Have you ever been faced with an extreme hardship that completely flipped your life upside down, leaving you on your knees in heartache?
This type of experience is one we will all go through, but what makes our stories different is how we each choose to respond to that pain. Will you allow the grief to take control of your life and live as a victim? Or will you choose to rise above and become a warrior?
Mom Justine McCabe is no stranger to heartbreak. In the short timespan of just two years, Justine lost not only her mother to chemotherapy complications but also her husband to suicide. Alone and depressed, Justine struggled to leave the house each day and turned to food as her only comfort.
After a few months went by, Justine’s family knew they needed to motivate her to begin working out. Not only would exercise improve the health of her body, but it is also scientifically proven to improve mental health as well!
So Justine decided to take the challenge and immediately immersed herself into a strict gym and dietary routine. Part of her plan was to take a daily selfie to keep track of where she had started and how far she had come.
“I didn’t like what I saw,” Justine 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.”
Every day that year Justine took her selfie and slowly the proof of her hard work became very obvious– not only from the way her body looked but from the joy that was evident in her confident smile.
When Justine first started taking her selfies she weighed 313 pounds, but after an entire year of overcoming her weight and depression, she was able to lose an incredible 126 pounds!
Now she participates in Spartan Races and maintains her active lifestyle both in the gym and the outdoors.
Justine uses her story as a way to motivate others going through the same struggles. With 102k followers on Instagram, she has an excellent platform for sharing her vulnerability and inspiration for everyone to see.
“Looking at ‘before’ pics I often feel sad for ‘her.’ I truly feel like a different person,” Justine shared on Instagram. “I am always quick to tell everyone that even though I have lost a massive amount of weight … this isn’t really about weight loss at all … it’s more of a journey to rediscover myself.”
If you are ever struggling with heartache in life, definitely turn to Justine and her example for inspiration. She turned a horrible situation into a beautiful story filled with redemption and joy.
Watch the video below to see Justine’s transformation.
Share Justine’s story if you were motivated by her strength to overcome!