In 2013, Justin McCabe’s mother passed away from the complications of her chemotherapy treatment, as well as her weight. McCabe responded by eating her grief away.
Then, just two years later, McCabe’s husband of just six months, killed himself because of his depression. At this time, McCabe already weighed 285 pounds – but she continued to eat in her sorrow.
McCabe was 31 years old and “didn’t know what [she] was going to do.” The events of the past two years had just “destroyed” her.
From that point on, McCabe would put in the effort needed to take care of her two sons, but then just chose to return to bed afterward. She ate away her sorrows.
That was how McCabe came to weigh 313 pounds.
Her sisters and friends came to visit her, encouraging her to go to the gym or find other ways to release her emotions. McCabe didn’t want to listen.
It was only after a meeting with a grief counselor that McCabe decided – for herself – that she would finally make some changes to her life to begin feeling better.
“I made the choice," she declared. "I have to do something different."
On April 1, 2015, McCabe went to the gym for the very first time – even if it was just “out of spite” and to get her sisters and friends to “just shut up.”
Something happened during those first 60 minutes though. McCabe admitted, “There were a few times I cried on that elliptical.” It was the first time she was finally processing everything that she’d gone through in the past two years.
When she finished her elliptical session, McCabe took a selfie and sent it to her friend as proof.
Then, on April 2, McCabe surprised herself by returning to the gym for another workout. She took another picture, and then she did it all over again the next day, and then the day following.
Even when her legs gave out, she head to the gym to use the pool, anything to stay active.
By the end of her first 30 days, McCabe had already lost 30 pounds. Motivated by her progress, she decided that she would also rework her diet to eat more cleanly and be “more intentional” with her workouts.
“I was doing anything I could to beat that depression,” McCabe said.
And she did beat it.
In July 2015, McCabe traveled to Hawaii. The last time she’d gone, she’d weighed too much to enjoy the trip. This time, she did everything she missed out on, including cliff jumping.
When she returned from her trip, McCabe found a trainer to help her lose another 49 pounds.
She’d lost a total of 124 pounds since her first trip to the gym, and she’d done it by finding inspiration in the daily changes she could see and feel in her body.
“Gain self love and respect yourself to make better life choices. The time is now, our tomorrow is not promised,” she wrote of her experience.