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Military Wife Drops 100+ Pounds to Surprise Husband

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(CNN) — Misty and Larry Shaffer have been together since high school. She went to his senior prom; he went to her junior and senior proms. They got married in October 2008.

He never said anything about her being overweight.

When Larry, an Army specialist, was deployed to Afghanistan for a year in 2012, Misty decided she wanted to get in shape.

She weighed about 260 pounds when he left, and less than 155 pounds when he returned.

“I just sat in bed one night and was like, ‘I can do this,'” she said. “‘I need to do this.'”

Shaffer, now 25 and living in Leland, North Carolina, has struggled with her weight her whole life, even as a child.

Click here to view and share more before and after weight loss photos …

“I would eat when I was bored. I’d eat three huge meals a day, and then snack in between. Sad or happy, I’d turn to food for everything.”

Shaffer felt tired all the time. People picked on her. She wanted to surprise her husband, and work toward a better life for herself and her family.

Her primary mission: Cut out all the junk. She stopped drinking soda, and tried to limit her liquids to water and coffee.

The first three to four months were the hardest, she said. Once she got past that, she started craving more healthy foods and water. It got to the point where, if she drank a diet soda, it made her so thirsty that she didn’t even want it.

Shaffer’s job presented its own challenges; she’s a personal shopper at a supermarket. At lunch time, the hot fried chicken “just smells so good,” she said. But the supermarket also offers a large, well-kept salad bar, as well as warm vegetables on the hot bar and oven-baked chicken.

A typical breakfast for Shaffer is oatmeal with fruit or a cereal bar. On her days off, she’ll cook up sausage, eggs or pancakes, but she’ll watch her portion size. Around 10 a.m. she has a snack, such as fruit or carrots.

Lunch is a salad or half a sandwich with some kind of vegetable or fruit. An afternoon snack might be yogurt.

For dinner, she eats a lean meat (like ground turkey or a boneless, skinless chicken breast), a vegetable and a very small portion of starch.

The big day, Larry Shaffer’s return, was May 15, 2013. The soldier had never seen his wife weigh less than 220 pounds, even in high school.

When she saw him at the airport, Misty Shaffer didn’t know what to say or do. She just ran and jumped into his arms.

Her husband was speechless, uttering only one word: “Wow.”

It was the first time he had ever picked her up. Before, he hadn’t been able to lift her off the ground even a little, she said.

That moment was worth everything.


“A lot of people look at it like, ‘Why is that such a big deal?'” she said. “But (when) you never thought you’d see that moment, that somebody can pick you up … it is a big deal.”

The other big part of the surprise: She had bought a new house while he was away.

Since then, Shaffer has been able to keep the weight off.

When her husband left she was a size 22 to 24; now she can wear a women’s size 6. She’s especially loving how much money she saves on smaller clothes. Khakis, for example, used to cost $80, but she found a pair for her new physique for only $7.

She said her husband’s eating habits haven’t changed much; he likes her cooking, but he’ll help himself to ice cream or cake afterward. Sometimes she will join him. But she’s not too tempted to go back to her old ways of eating.

“I’ve seen how hard I worked, and what I had to go through to get to this point,” she said.

She’s still in disbelief when her husband picks her up.


  • VW

    You’re an amazing inspiration to anyone who has ever had to work harder than they thought possible to get something they want. Congratulations

  • Amber Chuter

    way to go girl!!! you were beautiful before and your beautiful now! congratulations to you! best wishes to you and your beautiful family!!(

  • Patches Blackmar

    congrats on the weight loss. I wish I could keep mine off. What motivated you to lose the weight? I would like to know your weight loss tips

  • Katie Eastgate

    In response to all the questions about loose skin..
    As someone who lost over 150 lbs, there is definitely loose skin. It may tighten up through exercise and toning, but it will never look the same as someone who was never heavy. That being said, I would still rather have lost all the weight and have a ‘skin issue’ than still be over 300 lbs.

  • Amanda

    Wow!!!! You look ammmmmaaaazzzziiiinnngggg!!!! Way to go!! Definitely inspiration. You have me motivated now to lose my extra weight by saying I can do it. Absolutely beautiful!!! Lucky husband!!!!

  • Tmoten

    There was nothing wrong with her in the first place she was awesome looking Than just like she is now like being thick is so wrong.

  • Tina Panzarello

    My favorite saying is … Love someone who saw you when you were invisible. You were lovely then and lovely now. Good luck in your new home and new body. I am a Sparkpeople, lost… 187 so far and 95 to go. You are an inspiration.

  • Andrea J. Gary

    You look amazing! You are beautiful either way, but it’s great to see someone so devoted to herself and family to make the changes to get healthy and fit. It’s very hard to do, especially having a family that eat differently from you! Keep up the great job, and also thank you Husband for you service to our country! May many more blessings be added unto you all!

  • Melissa Thornton

    As someone who was large most of my life and then lost 80 pounds at 47, there is loose skin that hasn’t toned with daily exercise. The nice thing is, clothes cover a multitude of sins!! The younger you are, the more the skin bounces back! Don’t wait! Do it now!

  • Tess

    Yay! I love seeing people become happier. She was beautiful before and she’s beautiful after. But what really makes me happy for her isn’t the weight she lost, it’s the happiness she gained! Congratulations on a brighter life and may it last forever! I AM SO HAPPY FOR HER JOY<3

  • MLDilley

    You look great Misty. Some people can be so negative. That you had the incentive to lose the extra pounds is commendable…not everyone has that desire or follow-through. How much “extra” skin is there is not as important as losing the weight. It also depends on the age and youth of the individual losing it and the rate of weight loss. Keep up the good work. There will always be nay-sayers…some people can’t help but be negative…some don’t even realize they are!..Good on ya!! MLD

  • Dave

    Congratulations on setting a goal, working towards that goal and then achieving it.

    Besides looking fit, as a young lady, you have found that you are capable of doing whatever you set your mind to.

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