Five Simple Ways To Have A Happy And Healthy Fourth of July

Five Simple Ways To Have A Happy And Healthy Fourth of July

From time to time, I like to check out what other fitness and health professionals are posting on their blogs regarding specific holidays, so I did a search for health tips for the Fourth of July.  What I mostly found was fitness pros sharing a list of rules that had very little to do with fun and more to do with restricting behavior and dieting.  Ugh!

The whole point of celebrating a holiday is to have a good time and participate in the festivities. That usually includes eating foods that are traditionally served on that specific holiday.  It’s something we look forward to and it’s a wonderful way to bring people together.

It also includes a change in routine.  It’s possible that you may skip your normal exercise routine that day and that’s totally ok and normal.

What’s not ok is feeling guilty because you skipped your workout, drank a mimosa before noon, and ate three helpings of Aunt Sue’s famous potato salad or something similar.  I’m sure you are getting the picture.  We all like to celebrate differently. 🙂

I’m not suggesting complete gluttony and I think it’s a good idea to move throughout the day.  However, it’s important that you celebrate the way you, your family, and your friends choose to.

Take the pressure off of yourself and have fun.  It’s totally possible to do healthy “nonrestrictive” things for yourself while you celebrate.

Here are five simple ideas:

Buy quality ingredients.  No matter what recipes you decide to follow or food you choose to serve, buy whole foods and quality processed foods.

Move because it’s fun and feels good.  Sitting around all day can make your body stiff and make you feel sluggish.  Activities like hiking, flag football, bocce ball, horse shoes, swimming, and marching in a parade are all fun ways to stay active without it feeling like a chore.

Spend time being grateful.  Take a moment to be thankful that we live in one of the best places in the world.  This great nation allows us to pursue life, liberty, and happiness each and every day.  For that, I am truly grateful!

Laugh.  Laughter is good medicine and helps relieve stress.

Stay hydrated.  Drink plenty of water and eat hydrating fruits and veggies like celery and watermelon.  Staying hydrated helps your metabolism function at it’s best.

This Fourth of July, I encourage you to “declare your independence” from the restrictive side of the fitness and diet industry.  Eat foods that you enjoy and agree with your body, and choose exercise you like.

Have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday.

God bless you and America!

Shared with love,


Photo above is courtesy of:   Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash


Today We Remember And Honor Those Who Gave All

Today We Remember And Honor Those Who Gave All - Memorial Day 2017 - Jennifer Ledford

Today we honor the brave men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our lives and our freedom. I am always grateful for those that are called to our military and serve with such bravery. They are the true heroes. Let us celebrate them today, never forget, and never take their service for granted.

Whether you are enjoying a large gathering or spending the holiday quietly at home, the true meaning of this day is about honoring those that honor is due.

Have a wonderful Memorial Day and God bless you, your family, and America!

Shared with much love,

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,