Meet Ife: The Advocate Who's Redefining The Face Of Fitness [Interview]

January 03, 2018 4 min read 3 Comments

Ife Obi is a professional Marketer and fitness instructor at Plank Pilates and founder of the Follow her journey @ife_o

"I’ve found success in being different and the non-traditional path has made me the boss that I am now."

Tell us what it was like for you growing up? I was born & bred in East New York, Brooklyn in a high-crime, low income neighborhood with limited exposure to a “healthy lifestyle.” It wasn’t safe to play in the playgrounds or bike around the neighborhood. There also wasn’t access to quality fruits, vegetables or even meats in our supermarkets. Processed and fast foods were the only option for my parents who worked long hours and multiple jobs to raise the 3 of us kids. Throughout my high school years, I had a lot of struggles that included school, family and my weight.

How did you get involved in the fitness community? I fell into fitness by accident. In my late teens I ended up working at a sporting goods store in the Women’s clothing section where an older colleague of mine told me about the city public gyms. When I started going it was only $75 a year, but you can imagine what you get for that kind of price…the bare minimum. I was at a crossroads in my life where I wanted a change of mindset, change of friends, and change of life. And I wanted to rock the cute outfits I was selling all day! I started hitting the gym and working out relentlessly, not just to change who I was on the outside, but on the inside as well. I worked out for at least 2 hours a day and many times twice a day. It was my moving meditation.

"I was at a crossroads in my life where I wanted a change of mindset, change of friends, and change of life."


You’ve succeeded in an industry that often glorifies one type of image, can you tell us about your journey to stay true to who you are? I’ve been blessed with a successful career being exactly who I am - Mohawk, Africa tattoo and all.

I came to the realization that I didn’t have the support system or the resources for an easy path, it was either sink or swim. I made the choice to grind harder than anyone to prove to naysayers that I can be successful and to force doors to open that would otherwise be closed off to those like me. It’s a mentality I’ve carried into everything I do.

In an industry that promotes one view of perfection, it’s important for brands to be aware of how that can be a detriment to those most in need of their services. That awareness is why I fell in love with K-DEER.

Not to mention, the leggings are dope and probably the best fitting I’ve ever worn!

"I appreciate K-DEER because they are one of few brands to showcase and support all types of women at many different stages of fitness levels."


What projects are you working on? In addition to my career in Marketing and Fitness, I recently created, a unique web guide for those looking for health and fitness recommendations. is a platform to share fitness recommendations of 6 very distinct women to help the diverse women of NYC find motivation, inspiration, support and assistance wherever they are in their health and fitness journey.

I appreciate K-DEER because they are one of few brands to showcase and support all types of women at many different stages of fitness levels. It helps women feel that a healthier lifestyle is more attainable than what they may see.

"I also love being an example for anyone who looks like me or doesn’t, or has a similar journey to me or their own, letting them know that they fit right in as they are even if it looks like they don’t."


Talk about your involvement with iMentor and why giving back to your community is so important? I believe in paying it forward. I was able to see myself through difficult times and come through the other side and I truly believe my purpose in life is to help others do the same. I also love being an example for those with a similar journey, letting them know that they belong, even if it looks like they don’t.

iMentor matches at-risk high school students with a committed college-educated mentor who acts as a guide for college graduation. I have been blessed to watch my mentee grow from a high school freshman to now her sophomore year of college.

K-DEER is a brand that also believes in giving back by supporting different communities through charity linked to their Signature Stripe Collection. I love being able to wear a brand who shares my same principles and does the work. - Ife Obi @ife_o

3 Responses


March 19, 2018

I needed to see this today. Thanks for the inspiration. Sometimes I forget that it’s okay to look different.

Carly Grace Yoga
Carly Grace Yoga

January 10, 2018

Thanks for the awesome post! I was born in Brooklyn too and loved reading about how you got into fitness. Keep on inspiring!
Xo, @carlygraceyoga


January 10, 2018

When will you have the stripe color combo in the top picture…with the two different pinks (with purple and white)?? I LOVE that combo!

Thank you!

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