Three months after 31-year old Justine McCabe of Los Angeles lost her husband to suicide and her mother in a short space of time, she was lost. Justine was doing what so many of us do when faced with unbearable pain and loss: using food as a coping mechanism. Justine had been a big girl since her late teens, and put on quite a bit of weight with her pregnancies in addition to being on the tall side. At that point in her life, the poor woman weighed 313 pounds, and was basically lost in the life department.
Her family and friends thought maybe the power of endorphins was in order and persuaded her to head to the gym to work off some of the pain. Along with that change six times a week, Justine took control of her life by changing her diet. She left the high-carb junk behind, and started eating healthy food.
And then, Justine did something absolutely courageous: she took a selfie of herself every day for a year to track her progress. Watch the stunning transformation.
It took Justine a full year to lose 124 pounds and the look of sadness that permeated her being as she started her journey.
Justine, from Los Angeles, California, said: “My husband’s death was a really heavy and horrible time, it was worsened because my mum had died not long before too.
“Having a loved one commit suicide and being in the aftermath of that is one of the most fearful, awful things you can go through.
“The death of my husband shook me awake and made me realise I needed to make a lot of changes.
“After having time to re-evaluate my life while working out, I came to the conclusion I needed to pursue my dreams and tackle my fears – I needed to truly live.
“I knew if I could survive living without my husband and mum then I should push my boundaries and limits to face all fears I had, to live a life they would be proud of.
“The 365 days of selfies was one of the first things I did, it started during my mourning period – the first one was horrible I looked so lost and broken.”
Since the start of her transformation, the mother of two has taken to being quite the adventuress conquering her fears of heights and flying by flying to Paris, parasailing, and jumping off of cliffs, among other feats.
She added: “Before, someone couldn’t have paid me to go skydiving or any of those things, but after my husband died I wanted to face these fears.
“Every challenge I tackled made me feel more alive and brought me back it life, it kept me fuelled to keep going on and living.
“Losing weight was part of that lifestyle change for me, I’d been overweight since I was 18 and was always trying the latest fad diets to get the weight off but it never worked.
“Whenever I’d go on a plane I used to need a seatbelt extender which was embarrassing and I was always ‘the big girl’ to everyone.
“The selfies were a massive encouragement for me, whenever I didn’t want to go to the gym I’d skim through them and realise why I was doing it all.
“Looking back over the selfies gives me goose bumps, I can’t believe I’ve come so far and accomplished goals that once seemed unreachable.
“I now feel like I’m a different person. I chase my dreams and am truly living.”
Justine is also an inspiration to so many of us who are in the same boat in one way or another. For more on Justine’s story, and how she did it, visit catersnews.com.