Katrina Scott is seeing the light after going through a dark year.
Fitness Instructor and Co-Founder tone it up There’s a rookie officially out for this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, which hits newsstands July 19. Recently, the 37-year-old walked down the runway for SI Swimsuits’ fashion show in Miami, featuring a variety of shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds.
Scott joins 13 Swim Search candidates selected for the magazine’s annual Open Casting Call, along with Kathy Jacobs, Natalie Mariduena, Brooks Nader, as well as the Baia Beach Club at the Mondrian Hotel South Beach during PARAISO Miami Beach. Jasmine Sanders opened the runway, and first-time Swimsuit Open casting call co-winner Haley Kalil was a surprise guest.
It’s been a triumphant moment for Scott, who had previously faced a battle with infertility. After suffering multiple miscarriages, she hopes her appearance in the magazine will encourage other women to feel that they are “worthy and beautiful.”
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Scott spoke to LBL about what’s coming in this year’s issue, what gave her hope, and how fitness helped her build a supportive community in 2020.
LBL: How does it feel to know that you are officially a cheater?
Katrina Scott: For me, it’s been a dream for literally 15 years, maybe even more. And I thought I wanted it short, but this is the year it was meant to be and has to happen.
Being a novice at the age of 37 has been a blessing. I think the word “rookie” is a representation of Sports Illustrated’s, “Welcome to the family.” I am representing someone who is also a mother and the things I have gone through. I am a mother of one. I have three angels whom I have lost from three pregnancies in the past year. I work through it every day.
I was struggling with a fertility journey and not feeling 100% confident, beautiful or worthy. And then Sports Illustrated says, “Hey, we want you to be our rookie” — it’s like saying I’m still worthy and beautiful. I can represent others who might not be feeling enough right now. I want to make sure that every woman knows that she is enough.
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LBL: This is remarkable because many women go through the same painful journey and often struggle in silence.
Scott: Absolutely. I think 2020 was probably the darkest year for me, as well as for many others. 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 get out of bed every morning. It gave me something to look forward to. I really have the entire Sports Illustrated family to thank for this because there will probably be days where I just can’t put one foot against the other.
LBL: How were you discovered by SI?
Scott: In March 2020, I was talking to my girlfriend, Emily DiDonato, who has been a part of Sports Illustrated for some time now. She said, “Do you want to join me? [Instagram Live] Workout on a Sports Illustrated swimsuit?” I fell off my stool in my kitchen. Absolutely! You don’t say it. It was my dream.
We did it and the response was amazing. Everyone was at home. Stay-at-home orders were in place and everyone wanted to move their bodies. Everyone wanted to feel connected in some way or another. 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 around 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 I want.” It was such an honour.
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I started teaching twice a week for nine months and it was really beautiful. It gave thousands of women, including me, something to get out of bed, something to look forward to. We’ll have these fun themes, like tropical, where my husband will be the DJ. That’s why everyone will work out wearing their bathing suit. We saw ourselves not only as fitness instructors, but also as entertainers when people really needed something to make them smile at home.
LBL: Take us back to shooting day. How was that experience for you?
Scott: To be honest, that was one of the top moments of my life and career. We have to choose our swimsuit. So it felt like playing dress-up for a few hours… I remember feeling pretty tight at first. However, he made me feel very comfortable.
I remember we were in the eye of a storm. The wind was blowing really strong. I climbed into a van to stay warm. I was told, “We will continue 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 “it’s a wrap”. We created the most beautiful pictures in the eye of the storm.
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Because neither of us had (phone) service, we didn’t realize we were actually in a tornado zone. Of course, if we had known we would have gone. But it was quite remarkable to see how something truly extraordinary came out of it. It really represents the year I had in my life, which was so stormy, so dark and really scary.
But how much light had come out of it? Something similar happened during that shoot as well. I wouldn’t change anything about that day. I felt really proud of what we were able to achieve. Apart from getting married and having a baby, it was the best day of my life *laughs*.
LBL: How did you prepare physically for the shoot?
Scott: Right when I was getting ready to shoot, I was developing a program called 640. Six days a week, I used to do 40 minutes of workouts at 6 in the morning, so I was done by 6:40 in the morning. ‘I didn’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 the rest of the day.
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I set my alarm at 5:45 a.m. and start working out at 6 a.m. for those 40 minutes. I included yoga sculpting, strength training, everything I taught Live for Sports Illustrated… I actually filmed all the workouts I’m doing. It’s called “Tone It Up 640” and it has already helped a lot of women.
I also included a meal plan. I think at home we were all having breakfast a lot. So it’s all often about the food. That’s six meals a day where you feel like you’re eating and snacking often. But it’s all whole, clean eating. I also made a plant-based protein powder that’s non-GMO and gluten-free so everyone can use it.
LBL: If we go through your fridge now, what will we find?
Scott: You will find lots of snacks for my daughter *laughs*. There are a lot of strawberries and yogurt sachets. I actually grab pouches of her yogurt all the time.
I say my fridge is lean, clean and green. Lots of lean protein, clean foods like fruit, lots of yogurt and lots of greens. I like vegetables. There is also a bottle of champagne and wine. We also love Pizza Nights and Sushi. I truly believe that we should not count or describe what is put into our bodies. I think we can fuel our bodies in a healthy way while still having ice cream dates and pizza nights without feeling guilty. I never say cheat meal or cheat day because it’s not cheating. You are living your life and treating yourself.
LBL: How can we make workouts fun and something we can really hope for?
Scott: I never want someone to act and feel that it is 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 will never be that instructor who says, “Well, you have to do this.” Or if someone tells me, “I don’t like cycling,” I wouldn’t say, “That’s the only thing that will motivate you to achieve your goals.”
I think the first step is to learn what you personally enjoy, be it dancing, tennis, yoga, weightlifting. From there, join a studio that focuses on it, sign up for classes, or be part of a community group. I don’t believe there are any fitness rules or what you have to do to be fit. I think it starts with joy. And what’s great now is that with things opening up, you can try a lot of new things.
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Plenty of studios are offering specials for you to try out their classes. So many studios have been closed for so long. They are waiting for you to come in and enjoy their space. I encourage anyone to try the Tone It Up app. I teach yoga and strength training. There is also dancing and kickboxing if you are into such classes. I provide kettleball workouts, as well as prenatal and postpartum workouts, for my mamas.
LBL: When someone opens this year’s issue and sees your photo for the first time, not knowing your story, what’s the one message you hope they’ll learn from you?
Scott: May it not take you long to reach your dreams and feel confident and beautiful. And you deserve it.