The story behind taking my passion for lifelong vitality to the friendly skies

Growing up I had a love for athletics, which played a huge role in my love for fitness in my adult age. When I was in second grade I played basketball for my local AAU team, and my teammates Dad was our coach. I would say he was a real ball buster, but when I look back now I realize he just wanted us to win. He had a lot of passion for the game, and he pushed us.

This is how my competitive nature began to blossom, and I loved to play basketball. It really was a passion of mine. I would watch games of the Bull’s Finals and relive Jordan’s buzzer beaters. I’d daydream about playing basketball professionally. I’d post pictures of Shaq and Kobe, Jordan and Pippen, Stockton and Malone, for my inspiration. I was a post player guys, I was all about the duo dynamic. After school in the off season you would find me outside barefoot on the pavement practicing my shot, or enjoying a little 2 on 2 action.

Bellevue College Group Huddle - me on the far right

Bellevue College Group Huddle - me on the far right

This is what gave me my love for sweating it out, because nothing makes you sweat like running up and down the court for an hour. Basketball was a great foundation for me to start out my love for exercise. However, it wasn’t until I was 24 that I started to understand more about what exercise I should be doing and the benefits of a more nutritious diet.


I grew up eating boxed meals, and chili out of a can, microwaveable hot pockets. Not an image of healthiness honestly. So, it is no wonder it took me some time to gain a better sense of what healthy looks like. If you are someone who grew up like I did, then it is understandable if you still eat this way. It takes time to learn about nutrition. Luckily, I’ve done some of the work for you and have put together resources on my website to help those within the airline industry learn more about nutrition through both educational and recipe information.

I started researching nutrition when I was 19 because I became uniquely interested in vegetarianism through reading a book “Quantum Wellness” I opened pandoras box. I was intrigued that I had a choice about what I ate. I always thought that I just had to eat whatever I had in front of me. Growing up poor, kind of does that to you. This book informed me about where meat comes from, what is done to your meat, how it is processed, and the problems it can cause to your body. Education helps you do better. So I decided I would implement change and become a vegetarian.


Fast forward to today, 11 years later. I am currently an NFPT Certified Personal Trainer for airline employees. I am CTNC (transformational nutrition coach in training) and am due to graduate by the end of this year. I am aiming to help those who have a career in the airline industry find lifelong vitality through a sustainable fitness lifestyle.

Why did I choose the airline niche? To be honest, I didn’t think that I would be a personal trainer for airline employees. However, when asked the question of what client I would like to work with, I thought a lot about those who travel and how hard they have it.

I thought about my husband who is gone often on 4 day trips. He doesn’t always have mealprep. He sometimes gets 8 hours of sleep but that’s never guaranteed. He works odd hours of the morning and night. He swaps schedules, timezones, and commutes to work. He works in a high stress environment.

My husband flying us to Austin, Texas.

My husband flying us to Austin, Texas.

I thought of my old co-workers when I used to be a CSA (customer service agent) at the Bellingham Station (BLI). The constant hustle and bustle of the STAR shift starting at 3 in the morning. The ever tempting table of treats that lingered in the break room. The string of days with no sleep, and again schedule changes, circadian swaps, double shifts, and caffeine induced states.

My coworker and I sending out a flight from BLI.

My coworker and I sending out a flight from BLI.

I thought of my dad, a former Horizon Air GSA and CSA who ate raspberry jelly filled cookies and enjoyed  a pepsi often on his breaks at work, was consistently exhausted after a day at work, didn’t exercise, and had little knowledge of nutrition.

This is an environment that desperately needs help.

South China Morning Post’s article on ‘Frequent fliers at higher risk of diseases that lead to ageing…’ they posit that,

             “Research has shown jet lag can switch off genes linked to the immune system, thus raising the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. And long-term chronic jet lag among airline cabin crew has been associated with cognitive deficits including memory impairment.”

Cabin Crew and the airline industry as a whole are suffering from circadian rhythm issues, and placing an emphasis on nutrition, movement, as well as sleep, will improve their outcome.

I focused on a few of the main issues that cabin crew have when managing to fit in exercise with their flight schedule. Most of the time, time was the issue. So, this is why I devised an in-app program. Within in the app your workout can be taken anywhere on the go which is a must for those in the airline industry. I also noted that workouts should be kept under 30 minutes because overnights can be short, and the style of resistance training I utilize promotes high caloric burn, while building muscle. These culminate to make the foundation of my Ready Set Resistance 12 Week Program. If you’re looking for a trial run of my program, I do offer a free week so that you can test out how well the in-app programming will work for you.

Of course nutrition and movement go together hand in hand. Which is why I produced a Milehigh Mealprep Ebook that is 20 pages of nutritional education and 25 pages of recipes that helps those on-the-go transition into a more nutritious and balanced lifestyle. I was only inspired to change my way of eating when I was able to understand nutrition better, that’s what I want for my fellow airline lifers.

Stay Fit to Fly Fam,

Maddie

The Fit Aviatrix

Madolyn Miller