PARAMUS, N.J. -- The degree and the dream were both there for Christie Ohlendorf of Paramus.
All that was left to do was lose the weight.
Ohlendorf had been working as a paramedic with St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center for five years in 2011, but knew that if she wanted to work as a police officer in Wayne, she'd have to make a change.
If not for herself, for her son, now 12.
"I knew what I wanted and hated the fact that my kid knew what I wanted, and I wasn’t doing it," said Ohlendorf, 34.
"I wanted to show him you can do what you want to do, even if there are obstacles in your way."
Through adding in lots of cardio and cutting out fast food, Ohlendorf was able to drop 40 pounds before by the time she turned 30. She had just had a fourth knee surgery, so the exercise replaced physical therapy.
Finally, she felt ready to look for a job.
Today, Ohlendorf is in her fourth year as an officer with the Wayne Police Department -- exactly where she wanted to be.
"I knew I was going to be a better mom to my kid because I had a future," the single mom said.
"Knowing I could send my kid to college one day was huge."
Ohlendorf has managed to keep the weight off with CrossFit five or six times a week at Guerrilla Fitness in Paramus. Her son takes the teen classes.
What the officer likes most about Guerrilla is how she's surrounded by other female members of law enforcement at any given time.
"Rather than competition, it's encouragement," the officer said. "The women that you're competing against are the ones that you look up to. You're always pushing harder, but in a positive competitive way."
Think you're the fittest police officer in Bergen or Passaic county? Know someone who is? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured in the new Daily Voice series, "Fit Cops."
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