For the months that Misty Shaffer’s husband was deployed in Iraq with the U.S. Army, she was plotting a big surprise with him.

When she would communicate with her husband overseas for more than a year, she would tell him about her effort to lose a few pounds and sent him a few pictures of her progress showing herself only from the shoulders up.

But when Specialist Larry Shaffer stepped off the plane in his hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina, last week and was greeted by a large crowd, he told Yahoo! Shine he was “speechless” when he spotted his wife.

Misty had lost 100 pounds.

Army Wife Misty Shaffer Loses 100 Pounds and Surprises Husband Returning Home From Afghanistan

(Image: WECT screenshot)

Larry, 27, described his 24-year-old wife as “half the person she used to be.”

Misty, who had weighed around 250 pounds before, said her high school sweetheart had never asked her to lose weight but it had been a goal of hers. Yahoo! Shine has more on how Misty accomplished the weight loss:

Although she barely exercised, Misty lost the weight by eating smaller portions, drinking lots of water, not eating three to four hours before bedtime and avoiding her biggest craving—potato chips. It also helped that her husband, who usually did the cooking, wasn’t there to tempt her. “Misty has always struggled with her weight and my ice cream and large home-cooked meals probably contributed to that,” said Larry. “With me gone, she was able to make smaller, lighter portions. Now we compromise: A few times a week I’ll make what I want if I agree to try her healthier food.”

In addition to the changes in his wife, Larry also came home to a different house and to his 3-year-old daughter who had grown a lot in the time since he had been gone.

Army Wife Misty Shaffer Loses 100 Pounds and Surprises Husband Returning Home From Afghanistan

Larry Shaffer saying hello to his daughter after being gone for more than a year. (Image: WECT screenshot)

“Everything’s new,” Shaffer told WECT. “I pretty much have a new wife. My daughter’s three times the size she was and we have our own home now.”

Watch WECT’s report of the soldier’s homecoming and his surprises: