Justine McCabe's journey to wellness hasn't always been easy, but she's always known it's been a choice. 

After a pair of tragic deaths took her mother and husband away from her, Justine says food became a source of comfort to help her through a deep depression - at one point, gaining more than 100 pounds. 

But, it wasn't until she saw a photo in which she weighed 313 pounds that the 31-year-old hairstylist decided it was time to make a change. 

"I'm staring at myself in the mirror, and I'm looking at the picture and was wondering, who is this?" 

Justine headed for the gym where she says she spent the next hour on the elliptical processing everything she'd been through. 

She opened up an Instagram account and began taking photos of herself everyday until she recognized the girl in the photos. Using the hashtag #ichoosetolive, she began making progress toward losing the weight, and took photos of her journey to lose 126 pounds in less than a year. 

However, it wasn't without its bumps. At one point, Justine realized she needed to retool her workouts, and change the way she was doing things. She reduced her workouts, and began varying her routines. 

Admittedly, Justine says her journey to lose weight wasn't easy, but she says that we all have that power to change ourselves. And it's that message she shares on her Instagram account. 

"Joke was on me. Because I mean, it completely changed my life," Justine says with a confident smile. 

I've never felt so happy in my life. I did this. 🙂 I didn't attain it by reaching a weight loss goal. It wasn't found in my results. I developed it through my actions, the struggles I faced and the triumphs of overcoming them. Happiness is fleeting...and I've fought to keep it. Being alone for over the last two years...taught me about real love. Self-love: A regard for ones well being and happiness. I find that phrase often gets misused. Many don't know how to actually live it. So what will you do to practice real self love? Meditate on accepting wherever you are in your life. We are all unique individuals and you should fully embrace who you are and where you stand, no matter what is happening. Tomorrow...the sun will rise. So smile...and be grateful that we get another chance to start over. True happiness is always within our grasp. ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ ☀️ #IChooseToLive #LiveInspired #KeepGoing #Happiness #Love #Life #Change #Weightloss #FitFam #Transformation #BodyPositive #Strong #SelfLove #fitspo #smile #girlswithmuscle #fitness #BoPo #SelfConfidence #ocrathlete #mytrifectastory #IAmAllWoman #strongwomen

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