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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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Melanie Millan
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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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