A Model of Health: A Q&A with Kristie Gibson
At City Fitness, we’re constantly learning about what motivates people to strive for healthier lifestyles. This Q&A is part of a larger interview series with a number of Philadelphians representing a wide range of industries and communities — from entertainment to fashion to fitness. These interviews and photos were completed to celebrate the launch of City Fitness’ Signature Club which is coming to the Sterling Building on 18th and JFK. Click here for more information and 30 Days of early access for just $10!

Kristie Gibson is a busy person. Not only is she a model who’s racking up an impressive following on Instagram, she also sells sponsorships for the Philadelphia Eagles broadcast on 94 WIP featuring legendary play-by-play announcer Merrill Reece. What keeps her going? Fitness. We caught up with Kristie to learn why living a healthy lifestyle is so important to her, and how she doesn’t let the pressures of the modeling industry get her down.

Your father played baseball for the Milwaukee Brewers as well as the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in Japan. Did that translate into a household where sports, health and fitness were important to your family growing up?

Yes! I sort of grew up as a tomboy. My siblings and I were always very into sports and we were always active growing up. I played softball as a pitcher and my dad played a large role. He was always at my games and every night we worked on my pitching skills in our basement. I think growing up in an active household teaches you how to work well with others. It teaches you discipline. It teaches you how to keep calm in high-intensity situations. It helped me gain a very competitive nature, which helped me in the real world.

You’re a model. It’s an industry where staying fit is incredibly important but where it’s easy to get a negative body image. Being as though you started in your 20s not as a teenager, does that help you stay positive and balanced?

It’s an intense industry and does cause people to feel bad about themselves — however, it’s how you decide to handle yourself in those situations that can keep you staying positive or let yourself be defeated by other people’s opinions. Since I started a little older, I now have the confidence and strength to know that I am happy with myself. I may not be the right fit for every company but I am happy with myself. So it keeps me from feeling negative about certain situations or circumstances. I always want to stay healthy and fit but I never want to take it to a level of just trying to be as thin as possible! If I do my best and I fit what a company is looking for, awesome! If not, no big deal. I’m not going to miss a fun trip to get ice cream with friends over it!

Why is a healthy lifestyle so important to you?

A healthy lifestyle is very important to me and the people I surround myself with. I would not be a happy person without daily physical activity. I think taking care of yourself is so important and it really shows on people. I think you need to have the healthy balance in your life. Working out, lifting or doing hot yoga is my time to relieve stress and do something for myself. You need to take the time — even if it’s 30 minutes — to do something to better yourself.

Why do you argue that Philly is getting noticeably healthier in recent years?

I think that Philly is getting noticeably healthier in many ways. New “fast food” restaurants like Snap Kitchen, Pure Fare, Amino Juice Bar and Sweetgreen are popping up all over the city. I think it’s a game-changer! I also think that City Fitness has done an incredible job incorporating health and wellness into the city and making it fun for people to get together and work out. By doing things like the cycling classes at the Observation area or the workout classes on a rooftop, it’s clear that they get what’s important to the young population of the city and they are working to make it a better place. They are doing a great job of connecting with the people of the city and getting them out and active. I am so excited for what’s to come for the city of Philadelphia because it’s changing for the better everyday!

Q&A by Jared Shelly