Tattoos have been long been credited as a form of self expression that helps people feel more confident about their bodies, but for the first time ever, someone has used them as the motivation necessary to lose weight. When John Just wanted to live a much healthier lifestyle, he decided that he’d get a tattoo for every 20 pounds he lost.

Back track to the beginning of 2014, and John was hovering around 300 pounds. He was diabetic, relying on an insulin shot twice a day to maintain his blood sugar. He had high blood pressure as well, and was taking four pills a day for his varying medical conditions.

“I had to make this change,” he said.

So he and his wife, Tuesday Just, decided to start losing weight and living a healthier life. But he wanted extra motivation for losing weight.

He decided that for every 20 pounds he shed, he would get a new tattoo. So after the first 20 pounds he lost he got a tattoo at the age of 46 and he’s since been hooked. “It’s probably unusual for someone to get a tattoo at that age, but I always interested in them and had always wanted to get one,” he said.

Just lost his weight by exercising two or three times a week and adjusting his diet. He used the My Fitness Pal app to help him track his calorie intake.He started aggressively, limiting himself to 1,800 calories a day, and slowly reduced that to around 1,500.

In total, Just is down 105 pounds, and he weighs less than 200 pounds for the first time since 1988.Just has added five tattoos to the one he got before he started losing weight some 16 months ago.Four of his tattoos are on his legs and two on his upper body. All of his tattoos have been done by Fargo artist Stephanie Mont, and each of them have special meaning for Just, with many dealing with mortality and featuring Celtic crosses. In the end he says, “I might have to adjust my goal so that every time I go down five pounds I get one,” he said. “I want to get more. I really like them.”

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