I LOVE DOING THESE INTERVIEWS!
Like, seriously. I am obsessed with them. I'm SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE! It's got SERIOUS tips, tricks and insights from a fitness model and mega babe, Christi!
I met Christi through Justin, she dates his good friend Severin in New York City. Many dates and hang out's later, I became inspired and excited to meet such a DOWN TO EARTH, laid back, sweet, kind and smart girl, that's also giving back, volunteering, family focused and stunning.
I mean you guys should seriously see her hair for one thing, it's INSANE. Thickest, longest, most voluminous hair ever. Her bod is like, crazy fit, and you can see from the Fitness Cover she's got the cutest bum, ever.
For me, that's like my goal for fitness, it's the super toned, strong and sleek look that I love. I'm never going to be tiny and little (I'm 5'8"), so strength and tone are everything. Fitness models are more my ideal.
Christi here is super open, super clear and super helpful providing information on fitness, beauty tricks and just what it's like being a model in NYC. She breaks it down for us below.
I really really loved this one, it felt right, honest and good to read. These tips are INVALUABLE.
I know you'll love it! Enjoy the interview with Christi Marraccini, Fitness model, smart and sweet, do-good babe.
Tell us a little bit about you (who you are, where you're from, what you do :) )
I am a wild child, a dog lover, a coffee addict, a fitness aficionado, I enjoy a cheesy joke and a good graphic tee but most importantly I am a daughter and a sister. I was born and raised in Westchester, New York. I grew up surrounded by a big Italian family (Italian as in traditional Italian, not jersey shore Italian). I am one of three girls, God bless my dad for having a house full of women, but don't feel too bad for him - I was his little tomboy. I was the kid carrying a toolbox instead of a doll, digging for worms instead of digging through dress up clothes and I always wanted to be the dog when we played house.
Family is a huge part of my life and I am extremely lucky to be able to work and still be close to them. My work is anything but typical and includes a few different jobs. I am currently a track and field coach, an event coordinator for a cause called the Tales of Reese and am a model signed with Wilhelmina Models. Sports were a huge part of my life growing up and I am so grateful now that I am able to coach. The Tales of Reese benefits kids and their families and began as a children's book series for children with major life set backs or illnesses. The founder and author, Sparkly Ray, began organizing events to raise money for sick kids. That's where I come in. I help to plan events, select gyms and even run their workouts. And finally, modeling with Wilhelmina which was never in my life plan, but here I am!
Have you always been a babe? How did you get into modeling? When did you get signed and to which agency?
Definitely no! I went through “phases” – having braces in high school was definitely a highlight but glasses came first. Let's just say my life was a struggle until 9th grade. Like I said, I never saw modeling in my future growing up, probably because I was a mess. However, after 9th grade and with the discovery of makeup, a straightener and obviously velour and terry Juicy jumpsuits, things began to change.
To make a long story short, my Italian teacher had signed me up for a pageant my senior year of high school. After three rounds, two titles and placing fourth overall when competing in Italy, the experience had changed my “life plan” of being a college athlete. After returning from Italy, I reached out to other people in the industry and was able to set up a meeting with Wilhelmina. I officially signed with them in August of 2009.
You've been on the cover of Fitness Magazine (!) and in so many other publications, how did Fitness come about and what was that like for you?
I was lucky enough to work with Fitness Magazine several times before being on the cover. Magazine cover shoots are different than regular shoots. When shooting a cover, it is called a cover try and the shoot goes on like any other shoot with the exception of a few shots being devoted to potential cover looks. When I shot with Fitness Magazine, we shot multiple cover variations; however, I had no idea if I was going to be on the cover. It wasn’t until a few months later I found out that I got it. I didn’t see the actual cover until a few weeks before it was out on the stands. I have been in magazines before, but to be on the cover was surreal, an honor and an amazing opportunity.
What's it REALLY like to be a model? The media portrays it as both glamorous and also challenging and superficial. Can you shed some light into the industry and people in it?
It is not your typical nine to five job and is very unpredictable. No two days are ever alike and your schedule can change at a moment’s notice, which is both good and bad. Set life can be a lot of fun. You get to work with talented people and are able to learn a lot about all aspects of the industry. There are opportunities to travel to places you may not otherwise have gone. The agents are wonderful people; they are constantly juggling my schedule and trying to pack it with as many jobs as possible. I wouldn’t say otherwise in case they are reading this ;) but in all seriousness they are great. They have your best interests at heart and are very understanding.
For the most part, the girls that I work with are very down to earth and “normal”; going through the same every day chaos of traveling, bookings, shoots and working additional jobs outside modeling like I am. Like in any professional environment, there can be a sense of competition, but the girls I am surrounded with are very supportive, smart, fun and kind. I meet some of the most entertaining and interesting people on shoots, it’s like each time I get to meet someone new and hear their story.
There are certainly different challenges, I can spend my whole day going to castings and seeing new clients and not book one job from it. Also, having a strong social media presence can be beneficial when it comes to booking jobs. There is the pressure to maintain your image and measurements, but it all becomes routine, and like anything else – nothing is guaranteed.
It is not for the weak. You can’t take anything personally; rejection becomes constructive criticism.
Of course you need to stay fit, and you are SO in shape. What's your workout regime like? As detailed as you can, because it's all in the details here!
My workout regime is much like my life which is all over the place. I am also one of those people that becomes slightly grumpy if I don’t workout. I try to workout 4-5 times a week and it consists of mostly classes. Being based in NYC provides me with plenty of options – choosing which class is the hardest part. Every week, I try to combine weight training, cardio and a class similar to Pilates or yoga. I love weight focused/conditioning style classes like Tone House, Fhitting Room, Barry’s Bootcamp and Kore where I can combine my weight training and cardio. Classes like SLT, ACCESS, Flex Studios and any Pilates reformer class allow for a lower impact and bodyweight or lighter weighted workouts. And then the more cardio based classes like Soul Cycle.
My background in sports combined with my certifications allows me to maximize every workout, whether I am in a class or on my own. I find that balancing weight training, body weight and cardio works best for my body. My recommendations for anyone looking to get in shape or maintain a healthy body would be to first educate themselves. By knowing your body and proper form and technique, your workouts will be more beneficial, yield more results and most importantly prevent injuries.
But half of the battle is working out, the other half is proper eating habits and nutrition. I have tried every “diet” and fad out there. I am not a vegan or vegetarian, typically don’t drink juices, I don’t always buy organic, I cook with butter and drink whole milk. I found that healthy eating, portion control and a cheat day every now and then works best for me. Again, by educating yourself you will get the most out of what you eat and better results from your time and efforts at the gym. Your eating habits should be maintainable and don’t be afraid to treat yourself every now and then. Everyone’s body responds differently to different foods. The best way to know what works best for you is to break down your meal to the essentials; a source of protein, vegetables and healthy fats. Every ten days to two weeks, add back in a food group and see how your body reacts.
When I need my body to look extra lean, I live on lean proteins and vegetables, cut out salt, remove the milk and sugar from my coffee and drink plenty of water for the days prior. I am also crazy about eating post workout. If I am not able to have a proper meal after my workout, I will resort to a protein shake or juice with protein. But it is super important to eat after you workout and eat foods that will help to replenish your body – make sure it includes protein (if I haven’t stressed that enough)!
I try to shop along the perimeter of the supermarket and limit my alcohol intake to once a week or for special occasions only. But, if you have a sweet tooth, like I do, buy individually wrapped sweets or fun size. Having to open one at a time will force you to eat slower, but you are still able to satisfy your craving in moderation.
Life loves to throw you curve balls so things don’t always go as planned. It is okay to get off track every now and then – it happens to me all the time. The hardest part is getting back into a routine; once you’ve done that, the hard part is over.
Any skin and beauty tips that you swear by? Any that you've picked up during photoshoots along the way?
**All the products here are linked too babes!**
One of the best things about this industry is meeting people and working with individuals that make their living off hair and makeup. Being a “natural” blonde, I love Oribe Bright Blonde Shampoo & Conditioner to help with brassiness and keeping that natural color. I use that at least once a week as well as Dove and Pantene. I have a lot of hair and it is super heavy – so it can be hard to get that added lift on top. Amika Undone Texture Spray is great to add volume, (use small sections, tease and/or low heat) and that beachy look to any style. Dry shampoo is also great to use in place of a hair spray. My hair can also get super dry and have crazy static. Kerastase Nutritive Nectar Thermique makes a huge difference and a little goes a long way. I apply it wet or dry if I need it. You can also dampen your hands or use a littler moisturizer to rid of static while you’re out.
With my skin being slightly red, Avene Antirougenurs Fort helps to calm it or you can use any green primer/concealer before applying your face makeup. Coffee can only do so much. Any eye creams that contain rose hip or rosemary Like Yon-Ka Phyto-Contour and Kat Burki Instense Recovery Eye Serum is great for dark circles, puffiness and aging. My saving grace is REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. I use this after I exfoliate about once a week. It leaves you with a new face. During these colder months in New York, my skin is extra dry, so layering on the moisturizer at night as well as spraying your face before or after applying your makeup helps to keep that dewy look. Evian Mineral Water Spray or any rose water spray are great to hydrate as well as set your makeup. To keep my nails and cuticles hydrated, I would recommend Eve Lom Cuticle Cream. It changes them overnight.
Are there any routines that you do that you think attribute to looking so fab? (Like, every morning you drink warm water with lemon or no carbs after 8... HA)
I wish I could say there was! I am one of those people that would rather workout 3 times a day just to eat what I want.
The one thing I do, or try to do, consistently is drink a lot of water, and since I'm in this wonderful New York cold I try for more than the recommended 11 cups or 2.7 liters. What helps me is always carrying a water bottle with me. I know that I have to drink three or more of my water bottles to reach this goal.
Things are easier said than done but getting enough sleep is also huge. Do I get 8 hours every night? No but my body hates me when I don’t.
I think that eating healthy is enough and diets and cleanses do more harm than good; your body will take care of maintaining itself on its own.
One trick I do use, not sure if it works or not is taking two teaspoons of Angostura Bitters before any shoot that I feel bloated. I let myself have cheat days and eat four to five times a day, but smaller meals.
The most important thing is listening to your body. Some days or even weeks you need a rest. TAKE IT! Your body will thank you.
What's one of your proudest moments in your career?
Fitness Magazine cover was pretty huge for me. I also just had my first commercial air. You only see me for like .3 seconds but I’m on TV in a Tommie Copper commercial. I also have two more projects that I am working on that I am unable to talk about, but will let you know as soon as I can!
What was a difficult or challenging moments for you in your career?
I like things done a certain way and always try to plan. Having my schedule in the hands of someone else forced me to give up control. It is also challenging trying to balance life and not worry about missing work or opportunities. I have been working for more than half of my life. I have to remind myself that a day of doing nothing is okay or taking a long weekend will not end my career.
When I met you, it was at a Crossfit gym for a charity workout that you are highly involved in called Tales of Reese. Can you talk about that charity and how it's impacted you?
The Tales of Reese began as a children’s book series for children with illnesses and developmental delays. The founder and author, Sparkly Ray, is a saint. She has the biggest heart and would literally give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. She is so creative and I am forever thankful to her that she brought Reese to life. The books feature a Mouse, Reese, who helps children understand the challenges they are facing and makes their wishes come true while teaching them about health, fitness and nutrition. One of the goals of The Tales of Reese is to help the children find a character that they can relate to. The Tales of Reese partners with gyms nationwide to host events for a child with a major life setback and in some cases life threatening injury or illness. Tales of Reese puts my life in perspective. I am so lucky to have healthy family and friends but others are not so fortunate. Hopefully we are able to alleviate some of the hardship that comes with having a sick child
I'm going to continue about Tales of Reese because I LOVE IT…but why is it important to you to give back? How do you think someone can get more involved in charities and 'do more good'?
Most charities just need your time and attention. I want to make a difference in people’s lives and be able to help those who need it so being a part of Tales of Reese is a reward for me. To be able to give back, teach kids or watch a kid who has an illness smile and forget about their treatments, if only for an hour, does as much for me as my time does for them.
Time and attention is just as meaningful to a charity as money is. It is so easy to better someone’s day simply by doing the smallest things. For some people, just knowing that there are people that care and are there to support them is enough.
What is your favorite quote or life mantra?
Don’t confuse efforts with results.
Do you have any resolutions you've made for 2016?
Just go for it. Spend more time living in the moment. Making time for things other than work. Travel more.
What's one of your life goals?
My life goal is to be a mom; to be able to put my career aside and be a stay at home mom. I think the world needs more of these.
Where can people connect with you further?
I also loved this article from Racked about the most in demand fitness models featuring Christi!
So okay, I have so much to say here. About fitness and working out, all of the yes. The realness about modeling and her job, the PRODUCT tips! Which are things I have never heard of, the point about charities needing your time and attention (SO TRUE) and the quote, 'Don't confuse effort with results' - is everything.
Any questions here for Christi? What do you guys do now to stay balanced with eating and working out? Any favorite mantra's or places you relate to this? I definitely felt like it!
Always love sharing goodness with ya! Have the best week.