Military Wife Shocks Husband When He Returns Home

(Leland, NC) 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.

Each time she had tried dieting in the past, she would relapse. Before she became pregnant with her daughter, Nevaeh, she took diet pills and lost 60 pounds.

But all that, and more, came back after she stopped taking the pills.

At her heaviest, she weighed around 300 pounds. She’s 5 feet 6 inches tall.

“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.

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21 comments

  • Charlotte

    just goes to show that you can do it without all the super “buy this food to lose or that pill to lose” hype out there. she just used good old fashioned will power, desire, and smart choices.

  • Russ Brown

    That soldier is a lucky man. It’s awesome to find a lady that will go to such extremes for him. I am glad he got home safely so he can enjoy his marriage.

  • mr.matt

    sorry but why didn’t she ever do this for him before? maybe there was someones attention at the grocery store?

  • Carole

    That’s so beautiful and so are you and your family. Congrats and thanks to
    Your husband for his service to our country!! God bless you all!!!

  • Kevin Lewis

    This is a great story, and I am so glad for her and her husband. She really stepped up to lose the weight…Now he has to step up his game to help her keep it off and eating ice cream and cake right in front of her is not helping. He is also going to have to step up his love game because the guys are going to coming at her 2 at a time probably for the first time in her life.

  • What You Say

    Hopefully, they dont break-up, he must have liked her the way she was or he would not have married her. Why can some people except the fact that some men like big boned women?

  • I KEEP IT REAL

    OK THE WRITING IS ON THE WALL HOW LONG BEFORE SHE LEAVES HIM BECAUSE SHE THINKS SHE IS ALL THAT!

  • I KEEP IT REAL

    SHE SHOULD HAVE STAYED BIG. WOMEN ALL TRY TO LOOK LIKE SOMEONE THERE NOT NOR COULD EVER BE. NOW SHE LOOKS LIKE A WOMEN WHO USED TO BE BIG AND LOST THE WEIGHT BUT HER HEAD AND ARMS ARE STILL FAT. SMH!

  • T. Jones

    That is so good. Love for self and your family will help you do a lot of things. I suspect your hubby and you will enjoy piking out clothes especially nighties :-) keep loving each other!!!!!

  • evette

    He is going to start to get really insecure and drive her crazy….or
    she will be cheating on him in less than a year..(I would bet on my second guess)

  • SPF

    I think it’s a beautiful thing, I commend the two of you stay in love let sparks fly….. You have a beautiful marriage, daughter, now you are much healthier. Enjoy your life and your family. Thank God your husband made it safe……

  • tina

    how wonderful!!! She is beautiful now! What a reward for a man that risked his life for the country. God is good. What a reward for her to see her husband’s reaction. Im sure she gets plenty of attention now! :)

  • dlw0429

    @tina – she was beautiful before….looks on the outside are not what attracts someone to their soul mate….it is the looks on the inside. I am proud to say my husband and I are raising a 16 year old who understands it is not what a girl looks like but rather what her personality is like….and may I add my husband, son and I none are overweight…..To all the others who think she did this for someone else, she did this for herself….she is an inspiration to her daughter and everyone else who struggles with issues

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