Posted on 14 December 2017

Erica - Erica BikiniFit is a Certified Nutrition Coach, Certified Mindfulness Coach as well as a Certified Lifestyle Coach. She also holds titles as a Pro Masters Fitness Model and Grand Masters Bikini Champion, however her most important role is that of a mom to her three kids. Over the years, she found that her journey to a healthier body not only helped to make her physically stronger, but it also helped to heal her mind and spirit.  Her focus on health, fitness and nutrition has grown but her true passion has always been helping others find their strong. Erica BikiniFit Nutrition & Coaching is here to help people lose fat, get healthy both body and mind by improving nutrition through custom meal plans, and lifestyle counseling. Please get in touch to learn more about services and packages available.
Erica Hayes-Glassford(SISS) Hi Erica, where are you from and where are you currently spending your time?  (Erica)  I am originally from Seattle, WA.  But I am currently living in a small community just outside Calgary, Alberta Canada.  (SISS)  What was one of the hardest things that you had to go through? What advice would you give someone going through the same struggle?  (Erica)  When I was 25 I left an abusive relationship and moved back in with my folks, my resilient little one year old boy in tow.  It was incredibly humbling, to try and explain to my folks why I needed to come stay with them after hiding it for 3 years.  I was broken physically, and emotionally.  I felt like my life was over, I remember having a particularly emotional moment with my dad and saying to him:  “I am a 25 year old single mom, with stretch marks, I live with my parents and I drive a four door car, who in their right mind would want this sort of baggage?!”  He kind of chuckled at me, and said “Maybe you should take a harder look in your mirror and see what you have to offer” If I say my advice to anyone in the same situation is to leave, get out at the first sign of it, I would be a complete hypocrite.  The truth of the matter is when it happens you are surprised and you believe the lies of “it will never happen again”.  Once you are in it, it is tough to see a way out of it.  We don’t talk about it because it’s embarrassing, a taboo subject. However there are always red flags and warning signs…  Learn what they are, It never starts with physical abuse, it starts with undying professions of love, it starts out with a bit of jealousy, then it grows into controlling behavior.  It becomes them making you feel worthless, like you could not do any better, you’d be nothing without them.  It’s the emotional black eye so to speak that makes you vulnerable to tolerate the physical abuse. My advice would be to trust your gut, listen to the nagging voice that says something’s not right.  Parents - Educate your children on the patterns of abuse, so they can spot it before it happens to them.  If you are in it, talk about it to anyone who will listen NO ONE WILL JUDGE YOU!  But they may just be the one person that gives you the strength, or support you need to get out.Erica Hayes-Glassford  (SISS)  What are you most grateful for?  (Erica) My “traditional answer” would be: My Parents, for their unconditional support all these years. My Kids, for changing my outlook on life.  Have you ever taken the time to look at the world through a child’s eyes again? And Last but not least… My Struggles!  Without them I wouldn’t be who I am today.  But my sarcastic side would like to say I am grateful for Reese Peanut Butter anything, Sushi and tights that make my butt look way better than it really is.  (SISS)  Bikini Athlete?  Can you take us through the day of your first competition?  (Erica) Most of that day was a blur, I had no idea what I was doing!  I did my first competition alongside one of my closest friends, so I don’t remember it being stressful or difficult.  But I do remember getting up that morning, looking in the mirror and saying to myself: “well it is what it is at this point, what am I going to have for breakfast” and I ate a steak, smothered in butter, I remember walking in to the athletes meeting with an extra-large coffee and having other competitors glare longingly at it LOL  I had noooo idea at the time how wrong and evil that was!  I remember seeing the other competitors backstage and thinking to myself, OMG there is not a hope in hell I am going to place!  I remember being so nervous on stage my whole body was shaking, and thinking “Please don’t pee your bikini, please don’t trip on your own feet…” I also remember being completely stunned when my name was called out for top 5, not once but twice… I actually didn’t move, the photographer had to nudge me.  It didn’t sink in that it was me they meant to come forward!  But then I remember thinking to myself “HOLY SH!T !!! Is this happening? I did it, I actually did it” My journey to my first competition was actually one driven by spite.  It really began when a Spin instructor decided to publicly call me out in class.  So the story goes…. I had agreed to train with my friend as moral support, originally just hoping to get healthy, and be in the best shape I could with no intentions of getting on stage.  During the very beginning of the program, I had confided in the spin instructor (who I considered a friend) that I was finding it difficult to follow the program, my family was not being super understanding or supportive and I would often get a phone call from my husband after I was done running hill sprints to pick up a pizza on my way home.Erica Hayes-Glassford            Do you know what kind of torture that is to smell hot, fresh, savory pizza for 20 minutes and then eat chicken and cucumbers ?!? Shortly after that, in the middle of another spin class she started asking everyone what their fitness goals were one by one.  She skipped right over me, and after everyone was done she went on to lecture the room about how fitness competitors are not athletes, that they are doing that sport out of vanity, it was not sustainable and did not portray true strength. We in this room are real athletes, so stop having an unhealthy relationship with yourself, and for goodness sakes eat the pizza your husband asked you to pick up.  Yup that was totally directed at me!  My thoughts ranged from “how dare you”, to “are you kidding me?” to maybe she’s right and finally to “you took a private moment of vulnerability and used it to stand on your soap box, now watch this!  It was all the motivation I needed to stick to the program, I have a stubborn streak a mile wide and if someone says I can’t do something, or that I am doing something for the wrong reasons, I will prove them wrong and take pictures to document it! Four months later and 40lbs lighter I stepped on that stage for the first time AS AN ATHLETE and placed 2nd in the NPAA Masters (over 35) Bikini and 5th in Masters Fitness.  I was hooked and knew I could do better.  (SISS)  At Smart is so Sexy we love to see women who are thriving in their career or business.  What are you most passionate about?  (Erica) My Kids!!!  I would do anything for those little buggers!  Ok they are not so little anymore they are 13, 16 and 21. If you would have asked me 5 years ago I would said I was very career driven, but the truth is I was almost tunnel vision about my career.  I worked long hours, my clients and job came first and I lost sight of why I started doing what I did in the first place.  However, with some life changes, I had an epiphany about how much of my kids’ lives I was at work for, so I took a step back and switched gears.  I still have a career, I am still driven, but I have learned some balance and where my priorities are.  (SISS)  Who was the most influential person in your life?  (Erica) I can’t say that there was one single person, but more like a collection of people over the years.  I truly believe that everyone is placed in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime!  Each one is there to teach you something, it is your responsibility to learn from it.Erica Hayes-Glassford  (SISS)  Where were you five years ago? What advice would you tell your five years younger self?  (Erica) I was living in Vancouver, BC – I had quit my job that I loved in Calgary to follow my husband’s career.  BUT…. This is where I learned what my priorities are, it was being a stay at home mom while we settled in to our new environment that gave me the insight into what I had missed out on always being at work.  Fitness wise, I was just beginning to find a love for running and had started training for my first ½ marathon.  My advice to my five years younger self would be to love yourself as you are sooner.  The truth is you have flaws, both inner and outer and being flawed is not a crime.  Every single person on this earth has a flaw that they’re trying to hide, do not let your self-perceived fear of judgment from others water you down and diminish your true worth.  (SISS)  Can you take us through a typical day? From Waking up to going to bed, Can you give us a play by play of a typical day for you?  (Erica) My typical day starts at 6:15 AM, when I curse at my alarm….  And hit snooze 3 times before I roll my butt out of bed. LOL I am not a morning person at all, and thankfully my kids are now old enough to get themselves ready for school.  I do however do one momish thing in the morning, I nag them … Did you eat breakfast? Have you packed a lunch?  Don’t forget to brush your teeth!  Did someone take the dog out yet?  Hurry up you are going to miss the bus!  Once they are out the door, I can get myself ready for work and head into the office.  I work with an amazing group of women and one blind installer extraordinaire in the Design Centre of the largest Homebuilder in Alberta.  I am a night time gym goer for the most part, but I will train at 4am if I have to, just to fit it in around the kids activities.  I am blessed to have a gym in my office building so on a typical day I head straight from my desk to the gym with my closest work girlfriend Ang.  Thankfully Ang is used to my shenanigans, but every once in a while I can still catch her off guard.  I love to wait for her to be deep in the middle of a set when I stand in front of her doing my nerdy mom dance.  There is no way she can keep a straight face after that.  After that it’s dinner with the kids and catching up with them about their days, Oh and there is always a load of laundry to be done!  I am a poor sleeper, so I try to start winding myself and the kids down at around 9:00 PM.  I officially start the nagging again, (or as I like to call it – Following up) Did you let the dog out? Did you Brush your teeth?  Did you make sure your IPad is plugged-in in the kitchen.  No you can’t take your computer to bed.Erica Hayes-Glassford  What did I just step on? My mom was an Esthetician when she first started out in the career world, so I learned the importance of a good skin care regime at a very young age.  I won’t go to bed without washing my face and applying my layers of “dear God please keep my skin young” cream. I LOVE to read, so every night I read for about an hour before I fall asleep.  Sometimes I get caught up in a good book and forget to turn the light out. I am a creature of habit and I can say there is not a lot of variation in my day to day activities.  (SISS)  What are you most proud of?  What does your three children think of your dedication to fitness or just having such a sexy mom?  (Erica) I am proud to say I am raising three very resilient, really good humans despite not having an owner’s manual. My oldest son for his uncanny ability to always do what’s right and consistently be empathetic.  My Daughter for overcoming crippling anxiety and finding her voice way younger than I did! My Youngest son for always being curious, not afraid to ask questions when things don’t make sense, and his constant comic relief. My Kids are very supportive of my dedication to fitness, they often ask questions about diet and exercise.  But let’s be real, they rarely follow my advice… I am just mom after all. My boys are not a fan of my modeling and my oldest will often take my phone and block his friends from viewing my social media accounts.  They don’t ever ask me to stop, but I do get the question “do you know what it’s like to have YOU as a mom?”   My response is always FREAKING AWESOME!!  Who else would embarrass you way I do?!  My daughter is more curious about it and following in my footsteps, she has recently been scouted by an international modeling agency, but truthfully I can see that girl carving her own path, she is full of sass! (SISS)  What is your favorite Food? What is your favorite book?  When do you feel the sexiest?  (Erica) My Favorite food is Sushi, and Reese PB Anything… but not together!  That’s just gross LOL. I don’t have any one particular book that is my favorite, I love to read and will read just about anything, but most often you will find a book about history or mystery beside my bed.  Hmmm when do I feel the sexiest…   I love getting all dolled up in a little black dress, but I think I am most confident in my jeans and chucks. Confidence translates into sexy! (SISS)  A social media question, Facebook, twitter, instagram or snapchat? Which one do you use the most to best market yourself or brand? (Erica) I keep my Facebook account private and for just family and friends, it’s how I stalk my children on Social Media. I have Snapchat, but really need a lesson on how to use it.  Instagram is where I post about my fitness / modeling and most definitely have the most followers there if I wanted to market myself.  (SISS)  Is there someone on social media that inspires you and is a great follow?  (Erica) There are too many to list! I like to follow people that post positive or funny posts, judgmental and negative will get you unfollowed pretty fast. If I had to name a couple that I go to their page as soon as I open IG it would be Bridgefourfit, Bunny Azzopardi, Sarah Kassimer, Marcy W, Seeley Photo and Find Yourself a Paul.  (SISS)  What does Smart is so Sexy mean to you?  (Erica) What is sexier than a big beautiful brain, and not being afraid to use it?  Smart is so sexy to me is having an interest in the world around you, being open minded and being your true authentic self. There is nothing sexier than being able to engage in an intelligent conversation with a side of sass and humor.  (SISS) Thank you so much Erica, please see more of Erica on her Instagram @Erica_Bikinifit 

Erica Hayes-Glassford

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