SI Swimsuit model Katrina Scott says rookie title is ‘a blessing’ after ‘struggling with a fertility journey’

Katrina Scott is seeing the light after enduring a dark year.

The fitness instructor and co-founder of Tone It Up is officially a rookie for this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, which hits newsstands July 19. Most recently, the 37-year-old strutted down the runway for SI Swimsuit’s fashion show in Miami, which highlighted women of diverse shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds.

Scott joined Kathy Jacobs, Natalie Mariduena, Brooks Nader as well as the 13 Swim Search hopefuls selected for the magazine’s annual open casting call, at the Mondrian Hotel South Beach’s Baia Beach Club during PARAISO Miami Beach. Jasmine Sanders opened the runway, and Haley Kalil, co-winner of the first-ever Swimsuit open casting call, was a surprise guest.

This has been a victorious moment for Scott, who previously faced an infertility battle. After suffering several miscarriages, she hopes her appearance in the magazine will encourage other women to feel that they are “worthy and beautiful.”

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT SHOW CELEBRATES BODY DIVERSITY ON MIAMI RUNWAY

Scott spoke to Fox News about appearing in this year’s issue, what gave her hope, and how fitness helped her create a supportive community in 2020.

Fox News: How does it feel to know that you’re officially a rookie?
Katrina Scott: For me, this has been a dream for literally 15 years, maybe more. And I thought I wanted it younger, but this is the year that it was meant to happen and meant to be.

Being a rookie at 37 has been a blessing. I feel like the word “rookie” is a representation of Sports Illustrated saying, “Welcome to the family.” I’m representing someone who is also a mom and has gone through the things that I’ve gone through. I’m a mom of one. I have three angels that I’ve lost to three pregnancies in the last year. I work through it every single day.

I was struggling with a fertility journey and not feeling 100{ac8e717143a10a5ee6a00f1f1b38bfdd890a90ce9e13e24babf4350f8831923a} confident, beautiful or worthy. And then having Sports Illustrated say, “Hey, we want you to be our rookie” – that’s like saying that I still am worthy and beautiful. I can represent others who may not feel like enough right now. I want to make sure every woman knows that she is enough.

SI SWIMSUIT MODEL KATHY JACOBS, THE ‘OLDEST AND SHORTEST ROOKIE’ AT 57, CELEBRATES HER PHYSIQUE AT RUNWAY SHOW

Fox News: That’s remarkable because so many women go through the same painful journey and often struggle in silence.
Scott: Absolutely. I feel 2020 was probably the darkest year for me, as well as for a lot of other people out there. It was also one of the most transformative years. During that time, I started working with Sports Illustrated and teaching classes. It really gave me a reason to spring out of bed every morning. It gave me something to look forward to. I really have the entire Sports Illustrated family to thank for that because there probably would have been a lot of days where I wouldn’t have been able to put one foot in front of the other.

Fox News: How were you discovered by SI?
Scott: In March 2020, I was talking to my girlfriend Emily DiDonato, who has been part of Sports Illustrated for quite some time now. She said, “Do you want to join me for an [Instagram Live] workout on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit?” I fell off my stool in my kitchen. Of course! You don’t say no to that. This was my dream.

We did it and the response was amazing. Everyone was at home. The stay-at-home orders were in place and everyone wanted to move their bodies. Everyone wanted to feel connected somehow. So it was amazing because not only did Emily and I connect with each other as girlfriends, but we also connected with thousands of women from all over the world who joined us for this workout. And then the very next week, [editor] MJ Day was like, “Do you want to teach again?” I said, “Sure, I’ll teach as many times as you want me to.” It was such an honor.

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT MODEL HALEY KALIL STUNS AUDIENCES DURING SURPRISE APPEARANCE AT MIAMI RUNWAY SHOW

I started teaching twice a week for nine months and it was really beautiful. It gave thousands of women, including myself, something to spring out of bed for, something to look forward to. We would have these fun themes, like tropical, where my husband would be a DJ. So everyone would do the workouts with their bathing suits on. We looked at ourselves not just as fitness instructors, but also as entertainers during a time when people really needed something to smile about at home.

Fox News: Take us back to the day of the shoot. What was that experience like for you?
Scott: Honestly, that was one of the top moments of my life and career. We got to pick out our swimsuits. So it felt like playing dress-up for a couple of hours… I remember feeling very stiff a first. However, they made me feel so comfortable.

I remember we were in the eye of a storm. It was really windy. I got into one of the vans to stay warm. I was told, “We’re going to keep shooting.” And I just jumped out. I was so excited because I really didn’t want to go home. I really didn’t want to hear the words “that’s a wrap.” We created the most beautiful photos in the eye of the storm.

SI SWIMSUIT MODEL BROOKS NADER ROCKS ANOTHER SHEER ‘EPIC DRESS’ FOR MIAMI RUNWAY SHOW AFTER GOING VIRAL

Because none of us had (phone) service, we didn’t realize that we were actually in a tornado zone. Of course, we would have left had we known that. But it was pretty remarkable to see how something really extraordinary came out from that. It really represented the year that I had in my life, which was so stormy, so dark and really scary.

But there was so much light that came out of it. The very same thing happened at that shoot. I wouldn’t change anything about that day. I felt really proud of what we were able to accomplish. Other than getting married and having a child, it was the best day of my life *laughs*.

Fox News: How did you physically prepare for the shoot?
Scott: Right when I was getting ready for the shoot, I was developing a program called 640. For six days a week, I would do a 40-minute workout at 6 a.m. so I was done by 6:40 a.m. As a mom, you don’t always have time to work out, so I knew that if I did it first thing in the morning, I wouldn’t have to think about it for the rest of the day.

SI SWIM SEARCH FINALIST KRISTEN LOUELLE GAFFNEY, MOM OF TWO, UNVEILS CURVES ON MIAMI RUNWAY: ‘MAGICAL MOMENT’

I set my alarm at 5:45 a.m. and began working out at 6 a.m. for those 40 minutes. I included yoga sculpt, strength training, all the things that I taught Live for Sports Illustrated… I actually filmed all the workouts that I’ve been doing. It’s called “Tone It Up 640” and it’s already helped a lot of women.

I also incorporated a meal plan. I think at home we were all snacking a lot. So it’s all about frequent meals. It’s six meals a day where you feel like you’re eating and snacking frequently. But it’s all whole, clean foods. I also created a plant-based protein powder that’s non-GMO and gluten-free so everyone can use it.

Fox News: If we were to go through your fridge now, what would we find?
Scott: You’ll find a lot of toddler snacks for my daughter *laughs*. There’s a lot of strawberries and yogurt pouches. I actually grab her yogurt pouches all the time.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER

I say my fridge is lean, clean and green. Lots of lean proteins, clean foods like fruits, plenty of yogurt and tons of greens. I love vegetables. There’s also champagne and a bottle of wine. We also love pizza nights and sushi. I really believe we shouldn’t count or itemize what we put in our bodies. I think we can fuel our bodies in a healthy way while still having ice cream dates and pizza nights without feeling guilt. I never say cheat meal or cheat day because it’s not cheating. You’re living your life and treating yourself.

Fox News: How can we make working out fun and something we can actually look forward to?
Scott: I never want anyone to work out and feel like it’s punishment. It should be something you look forward to, something that makes you feel good. If someone tells me, “I don’t like burpees,” I would never be that trainer that says, “Well, you have to do this.” Or if someone tells me, “I don’t like cycling,” I wouldn’t say, “This is the only thing that will get you to achieve your goals.”

I think the first step is to learn what you personally enjoy, whether it’s dance, tennis, yoga, weightlifting. From there, join a studio that focuses on that, sign up for classes, or be part of a community group. I don’t believe there are any rules to fitness or what you have to do to get into shape. I think it starts with enjoyment. And what’s great now that with things opening up, you can try lots of new things.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

A lot of studios are offering specials for you to try their classes. So many studios have been shut down for so long. They’re waiting for you to walk in and enjoy their space. I also encourage anyone to try the Tone It Up app. I teach yoga and strength training. There’s also dancing and kickboxing if you’re into classes like that. I even offer a kettleball workout, as well as pre- and post-natal workouts for my mamas out there.

Fox News: When someone opens this year’s issue and sees your photo for the very first time, not knowing your story, what’s one message you hope they will learn from you?
Scott: That it’s not too late for you to reach your dreams and to feel confident and beautiful. And you deserve it.