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SI Swimsuit Model Kelsey Merritt Shares Swimsuit Photo "Out of Reach"

Here’s how this model stays beautiful and happy.

Filipino-American model Kelsey Merritt is getting back to her roots at the Pangulasian Island Resort in El Nido, Philippines. The Sports Illustrated star, 26, shared highlights from her vacation, posing in front of a gorgeous ocean landscape in a black bikini, shorts, and matching cover up. "In touch but out of reach. Back home in the Philippines with my family at one of my favorite spots," she captioned the post. "I love island Kelsey," commented actress Georgie Flores. How does she do it? Here are 5 ways Merritt is living her best life. 


Working Out For Confidence

Merritt loves the confidence workouts give her. "My view changed on fitness when I was in New York, especially when I started shooting lingerie and swimwear," she says. "I realized that working out and staying fit and healthy was my job. It also helps with my confidence. If I'm working out and eating healthy, not only do I feel amazing in my body; I'm more confident as well."


Better Sleep and Mental Health


Merritt swears by intense workouts to improve her sleep and help deal with anxiety. "One thing that helped was when I did a really exhausting workout, I would be so tired at night that I didn't have the energy to think about what I was anxious about," she says. "[Working out] plays a big role, but I didn't realize just how big it was until I noticed how it helped with my anxiety. If my mind is scattered and feels anxious, I use the app, Headspace, and it helps so much to calm me down. I find meditating just for a few minutes helps so much to center me."


Strict Diet Before Show


Merritt's then-partner Conor Dwyer says the model is strict before a work assignment. "When she's prepping for a show, she cuts out sugar, fried food and dairy," he said in 2019. "We still eat sushi and rice bowls twice a week. Fruit smoothies — a lot of smoothies. She likes oatmeal now. I throw in peanut butter, banana and strawberry. We're also versatile travelers. I love trying food from around the world."


Minimal Makeup Routine


Merritt tells Vogue she is obsessed with coconut oil on her body to hydrate and protect her skin. She also prefers a minimal makeup look. "I love looking bronze and sun-kissed, so I usually use a shade darker than my skin tone," she says, adding that makeup should "bring out my best qualities — not cover them up."


Proud of Her Roots

Merritt has dealt with insecurity about her height, and criticism about being authentic. "It got to me a bit, because I'm Filipino, and comments like that sting," she says. "I'm so proud of where I came from, and so proud of the hard work I did, moving from the Philippines to New York to chase my dream. It was crazy… so I was a bit nervous if it was even possible to do at all. But I believed in myself because if I didn't at least believe I could do it, then who would? No matter what they say, I'm Filipino. I'm not going to let other people tell me who I am and who I'm not."

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