After losing her mother and husband within two years, Justine McCabe used food as comfort and gained more than 100 pounds. To regain her life, the young mother took a novel approach— daily selfies as motivation.
McCabe, of Burbank, California, weighed 313 pounds when she started her weight loss journey.
"I didn't like what I saw," McCabe told Today. "I feel like I look so broken and lost and sad and that's the reason why I started taking a picture a day. I wanted to see myself change, see if my expression would change."
McCabe’s weight gain started after her mother died in 2013, from complications of chemotherapy exacerbated by being obese, Today reported. At 5’10”, McCabe weight 285 pounds at the time. Then, her husband, John Paul, killed himself in February 2015 after a lifelong struggle with depression.
"This just destroyed me," McCabe told Today. "I didn't know what I was going to do."
Though her older sisters and best friend tried to encourage her to go to the gym, the 31-year-old mother of two boys, ages 12 and 9, ignored them.
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She finally realized she needed to change her life after talking to a grief counselor and on April 1, 2015, she went to the gym— just to prove her friend and family wrong.
After her first 60 minute workout on the elliptical, she sent a selfie to her friends as proof, a move that became a daily habit. McCabe lost 30 pounds within a month and, at that point, began to make a real effort to lose weight by changing her eating habits and focusing on her workouts.
Six months later, McCabe had lost 75 pounds. It would’ve been the one year wedding anniversary with her husband. She celebrated by going to Hawaii and jumping off a cliff to conquer her fear, Today reported.
In fall 2015, McCabe lost an additional 49 pounds with the help of a personal trainer and hopes to lose another 20 pounds. Her Instagram page has 76,000 followers.
"A little 'secret' I've come to realize. It's NOT about losing the weight. It's about truly transforming your life,” she wrote in a post. “The time is now, our tomorrow is not promised.”