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Former Miss America Betty Cantrell Shares Swimsuit Photo At the Beach

She’s still got it.

Miss America 2016 Betty Cantrell is enjoying the sunset, sea, sand, and swimwear at the beach. Cantrell, 29, shared pictures of herself posing in a zebra-print bikini and holding a bright tote bag, earning her a chorus of admiration from fans. "Someone recently commented on one of my videos saying "you really are a Betty, tho"…and idk why, but I love that compliment 🥺," she captioned the post. "You could be a swimsuit model. Bikinis look so good on you! You're beautiful. Everything looks good on you," a fan commented. Here's how Cantrell still looks like a pageant queen.


Healthy Habits


Cantrell learned healthy habits from her family. "I grew up in a household where being healthy was everything," she says. "My dad is a nutritionist and both of my parents are physical therapists. We didn't have Pop-Tarts for breakfast, we had hard-boiled eggs … but I realized that not all children are fortunate enough to have parents who are able [to afford] to give them healthy foods."


Everything In Moderation

Cantrell struggled to maintain a healthy diet while traveling for competitions. "I was traveling all the time and I couldn't always eat the healthiest option," she says. "[But] it's all about eating things in moderation. You can have some unhealthy things, but make sure you don't do it all the time. I was careful about what I ate, and I tried to eat every three hours to keep my metabolism flowing." 


Working Out With Trainer

Cantrell works out with a trainer four times a week but loves being active as a lifestyle. "I need someone to push me a little bit more than I push myself," she says. "I did not grow up doing pageants. I grew up on a farm, driving tractors and rolling around in the mud with the dogs. I loved living out in the country, and being in pageants was the furthest thing from my mind. [But] when I got involved… I fell in love in with it."


Celebrating Health


Cantrell believes the Miss America pageant is all about celebrating health. "I think Miss America has always promoted a healthy body," she says. "That is what the lifestyle and fitness competition, more so than a swimsuit round, is there for: to promote healthy eating, being healthy in your own skin and feeling confident. And I feel like anybody should feel comfortable competing in the Miss America organization; I want anybody to feel comfortable competing in their own skin to be in a swimsuit, but especially with my platform of healthy eating and exercise, I think it's crucial Miss America always promotes healthy bodies. And as long as you're healthy, it doesn't matter what size you are."


Mental and Emotional Health

Cantrell refuses to focus on clothing size, instead focusing on how she feels. "You don't need to be a size 0. You can be a size 12 and be perfectly healthy for your body and your BMI," she says. "It doesn't matter what you look like. It's about what your body is telling you… Last year my parents told me and my siblings they were getting divorced. That completely changed me mentally, but also affected me physically because I stress ate. When I was sad, I ate [bad] foods. It made me realize that if you're not mentally healthy and emotionally happy, that can affect you physically. It can affect your performance at school, your performance in athletics."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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