How To Feel Comfortable In Your Own Skin

How To Feel Comfortable In Your Own Skin by Jennifer Ledford

As a personal trainer and someone who has overcome my own body image issues, I am relieved and excited to watch more and more people say no to the pressures of the diet culture and yes to becoming their own best body.  Our society has begun to reject the notion that there is only one acceptable or “healthy” body type and is embracing the fact that health and beauty really does come in all shapes and sizes.  As more and more people recognize that they are uniquely designed and no two bodies are the same, the focus is shifting away from striving for perfection and more toward being healthy and positive about our bodies (flaws and all).

One of the first steps toward being positive about one’s body is self-acceptance and/or “feeling comfortable in your own skin.”  It’s important to understand that self-acceptance does not mean you just “let yourself go.”  What it means is that you will be kind to yourself and your body in every season and every stage of your life.  It means that if you do need or want to lose weight, you will choose a healthy path that can be sustained long-term and won’t force your body to become a weight that is completely unnatural for it.

Being positive about your own body doesn’t always come easy.  Most people, by nature, are compassionate and kind when it comes to how they look at other people’s bodies, but when it comes to things like our own cellulite or the extra five pounds we gained over the holidays, we can be way more critical.  Basically, humans can be downright hard on themselves.

It may seem like no big deal to speak negatively about your body; however, over time, it can start to become your identity.  This is why it’s so important to pay attention to the words that you speak when you are talking about yourself.  Do you say good things about yourself or do you tend to be over-critical?  It’s next to impossible to feel good about yourself if you are constantly bashing your body.

One of the best ways to know if you are picking on yourself too much is to ask yourself if you would ever say the things you say about your own body to your friend or your daughter.  If the answer is “no way!” then it may be time to change the conversation with and about yourself.

Five ways to stop the body bashing, Feel Comfortable In Your Own Skin, and encourage yourself:

  1. Avoid comparing yourself to others.  There is no one else like you on the planet so it is completely unfair and unrealistic to compare yourself to others.  Sure, there are similar body types, however you can place twenty people on the same exact diet and exercise routine and they will usually all have different results.  Comparison to others only causes heartache.  Focus on being the best YOU that you can be.
  2. Create healthy boundaries.  Complaining about one’s body parts has become a way that people connect with each other in social circles.  As harmless as a comment here and there might seem, this is not only bad for your self-esteem, it can completely derail you from your healthy weight loss efforts or any other goal you are trying to achieve.  If you notice that the conversation has turned into people criticizing themselves, address it head on with something like “Hey guys, no beating up on ourselves today, okay?”
  3. Hand out compliments.  Compliments are the exact opposite of bashing which is what makes compliments so powerful.  Give yourself and a minimum of one other person a sincere compliment every day for the next thirty days.  You will be AMAZED at how good it makes you feel about yourself and the trail of goodwill that you leave behind you.
  4. Be unapologetically you.  Life is way too short to spend it worrying about what other people think of you.  Focus on being healthy and living your best life.  Just say no to changing yourself for the purpose of acceptance from society, the media, and/or the diet culture.
  5. Create a folder of positive reminders.  Being positive about your body is an on going process and no matter how good you get at  rocking who you were designed to be,  negative and critical thoughts can still pop up from time to time. Just last week I was looking at some old pictures of myself and judgmental thoughts like “you used to be so skinny” began to pop up in my head.  Fortunately, I know better than to give those types of thoughts much airtime.  I quickly reminded myself “yes, I was skinnier but  I also had messed up hormones and my body was broken down.  I am so much healthier and happier now then I was back then.” Positive thoughts are like powerful weapons used for good. Come up with a long list of kind things you can say about yourself.  Then, when a critical thought pops into your head, pull something from your list to counter the negative thought.


One of the most powerful things that you can achieve is the ability to be comfortable in your own skin.  In a society that places way too much value on the external and not nearly enough value on the internal, it can be difficult at times.  I look forward to the day when it is more common than not for people to be comfortable in their own skin each and every day.  Until then, let’s be the bold ones that step out and lead the charge!

Shared with love,

How Being Grateful Leads To Weight Loss And Much More

How Being Grateful Leads To Weight Loss And More - Jennifer Ledford - Certified Personal Trainer - ledford0716-8084

It’s no secret that good nutrition and exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight.  However, diet and exercise are only part of the equation.  There’s more to health and weight loss than simply eating well and taking a power walk.  Having a positive attitude is just as important  to your health and weight management as shopping in the produce section is.

One of the simplest ways to stay positive is to maintain an attitude of gratitude.   When we give thanks it does more  than just make you feel warm and fuzzy inside.  It can actually help reduce depression, improve your sleep, and cause you to be less critical of yourself and your body.

Research shows us that proper sleep, a healthy self image, and a healthy mindset can all lead to realistic weight loss that you can maintain long term. If you are critical of yourself or your circumstances, you end up working from a place of opposition.  The brain fights to be right so it’s very difficult to complain about something and have success in the same area.  It’s like trying to ride a bike against the wind.  You will struggle!

How To Stay Positive By Being Grateful

So, what are some ways to give thanks? Here are seven simple tips.

  • Start with three things per day.  Choose three things you are grateful for each morning like your family, your friends, your great job, the fact that you graduated from school, your awesome dog, or simply being able to get out of bed that day.  Make sure to announce them out loud no matter how simple they are.  Do your best to mix it up and name something new each day to help keep yourself present and avoid going on autopilot.
  • Include your body when giving thanks.  This one can be a toughie for some people.  Your body listens to what you say so it’s critical that you point out the things you are grateful for and love about it.  I’m forty six years old and there are things on me that jiggle but I can still find plenty of things about my body to be grateful for like my strong legs that help me walk my dogs or my great hair (thank you John Ryan at Festoon salon).  🙂
  • Keep the gratefulness going.  Be someone that looks on the bright side and finds the silver lining in every situation.  Grateful people focus on blessings, being fortunate, and abundance no matter what the circumstances.  Less grateful people focus on burdens and complaints.
  • Thank others.  When we focus on others, it feeds our soul in a healthy way.  Paying someone a specific compliment or thanking them can lift your spirits way higher than any cup of coffee ever will.  Don’t worry, I’m not even suggesting that you give up coffee. 🙂
  • Give praise.  Personally, I like to thank God every morning for another day.  I realize that not everyone has the same spiritual beliefs that I do and I want you to know that you are safe with me and always welcome on this page whether we have the same beliefs or not.  However if you do believe in God, I recommend starting your day with a big thank you to our Lord and Savior!
  • Help others.  One of the best ways to learn to appreciate your own life and/or circumstances is to be of service to someone else.  Everyone has to deal with “stuff” in their lives and when we serve someone else that is experiencing a challenge, we can almost always find something about our own life that we are super grateful for.
  • Stay consistent.  Make daily gratitude a  lifetime habit.  One of the best ways to counter a negative thought is to replace it with a positive thought.  Naming something you are grateful for is one of the best weapons against negative thoughts and can instantly change your outlook which almost always impacts your outcome.  Consider gratefulness a weapon that you use for good.  🙂

The Bottomline of Being Grateful

What you think and, even more importantly, what you say about your life, your body, and your circumstances, has extreme power.  Being grateful helps you maintain your health which in turn helps you to succeed in every area of your life.  That, my friend, is called balance.

Here’s to an attitude of gratitude!

Shared with much love,
Jennifer Ledford


Do You Know What’s Motivating You?

Jennifer Ledford Facebook Live Video - What Is Motivating You?

Desire, it’s what drives us to achieve worthy goals like being healthy and fit.

One of the most important questions I ask a client during a consultation is “what’s motivating you to exercise or change your eating habits?”  Based on my own personal fitness journey and my 27+ plus year experience coaching others I can honestly share with you that there are some really good reasons to want to lose weight and then there are some not so good reasons.

Too often people choose to lose weight for the wrong reasons which can lead to failure and even harm them physically and emotionally.  This breaks my heart because it DOES NOT have to be this way. 

If you desire to lose weight or you simply want to maintain your current weight, you should do it for your own health and happiness reasons, not because you think it will help you achieve unrealistic goals that are oftentimes set for you by the diet industry and sadly some of the fitness gurus.

In today’s video I help you to walk through the process of discovering what your motives are regarding weight loss and exercise and how you can make them work for you instead of against you.  🙂

Take a moment to watch the video.  You don’t want to miss this!

Have a happy and healthy week!

With Love,