How To Feel Comfortable With Your Body And Enjoy Your Life

Jennifer Ledford - Hawaii Vacation - Be Comfortable With Your Body Enjoy Your Life - Broken FootLast week my husband and I joined some of our close family for an amazing beach vacation in Kauai.  I have never been to Hawaii and it was such a special treat!

Some of you know that I broke my foot back in September.  It’s not completely healed and I’m still wearing a boot, which means I haven’t been able to exercise the way I normally do for several weeks.  I’m also pasty white right now because I didn’t hang out in the sun as much as I normally do this time of year.   I decided a spray tan was out due to the fact that I can’t stand very long on my broken foot without the boot.  The tan is  not worth interrupting the healing process.

Did the fact that I was a bit less toned and neon white mean I was going to hide under a cover up?  Heck no!  It’s Hawaii and I like to wear bikinis.  I also stopped caring what other people think about my body a long time ago.  If someone is shallow and doesn’t like my cellulite then they don’t have to look at it.  I’m not wearing my bathing suit for them.  I’m wearing it so I can play on the beach, get some sun on my body, and create fun memories.  Plain and simple.

One of the reasons a person will hire a personal trainer is to help them get ready for a special event or trip.  Beach vacations tend to be some of the most common trips that motivate people to want to lose weight.  For many people getting into a bathing suit and heading out to the beach can stir up all kinds of comparison and body shaming.  If they don’t look like a fitness or swimsuit model the client feels they shouldn’t get in a suit.   Or, if they do decide to put on a suit they believe they should  cover it up with other clothing.

The reality is most of us DON’T look like traditional swimsuit models, myself included.  I’m not willing to deprive and torture myself to get anywhere close to looking like most swimsuit models.  That’s just not my natural body type.  I have to do things that are physically and mentally unhealthy for me to get even close and I’m not willing to treat myself that way.

Losing weight for a trip can be a slippery slope that can lead to unhealthy restrictive dieting that is unsustainable and will only harm you in the long run.  Dieting robs you of your joy and keeps you from living in the present.  When we restrict ourselves in hopes of obtaining the “perfect” body that we think is accepted by society, we are setting ourselves up for potential failure.  Your body does not like to be deprived and restricted.  It will rebel against suffering and that is when binging can occur.

Treating Your Body Right

When you focus on eating plenty of food that you know is good for you and exercising for all of the right reasons, you will settle into your natural body weight and it will no longer be a struggle to maintain it.  However, I can honestly and personally share with you that if you continue to try to force something unnatural on your body, it becomes a prison.  Will the scale go up and down from time to time?  Sure it will.  That’s NORMAL.  It’s called life.

One of my favorite plus size models, Ashley Graham, shares this awesome insight on body image and self acceptance, “I felt free once I realized I was never going to fit the narrow mold that society wanted me to fit in.”  I totally agree with her because I felt the same freedom when I gave up on being a size too small and decided to focus on being the healthiest me I can be.

You don’t have to lose weight to put on a bathing suit or any other item of clothing.  Don’t ever allow the pressures of the diet culture  to cause you to miss out on having fun.  Be a rebel.  Love yourself no matter what size your bathing suit is.

And most importantly,  go out and LIVE!

Shared with love,


Why I Stopped Comparing Myself To Others

It’s pretty normal to have experienced comparison to others at some point or time in your life.  For example, that moment you see someone on the street, in a magazine, or in your neighborhood that seems so put together and successful that you are tempted to be just a tad bit jealous. You know what I mean, from appearances it looks like they have the perfect hair, body, home, job, family, pet, etc.

And then, you start thinking “if only I had what they have I’d be happy.”

I’ve even heard personal growth gurus say “if you see someone that has what you want then do what they do. “

Um, yes and no.

I agree it’s a great idea to pick the brain of a successful person to learn proven principles that produce positive results. However, if you don’t know the person well or their history all you get to see and hear is the finished product. Behind every successful image lies a story of personal dreams, hard work, and failures.

And once you see the sacrifices they make, or they daily schedule they keep, you could decide their path is not for you.

If you find yourself wanting what someone else has, the best thing to ask yourself is are you willing to do what they did to get there? And, do you really want their life or is it the outward appearance you desire?

Years ago, I was sure that I wanted the exact life of a certain mentor I was learning from. I thought she was just like me. Funny thing, the more I coached with her and became more comfortable with who God designed me to be, I realized how different we were.  I really didn’t want her life at all. Not because there is anything wrong with her life, but it’s not who I am.

This set me free to be confident in my own skin. I no longer desired to be just like her, I wanted to become the best me I could be and fulfill my own dreams.

Friend, whether you are pursuing weight loss, health, fitness, relationship, business, or even philanthropic goals, it’s important that they mimic the desire of your heart and they serve the life you want to live long term. Whenever we try to copy someone else’s life it can turn out to be unfulfilling and unsustainable. In the end, this can lead to depression. No one wants that!

I truly believe that God has a path for each and every one of us. And, when you choose to listen to your heart and walk down that path, you will experience success in every area of your life beyond your wildest dreams!

That, I can promise.

With much love,

Jennifer Ledford


The Secrets To Permanent Weight Loss

Wondering how some people lose weight and keep it off for good? Then others seem to yo-yo their entire life? The key differences are simple success actions that you can learn to do.

Lose weight by biting off what you can chew!

Just getting started? Set realistic goals. Start with meal planning and eating home more often. For help, check out Meal Planning Helps You Lose Weight.

Once you have that down, move on to exercise. Start with 10-20 minutes of exercise per day. Success with one good habit will lead to more healthy behavior over time.

Put it on the calendar!

Schedule both exercise and meal planning on your calendar. Be sure to include enough time so you can get to bed at a decent hour. When you prepare for your healthy activities, it will be much easier to accomplish your goals. Treat these like any important appointment that you would not consider canceling.

Consistency is key!

I’ve been a personal trainer for 22 plus years. I’ve learned that weight loss success is accomplished the same as success in other areas of life. It doesn’t matter if it’s a goal relating to your business,  spiritual walk, parenting, or any other worthy goal you set out to achieve. 

As much as the media promotes them, fad diets are not the key to success. Did you know they have a 95 % failure rate? You wouldn’t trust some get rich quick scheme in business, so why should you when it comes to weight loss? 

Permanent weight loss is achieved by consistent daily actions that accumulate over time. That may sound a bit boring or way too simple, but it is one of the KEY secrets to success!

If you fall down, get back up! 

From time to time we all have circumstances come up that will cause us to skip exercise or binge. This is normal! We are human. The difference is how quickly you get back on track. 

Are you guilty of the “I’ve messed up so what’s the use” mistake? You’ve messed up by skipping exercise, so you eat more calories! This is like being up to your eyeballs in debt and saying, “oh what the heck, I might as well go get a $500 per month car payment.” Wrong! 

Instead, when you miss your exercise, make up for it by eating healthy low calorie meals. You may not meet your weight loss goal that week, but at least you won’t gain any back!

Believe you can!

Avoid self-sabotage. Believe in your ability to lose weight and keep it off for good.

Tell your body what you want, not what you don’t want. When you look in the mirror, use phrases like “I am losing weight,” or “I have a flat stomach.” In the beginning this can be tough. You tend to think you are lying. However, you are not. In my favorite success book, the Bible, it says “speak as if it is already.” This is called faith my friend! You are believing you can accomplish your goals!

Negative thoughts will enter your mind. That’s normal. You’re human! Just don’t let them leave your lips. Replace each negative thought with a positive statement. If that’s tough in the beginning, use one of my favorite personal quotes. If you don’t have anything nice to say about yourself, don’t say anything at all. You wouldn’t say something that mean to a friend, so why say it to yourself? 

Leave notes around the house as reminders to speak positively about yourself. This will help you build the mental muscles you will need to make success talk a habit. 

Health and fitness is a lifestyle, not a just a single action!

I’m able to maintain my weight and health because I have built a life around healthy activities. I look for opportunities to exercise, such as taking the stairs, working around the house, or walking my dogs. My husband and I gravitate toward outdoor activities for fun. We have one television in our home and it is in our guest room. We turn it on to watch major events, football, and movies. I have nothing against television! However often times our nation could be exercising instead of sitting in front of a screen.

Get creative and look for ways to incorporate activity into everyday life. Try spending family time doing something active like hiking or biking. A day at the beach or a picnic at the park is always more active than sitting in front of a television or playing a video game.

Are you guilty of the “I’ve messed up so what’s the use” mistake? Go ahead and tell us about it! Writing about it could help you avoid it in the future.