When Justine McCabe’s husband, John Paul, took his life following a lifelong battle with depression, the mother of two turned to food for comfort, eating until she weighed 313 pounds. “I would say I consumed anywhere between 5,000 to 10,000 calories on a daily basis,” the hairstylist from Burbank, California, tells Us Weekly. “I was completely broken and grieving. I had no desire to live life.”

Then one day the size-24 widow — who regularly consumed five slices of pizza, breadsticks and chicken wings for dinner — snapped a picture of herself that changed everything. “I didn’t recognize myself in it,” McCabe, 31, tells Us. “I looked lost, broken and full of darkness. So every day from there on out, I took a selfie with the hope that I would start to see myself again and reclaim my light.”

McCabe did just that. In a little more than a year, she has lost an astonishing 126 pounds off her 5-foot-10 frame — and she’s documented her journey in daily photographs. “Taking pictures every day and comparing them to other ones I had taken gave me the desire to keep pushing forward and fight to become the person I knew I was deep down,” she says.

McCabe — who calls the gym “the best form of therapy” — exercises six days a week religiously. Her favorites: spinning, hiking and weight lifting. She also works with online personal trainer Jonny Straws (see the menu plan he designed for McCabe, below).

“I have found my self love and confidence,” McCabe says. “I feel unstoppable.”

Old Diet:

Breakfast 4 chorizo breakfast tacos

Snack 3 cookies, a handful of pretzels, candy

Lunch Double cheeseburger and french fries

Dinner 5 slices of pizza, breadsticks and chicken wings

Dessert Large bowl of ice cream and a bag of M&Ms

New Diet:

Meal 1 Egg whites and avocado

Meal 2 Chicken, broccoli and brown rice

Meal 3 Protein shake with berries

Meal 4 Fish and spinach