Our November issue cover girl talks personal style, healthy meals and favorite fitness activities

Our holiday issue is on its way to newsstands and subscribers. And to get you ready, let us introduce you to our cover girl, Alisha, who stunned in this season's cocktail attire for our Nov/Dec fashion spread. Stay tuned to see those looks online, and find a copy of your ownhere.

Photo courtesy of Alisha Thomas, by Studio 127 Photography

Name: Alisha Thomas

Age: 26

How I stay fit: You know, I really love to eat. Ask any of my close friends, and they won't hesitate to tell you that I can put down a cheeseburger like it's nobody's business. The problem is… I don't really like the concept of "working out." Nothing bores me more than the thought of spending my time in a gym. Instead, I like to exercise in ways that make it difficult for my body to realize I'm actually putting it to work. I'm an active person to begin with, but I thrive on doing things like hiking, kayaking, going "flailing" (I don't dance-I flail) with my friends, and traveling to new places so I can walk around, experience the environment and people watch. All of these activities require an ample amount of exercise, but I hardly notice it because I'm always so caught up in the world around me!

Favorite healthy meal: I would probably have to say baked tilapia, coupled with steamed broccoli and a huge glass of ice water.

Personal style: I like to refer to my style as "Girly-Nerd Grunge." Basically, if Taylor Swift, Zooey Deschanel and Hayley Williams were one person…it would be me. I'm known for wearing sundresses, comfy cardigans, chunky black-rimmed glasses and combat boots. (Sometimes all at once.)

Favorite item in my closet: I have two! One is this over-sized beige sweater that I recently purchased from H&M. It's insanely comfortable and it goes with just about anything. The other is a dress that my grammie and I made together this past summer. I picked out the fabric, cut out the pattern and she sewed it for me! It's a really special piece.

Go-to shops in the city: I'm still in the process of familiarizing myself with Columbus, but I love everything about the Short North. The artwork, the culture, the restaurants. It's a dream. As far as fashion is concerned, I'm obsessed with Rowe! Their selection of clothing and accessories is all kinds of wonderful, and their staff is second to none. I urge you to stop there if you haven't already done so!

Tip for taking a flattering photo: Coming from someone who once struggled tremendously with maintaining a positive self-image (tall, gangly, awkward, freckle-faced, red-head kid? *Raises hand*), believe me when I say that the easiest way to ensure a great photo is to always feel confident in your own skin. My life honestly changed the moment I decided to love who I am-flaws and all!-and I can see that change reflected in my photos as I look through my current portfolio images and compare them to those from years past. My advice? Be fearlessly you. Don't be afraid to stand out or be different. No one in this world is quite like you, so don't hide who you are. Show it, share it, own it, and work it when the spotlight (or camera flash, in this case) is on you!