The #JLoChallenge Is Inspiring Moms to Share Why They Prioritize Their Health
It's amazing what a picture of Jennifer Lopez's abs can do...
You're not alone if you think Jennifer Lopez must be chugging water a là Tuck Everlasting to look that good at 50. Not only is the mother of two fit AF, but her epic Super Bowl performance with Shakira proved that she'll always be Jenny from the Block (read: en fuego).
Recently, the Hustlers actress shared a photo of herself in a white string bikini looking stronger than ever. "Relaxed and recharged," she captioned the post. (BTW, this is how J. Lo and Shakira prepped for their jaw-dropping performance.)
Inspired by the image, Maria Kang, founder of "fit mom community" No Excuses Mom, decided to mimic J. Lo's photo with a bikini selfie of her own. Kang's goal? To spread body positivity and encourage moms to share how hard they work to prioritize their health, despite how chaotic and stressful their lives can be. (Related: Fit Moms Share the Relatable and Realistic Ways They Make Time for Workouts)
"Thank you @jlo for inspiring this spontaneous pic in a white bikini this morning," she wrote alongside her selfie. Kang added that she's, "not a celebrity. Not getting millions to look great in a movie (hello, Hustlers!). Or dating a hot athlete (although my hubby is kinda cute!) BUT, it doesn't matter..."
"Own your story," she continued. "Create your own accountability. Don't make excuses for your inaction. If [J. Lo] can do it, if I can do it, if thousands of working moms who come in all sizes, shapes, and ages can do it—then YOU CAN DO IT!!!"
Kang ended her post by encouraging her followers to share bathroom selfies of their own and join in on what she dubbed as the #jlochallenge. Her hope was to emphasize the importance of loving your body at every stage of life and to put a spotlight on everyday women who "bring it like J.Lo."
Over the past week, Kang's message has resonated with hundreds of women who've been inspired to take part in the challenge, recognizing their self-worth, celebrating their bodies, and applauding the impressive feats (like childbirth) that have made them who are they today. (BTW, have you joined the #MyPersonalBest Goal Crushers group on Facebook?)
Fitness instructor Bily Bean, for instance, posted a photo writing that at "32 years young" with three daughters and a husband, she's motivated to stay healthy for her family. "I want to be there for my family and I can't do that if I’m not at my best," she shared in the caption. "My kids are not my excuses, they are my reason. Being healthy matters to our family and it should matter to everyone. Be happy and treat yourself with #love and #care." (Related: Study Says Just One Workout Could Improve Your Body Image)
Mother of four, Lina Harris, on the other hand, shared that she prioritizes her fitness because it's an important part of her self care. (Related: How Self-Care Is Carving a Place In the Fitness Industry)
"I'm always trying my best to challenge this body to get stronger and healthier not just for my boys but also because it makes me feel alive," she wrote. "I don’t know if I ever will be satisfied but that’s where it will always push ME to fight even harder even when I fall, I will pick MYself back up. Be kind to yourself and stay humble."
Blogger April Kaminski also shared a powerful photo of her own, flexing her muscles in a red bikini. "This is me," she wrote in her caption. "44 is barely 2 months away. Five amazing little (and not so little) children came from this body (19, 17, 15, 8 & 6) and it is my duty and my life goal of longevity. To be in there lives for as long as I can, pain-free, strong, happy and living in optimal health."
Finally, another Instagram user, Jennifer Dillion, shared a bikini selfie with the following message. "This is 34," she shared. "This body carried 3 babies and now this body wakes up at 4:30 am every day to exercise before everyone is up and the workweek hustle gets underway. It’s the only time I have to get it done so that’s when it gets done." (Related: What a Day In the Life As a New Mom ~Really~ Looks Like)
Since her challenge went viral, Kang has readdressed her followers and congratulated them for celebrating their success and inspiring others along the way. "If you have excuses you’ve overcome or are striving to overcome today, the world needs to see you," she wrote in a sperate post.
She explained that everyday moms "the caregivers, the full-time employees, the genetically-challenged, the older, younger, larger, smaller" deserve credit for defying their excuses, especially since not everyone has resources like J.Lo. "The world needs to see ALL OF YOU so we can normalize what healthy persistence and determination looks like for the [average] person." (Related: These Women Show Why the #LoveMyShape Movement Is So Freakin' Empowering)
Kang then ended her candid message by sharing how powerful it is when so many everyday women unapologetically embrace their bodies. "When you have the strength to post a bathroom selfie of your real-life and your real YOU, you strengthen others," she wrote. "When you have the courage to share your story, your story encourages others. When you step out of your comfort zone and publicly love yourself, you unconsciously give others the permission to love themselves too. "
What started as just another celebrity bikini selfie, the #jlochallenge has become the perfect reminder for women to give themselves credit where it's due. Major props to Kang for inspiring women to embrace their bodies and find confidence along the way.