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readers’ choice

Face of FITNESS Finalist Spotlight: Maria Pontillo

Written on November 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm , by

More than 3,500 of you entered our Face of FITNESS cover contest and blew us away with your enthusiasm and dedication to an active lifestyle. Some told us about losing 100 (+!) pounds, while others shared how they maintained their fitness levels after retiring their childhood gymnastics uniform. Readers voted for their favorites, and five women were flown to New York City this summer for a photo shoot.

While only one could be our November/December cover model, we were so impressed by all of the women that we wanted to tell you more about each of them. So each Tuesday during the month of November, The Fit Stop will be featuring one of the Face of FITNESS finalists. Get ready to be inspired!

Maria Pontillo, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Maria teaches fitness classes before or after working a full day as a physical therapist! (Photo by Amy Postle)

For Maria, 27, staying active isn’t about looking good: “I eat right and exercise not just for myself, but to have energy to care for others,” says the physical therapist who moonlights as an aerobics instructor and personal trainer.

Sanity saver “During the week, I’m moving from the moment I step out of bed to when I hit the sheets at night. On Sunday, I give myself permission to take the day off to get a massage or relax at the beach.”

My mantra “I have several phrases that I repeat to keep me focused during races (I’ve completed 10 5Ks and five duathlons). My favorite is a take on something Lance Armstrong said: ‘Pain is temporary, quitting is permanent.”

Power foods “I eat every 90 minutes to keep my energy up, and I always have healthy snacks on hand. Here are five of my favorites.”

  • Chobani Greek yogurt with almonds
  • Oatmeal
  • One egg cooked over hard on toast
  • Slices of deli turkey
  • Chocolate milk

Meet the Readers’ Choice Finalist for the Face of Fitness Cover Contest!

Written on May 23, 2011 at 5:37 pm , by

Lauren Lopez

Lauren Lopez, who was a Face of Fitness weekly winner at the beginning of April, will move on to the final round in NYC to try for the cover of FITNESS magazine!

Ever dream of being on the cover of a magazine? Oh wait…who hasn’t?!

And yet we were still completely blown away by the 3,500-ish submissions we received for our first-ever Face of Fitness cover contest! The overwhelmed feeling wasn’t just because of the number of entries though; it was because of how inspiring, motivating, and amazing many of your stories were. The editors at FITNESS already know how awesome our readers are, but we couldn’t have been prouder to see who reads our magazine and visits our website. You guys rock!

But now for an update: We’ve officially declared a Readers’ Choice* Finalist!

(* = For 10 weeks, we posted the latest submissions here on FitnessMagazine.com and whoever got enough votes from other users was declared the weekly winner…and scored some cash, too. These 10 survivors then battled it out for a chance to be named one of the finalists who will fly to NYC next month for a photoshoot, along with four other finalists selected by the judges.)

So, everyone, meet Lauren Lopez. At 28, Lauren is a mother of two daughters under the age of three and she has been married for almost six years. Rudy, her husband, is in the Navy, and when Lauren isn’t playing with her girls, exercising, or volunteering, she is in the classroom working on obtaining her MBA. Here’s a little more of what Lauren wrote about having a healthy, fulfilling lifestyle:

“Fitness has always been an important ingredient in my life. I want to take care of myself so I can live a long, healthy, and happy life, but I also want to set a good example for my kids. They see me exercising and want to join in, which is awesome! But sometimes, exercise is my way of spoiling myself and focusing just on me, which I believe is very important to living a balanced life.”

After we called Lauren to officially tell her she was one of the five finalists and might wind up on our cover, she said, “What an extraordinary opportunity! I can’t put into words how happy everyone is and we’re all over the moon!”

Congrats, Lauren!