07/22/2008 at 06:00 PM EDT
Daisy Fuentes doesn't look like she did when she was hosting MTV beach parties in the early 90's – and that's just fine.
"I don't want to compete with the way I was at 21 – I love looking like a woman," Fuentes, 41, tells the August issue of Fitness Magazine.
" I want to be known as the strongest, not the skinniest," says Fuentes, who graces the magazines cover for the third time. "I know I will never look 25 again, but I am doing my best to feel and look stronger every day."
An avid workout buff, the Cuban-born Fuentes does a combination of Pilates and assorted cardio, from playing tennis to kick boxing to hiking the trails outside L.A. home.
"I try to find one day [a week] where I work really hard," says Fuentes. "Some days, sure, you can only fit in 20 minutes. But I truly believe everyone can find one day that they really push themselves for an hour. It's a mindset."
What keeps her motivated? All the other fortysomethings with beach-ready bods.
Says Fuentes, "I know women in this town who are older than me and they look better!"