IFBB Pro Erin Stern is a master at sculpting her physique to leave an impression on the stage. We connected with Erin on her journey to compete in the 2021 Ms. Bikini Olympia, plus her top tips on staying motivated as a competitor.
Start With Good Lifestyle Habits
I start the day off at 7:00 am with a quick 30-minute walk. There’s a lot of science behind this: walking reduces your overall mortality weight, it burns calories, it fires up the hippocampus which is good for reducing anxiety and solving problems; getting light first thing in the morning helps to solidify your circadian rhythm. If you have issues with your sleep-wake cycle, waking up first thing and getting that natural light is an amazing way to get you back on track.
You have to get scientific; you have to get precise and learn what works for your body. And you have to do that year-round versus just a few weeks at a time. In that consistency you’ll form lasting habits, lasting habits lead to a lifestyle, and when you have that as a lifestyle that’s for the rest of your life.
Use Food as Fuel & Nourishment
If you cook white rice and you cool it overnight it forms resistance starch. Resistance starch is amazing for gut health and it can lower the caloric value of the rice. I eat about 3-3.5 oz of wild caught salmon. I do the wild caught because it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, the good fats. I top meals with Añejo, this stuff is amazing. I don’t watch my sodium, none of that, I love spices and acidity. I think it’s important when you’re doing content prep to make sure that your food tastes good.
I see my food as fuel. It's nourishment. It helps with recovery. Do I miss eating big meals? Sometimes, but you know that tastes better than that - victory.
Erin's Ms. Olympia Figure and Bikini Accolades
It’s a mix of figure and bikini, mostly figure. I won Olympia twice in figure, True Classic New Zealand, and Australia. I’ve been all over the place for figure. For bikini, I won second place at the Republic of Texas Pro Championship and first place at the Tahoe Pro. From this, I’ve been able to start several businesses, my main business is online coaching for a lady's group. It’s nice to give back and make a living doing it.
The trophies are great but I think what’s important about them is that they helped me build a foundation and platform to reach more people.
Establish the “Why” Behind Your Motivation
When I first started competing, I was not in a good spot in my life. I had a career in real estate and the market had tanked at that point. I was in an abusive relationship; my ex that I was with, ended up killing the next girl that he was with. I was in fear of my life. As soon as I stood up, I took ownership of everything in my life that had gone wrong. I realized I’m at rock bottom and can’t fall any further than this, the only place to go is up.
I stopped feeling sorry for myself and that’s when the change happened, when I took ownership.
Take Ownership for Your Goals
It has made me stronger; it has made me appreciate those struggles; it has made me appreciate the good times. I’m doing this out of love for the people that follow me, the people that believe in me. This time it feels good. I’m running towards something rather than away from something.
Now I don’t have anything left to prove except to myself.
Defining Your Own Success
Earl Nightingale defines success as “the progressive realization of a worthy goal.” That means you hold the yard stick to your success; you define what that success means. Going back to winning vs losing, that’s not something you have control over. I have control over bringing a better physique to stage each time and changing my physique year to year. That’s where I find the motivation, something that stretches me, that challenges me. It’s been a fun journey that last couple of years.
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