat Diary, we ask one Philadelphian to track everything they eat, all the exercise they get, and the money they spend on both. Want to submit a Sweat Diary? Email [email protected] with details. 

Who I am: Ashley McAteer, 30, from Philadelphia

What I do: Full-time, I work as a law enforcement agent in Philadelphia, and on the side I work as a senior cause entrepreneur for ONEHOPE Wine

What role health and fitness plays in my life: I started working out a few days a week to tone up and then it quickly became a lifestyle turning into five to six days a week. After I went through the police academy, I learned it was also a great way to de-stress from the everyday demands of my job. My progress in the gym has been a result of hard work and the determination to be the best me. I strive to give every workout my all because I love being able to see the results and the accomplishments I’ve made in the gym. I try my hardest to eat clean but pizza and wine are my guilty pleasures!

Health memberships: $85 a month for unlimited classes at 19125 Fitness

Monday

Photograph courtesy Ashley McAteer.

5:17 a.m. —  My first alarm goes off; I was sick on Sunday with a fever, but I figure I can sweat it out with a good workout. I drink my pre-workout and I’m on my way!

6 a.m. — I arrive at 19125 Fitness. We start with our warmup, and my trainer, Donnie Welte, begins our class demonstrating the movements, which are focused on chest and triceps. Never miss a Monday!

7 a.m. — I get home, have a protein shake, take two BCAAs, multi-vitamin, biotin, and of course, vitamin C so I can kick this cold!

7:30 a.m. — I shower and get ready for work.

8:15 a.m. — I leave for work at the Criminal Justice Center.

9 a.m. — The elevators are a nightmare, so I decide to walk up ten  flights — yes, ten.  I get to my courtroom, hydrate, pull myself together, and check in.

9:15 a.m. — I snack on a protein bar I brought from home.

12 p.m. — I break for lunch. The other agents on the case with me head over to the Reading Terminal to eat at Molly Malloy’s. I just get a bowl of soup tomato bisque ($6) because I’m still not feeling too great. My partner gets me a white chocolate chip cookie with cranberries to try to make me feel better! It works.

1 p.m. — I’m back at court.

4:30 p.m. — It’s going to a jury trial, so I will be back tomorrow.

5 p.m.  — I arrive at home and eat my meal prep I buy weekly from Aussie’s Kitchen Meal Prep that I did not get to eat: grilled salmon burger with avocado salsa and baked potato wedges ($8).

5:15 p.m. — I let my doggies out and I leave for my real estate classes at Keller Williams in Langhorne.  

6 to 10 p.m.  — During the class, I have a banana I brought from home.

10:40 p.m. — I am home and can’t get in my bed any quicker!

Daily total: $14

Tuesday

Photograph courtesy Ashley McAteer.

5:30 a.m. — I hit snooze at least four times. I’m up with my final alarm — which I programed to say an obscenity so I get my butt moving!

6 a.m. — I get to 19125 Fitness, warm up, and Donnie begins our class, demonstrating the movements which are focused on arms and back.

7 a.m. — I get home, have a protein shake, take two BCAAs, multi-vitamin, biotin, and of course, vitamin C.

7:30 a.m. — I shower and get ready for work

8:30 a.m. — I arrive at court; I took the elevator today. 

9:30 a.m. — The defendant decided against the jury trial and plead guilty.

10 a.m. — I get in my car and head back to my office to catch up on some paperwork.

12 p.m. — I have my lunch from Aussie’s Kitchen Meal Prep: grilled steak with skinny mashed potatoes and carrots ($7).

5 p.m. — I get home, let the dogs out and I have to get ready for a dinner date with my girlfriends from the gym. (Forewarning: This will not be a healthy meal.)

Photograph courtesy Ashley McAteer.

6:45 p.m. — I meet the girls at Gaul & Co. Malt House in Port Richmond. We of course start with an order of cheese fries and then move to their famous Kielbasa Cheesesteak. We split mozzarella toast and kielbasa spring rolls; it’s all worth every burpee ($30).

9:15 p.m. — I get home, play a few Dean Martin vinyls, and get ready for bed

10 p.m. — After folding some laundry, I head to bed

Daily total : $37

Wednesday

Photograph courtesy Ashley McAteer.

5:35 a.m. — I hit snooze many times and wait until the last minute to get my butt in gear.

6 a.m. — I get to 19125 Fitness, warm up, and Donnie begins our class, which is focused on shoulders and calves.

7 a.m. — I get home, have a protein shake, take two BCAAs, multi-vitamin, biotin, and of course, vitamin C. I jump in the shower and am in a hurry to get ready today because I have to be in early.

7:30 a.m. — From 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. I am in my truck and taking off to Montgomery County to transport a prisoner to my office. Then it’s back to Montgomery County prison after we are done questioning them regarding a case.  On my way home, I shove peanuts down my throat because I am starving. The joys of being a police officer — there is no convenience of eating when you want to!

4 p.m. — I am home, doing dishes, laundry, and cleaning the house. 

4:30 p.m. — I was able to heat up my lunch and now it’s serving as my dinner: Aussie’s again! Healthy chicken parm over zucchini noodles ($6).

5:30 p.m. — I leave for my real estate classes.

6 to 10 p.m. — In class, I’m prepping for a mid-term test, meaning I am halfway done my with classes! During class, I order my meals from Aussie’s for next week.

10:40 p.m. — I am home. I have a quick cuddle with my pups and head to bed!

Daily total: $6

Thursday

Photograph courtesy Ashley McAteer.

5:40 a.m. — Hit snooze and repeat! 

6 a.m. — I get to 19125 Fitness, warm up, and Donnie begins our class, which is focused on core.

6:59 a.m. — On my drive home I see a beautiful sunrise and stop to take a picture. I also realize it’s three days until my beloved Birds are playing in the Super Bowl!

7 a.m. — I get home, have a protein shake, take two BCAAs, multi-vitamin, biotin, and of course, vitamin C.

7:30 a.m. — I shower and get ready to leave for work.

9 a.m. — I get to my office and have a meeting with a few agents and my director about current investigations.

10:30 a.m. — I leave to go to a career day at my mother-in-law’s school.

11 a.m. — At Our Lady of Port Richmond, I talk to the kids about my job and they, of course, have hundreds of questions, which I loved answering.

12 to 5 p.m. — I do surveillance on an investigation and prep for the next day.

5:30 p.m. — I’m home and my husband picks me up for dinner because I am exhausted and frankly I do not want to cook.

5:45 p.m. — We go to a new place around the corner called Mom-Mom’s Polish Food Cart.  We order a bunch of different Polish comfort food dishes to try.  I am as Polish as they come, so I have been dying to try everything!  We had two sodas (which we never drink) potato and cheesesteak pierogies, golabki (stuffed cabbage), kielbasa, and sauerkraut with rye bread. I cave in and also bring home a piece of chocolate babka ($50).

6:15 p.m. — We head to Target because we need dog food and Dunkin’ K-cups. I grab some oatmeal for next week.

7 p.m. — We get home and watch some TV.

Daily total: $50

Friday

Photograph courtesy Ashley McAteer.

5:27 a.m. — I would usually snooze, but it’s gym time and I have to pick up my cousin to give her a lift to the gym! 

6 a.m. — I get to 19125 Fitness, warm up, and Donnie begins our class, which is focused on legs.

7 a.m. — I get home, have a protein shake, take two BCAAs, multi-vitamin, biotin, and vitamin c.

7:30 a.m. — I shower and sluggishly get ready to leave for work.

8:30 a.m. — I am out on the street and basically have a full day of surveillance. It’s a boring day, but it’s all part of the job! I eat a mango Chobani yogurt I brought from home.

12 p.m. — I eat my lunch from Aussie’s Kitchen: chipotle turkey meatballs with a side of mashed sweet potatoes and kale ($6).

4:30 p.m. — I start heading home but not before I stop and get my nails done (hunter green for the Eagles) at Fishtown Nail Bar Café.

5:30 p.m. — I get home and order wine for my friend’s ONEHOPE wine tasting taking place in two weeks.

7 p.m. — I start dinner; I made homemade meatballs using 80-percent lean ground meat, homemade spaghetti sauce from scratch, angel hair pasta, and crescent rolls.

9 p.m. — I pour a glass of ONEHOPE Merlot, snuggle up on the couch with the dogs, and watch some ID TV and settle down

10:30 p.m. — Bedtime.

Daily total: $6

Weekly Totals

Money spent: $113

Protein shakes: 5

Aussie’s Kitchen pre-made meals: 4

Workouts: 5

Like what you’re reading? Stay in touch with Be Well Philly—here’s how: