When I was 13 I decided I wanted to get my private pilot’s license.
It’s not that bizarre considering my grandfather was a private pilot and did acrobatics in Warbirds for years.
Even more, my dad was Major in the Air Force and flew F-16 jets for 20 years.
No surprise that I wanted to be like them.
I took nine of the 13 weeks of ground school before I obtained my driver’s license.
Unfortunately school, track, work and cheerleading got in the way and I never quite finished my private pilot’s license.
I will one day complete it, but for now I want to share with you the feeling I had when I took my first flight and helped back-seat fly and actual warbird plane, the T-6.
This story is important because it was an experience I had that freaked me out a lot and gave me an even greater perspective of what pilots go through on a sunny day.
Flying a plane, (with a co-pilot) is NOT easy; even on a perfectly cloud-free day!
There’s a bigger metaphor here as well.
To see success in lifting, and especially in fat loss YOU have to be a good pilot.
Here are four ways to be a good Pilot when it comes to fat loss:
1) Know good conditions when you see them
Good pilots always watch the weather. If they see that a storm will be covering the destination in six hours when the plane should be landing, a good pilot will bum up the take off time, if there’s room.
Similar to a pilot, always think ahead! When you know that you have a low key week, USE it to your advantage for fat loss.
Add in a few more workouts, make new recipes and prioritize sleep when you have the opportunity.
I can’t tell you how many times I was a little girl and my grandpa would call us and say “Get to the airport now. We must leave in 20 minutes to be safe, storms are coming.”
Conversely, I remember playing with my brothers in the hangar for hours while my grandpa watched the weather like a hawk so we knew when it was safe to take off.
Like a pilot exudes prudence with the schedule for safety, be prudent with your time– it is a luxury.
When you kids are out of town, get that extra hour of sleep. When you have a half day at work, use the moring or afternoon to crush a good workout!
Life isn’t always consistent nor is it easy so when you see a break in the clouds take it!
Sleep in when you can! Sleep is GREAT for fat loss.
It might mean spending a little more on group exercise classes one month or getting a coach for a few summer months but that is the best time to focus on YOU!
2) Know bad conditions when you see them and be cautious, always
Sometimes my grandpa and dad would take off and we would be twenty minutes into a flight and they would tell us to buckle up– storms were ahead and we might have to emergency land.
Have you ever gotten to the gym and realized it was actually not in your best interest to workout?
Last week I had a client show up stoked about her upper body workout and after three sets of pull-ups she felt a sharp pain in her upper back. We ceased the workout immediately.
My client luckily has a super strong mental gain and didn’t sweat it.
She would rather come back un-injured after some rest than push through, and rather logically see that it was smarter to stop and rest than sit there and be sad bout missing a workout.
Being able to make the smart decision to stop a workout, or to have an extra snack when you nee it and yet it supposed to be a lower calorie day is what keep you safe, health and resilient.
You can always take off again. You can always keep headed on to where you want to go.
Sometimes there are pitstops.
Based on my experience, the pitstops not only make you mentally stronger, but they happen for a reason.
Whether its for safety, for recovery, for mental clarity etc. life throws us curve balls.
Identifying curve balls and then re-routing accordingly is the best thing to do. But let me tell you, it isn’t always easy.
3) Exude control and confidence
I don’t know about you, but I have never seen a pilot flip out.
I saw my grandfather look nervous a few times, but never once did he stress in a negative way. Never once has my dad freaked out while flying my family or when he used to circle Iraq in the no-fly zone.
When we lose control of our diets, we are actually letting stress get the best of us.
The next time you want to cave and eat everything in sight, emotionally eat your feelings or decide to over-indulge, think about how you would feel if you saw the pilot of your plane freak out…. your life would be at risk.
In the same vein, do not put yourself at risk emotionally, mentally or physical by overeating, or by eating food and feeling guilty and then giving up.
Pilots don’t give up.
4) Study and be precise
Pilots are experts. They aren’t trained to fly in perfect conditions only, they are trained to succeed in the good, the bad and the ugly conditions.
But they weren’t born with the skill. They learned it in school. They practice it. They spent years and hour on hours of flying.
Fat loss is the same way!
It takes time in general to lose weight sustainably. Staying consistent with a diet requires having the skill to manage deficit and learning that skill takes time.
If you have never truly worked on your diet for more than 30 days, consider hiring a coach.
A coach will teach you what you need to know so that you CAN be that well-seasoned pilot.
A good coach will walk you through strategies so that you can navigate the good the bad and the ugly.
Getting on a “plan” that everyone and their mother has tried may not yield the best results because we all have unique bodies, just like no storm is the same.
Study the skills it takes for you to be consistent with a deficit, and not just one arbitrary plan someone else wrote and markets to the masses.
Take your time too, nothing happens over night.
Be the pilot in your own life this week.
Whether you are navigating a fat loss journey, a bikini contest, a new weight lifting plan or trying to train for a marathon, being a pilot takes time, knowledge, and guidance.
Next time you stress out or feel worried, try and channel your inner pilot, or picture what you would do if your own pilot flipped out.
Take control and pilot your life!