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Face of FITNESS 2011 Cover Contest Finalists

We launched our first-ever Face of FITNESS cover contest last winter, and got a peek into your busy but active lives as well as a reminder of why we pour so much creativity into our pages each month. More than 3,500 women entered on our Facebook page; each week readers voted for their favorite. Five finalists were flown to New York City last June for a photo shoot. One lucky reader, Caroline Seymour, was chosen as our cover girl, plus she wins a five-night Hawaiian vacation at the Four Seasons Resort Lana'i at Manele Bay, courtesy of Apple Vacations. Here, get to know the vibrant, strong beauties who embody FITNESS in mind, body, and spirit -- and learn their best live-healthy secrets.

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Caroline Seymour
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Our 2011 Cover Girl: Caroline Seymour

Caroline Seymour, 26, Raleigh, North Carolina

It's been a busy year for Caroline, who graduated from an MBA program, got engaged, and moved to a new city. Luckily her exercise habits keep her sane: "My favorite way to clear my head is to hit the golf course," she says.

Top tip: "Power up with an afternoon snack. I blend three-quarters of a cup of Trop50 orange juice, a half cup each of frozen fruit and V8 Splash Diet Berry Blend, a banana, and a handful of ice."

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Maria Pontillo

Maria Pontillo, 27, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

For Maria, working out 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.

Top tip: "Motivate with a mantra. I have several that I repeat during races; I've completed ten 5Ks and five duathlons. My favorite is a take on something Lance Armstrong said: 'Pain is temporary; quitting is permanent.'"

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Melanie Millan

Melanie Millan, 29, Las Vegas

After Melanie was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity in August, she overhauled her diet. Now she sleeps better, her complexion is brighter, and she has plenty of energy for her dawn workouts and evening kickball league.

Top tip: "I do boot camp on the Las Vegas Strip. We run stairs in parking garages, sprint the sidewalks, and do strength moves. It inspires me to eat well, so I don't undo my hard work."

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Jordan Fish

Jordan Fish, 24, Charlotte, North Carolina

"Fitness is my constant," Jordan says. She spent two seasons as a dancer for the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats, and now as she finishes college, Jordan makes time to Rollerblade, hike, or dance nearly every day.

Top tip: "Shake up your routine. I make myself do new activities for a full month before deciding if I want to quit them. Yoga seemed boring at first, but now I love it and find it so relaxing."

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Lauren Lopez

Lauren Lopez, 29, San Diego

Motherhood has made Lauren more active. Because her husband, a weapons chief in the Navy, is often deployed, she needs to be fit to keep up with her two daughters, ages 3 and 1.

Top tip: "Prep food on the weekend. Every Sunday, I plan dinners; cook chicken, turkey, and brown rice; make hardboiled eggs for breakfast; and schedule workouts."

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jhgidgett wrote:

This makes me sad because surely your readers are not just 20 somethings. Every finalist is under the age of 30, as many of the comments above reflect. I know so many women who represent fit and healhy individuals in every decade. I would encourage you to have finalist in those categories too. You want us to read your articles? Then give us cause to do so.

11/21/2012 04:36:28 PM Report Abuse
staci.amend wrote:

I meant to write down the brand/style of the cover bikini Caroline was wearing┐red and white polka dots┐can somebody send to me?

1/1/2012 06:44:24 PM Report Abuse
fitchickee wrote:

Hello from Fitness! For more great, inspiring entries that the editors also loved, check out these superstars we wanted to highlight: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/health/superstars/face-of-fitness-extras/ And then, to get to know our finalists a little more, you can watch behind-the-scenes footage of their photoshoot here: http://better.tv/view/C465536P234238V1530299 Thank you everyone who participated! It was a very competitive contest and we were thrilled with the outcome.

11/8/2011 10:59:08 AM Report Abuse
nualymac wrote:

I am 25, size 0 and agree with the above - it would be nice to share your magazine with my mum (over 60) or my sister - who is a larger woman but very fit! Being skinny does not always = fit. Profiles are uninspiring

11/7/2011 06:57:47 PM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

Are there no fit women over age 30? I know plenty of 40 & 50 year old women who would make beautiful Faces of Fitness. Disappointed to say the least. Congratulations to the chosen ones.

11/7/2011 06:03:04 PM Report Abuse
taeboqueen66 wrote:

I am a Fitness Instructor/NPC Figure Competitor and a Mother of two. I sent professional pics which showed my physique and a strong bio. I played by the rules so I didn't have photos that bent the rules. Congrats to the winners but if you pride yourself as being a Fitness magazine which represents all faces of fitness, start adding some diversity.

11/7/2011 01:21:11 PM Report Abuse
kbanta wrote:

I scrolled down to comments to say the exact same thing. Very disappointing.

11/7/2011 10:03:16 AM Report Abuse
tracey355 wrote:

I am truly disappointed with your finalists here. They are all in their 20s, they all seem to face minimal challenges to stay fit. What have they overcome? A reaction to gluten? Mother of two? Oh my. If life were only that hard. You are biased. The voting, which is a popularity contest, shouldn't have an impact on who wins. You should choose a winner on guidelines you have carefully considered. Congratulations to these five finalists. I hope your lives stay as simple as they are.

11/7/2011 09:59:58 AM Report Abuse

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