The wife of a Kentucky National Guardsman surprised her husband when he returned from Afghanistan Wednesday, by losing 99 pounds while he was deployed.
“I hadn't always been overweight, but when I had gained the weight and had been unable to lose it. It had really put me in a state of depression and hopelessness and shame,” Karen Hunnicutt said.
At her heaviest, Hunnicutt said she weighed 287 pounds. She said her mother died from obesity related problems and she was also having medical issues because of her extra weight.
“I tried everything to get it off. And I was determined you know. Because I knew it would kill me if I didn't,” she said.
In the fall of 2012, Hunnicutt went to the emergency room three times in one week because of health problems.
That November, her husband CW5 Steve Hunnicutt, was deployed to Afghanistan. During the nine months he was gone, Karen got to work.
Using a program that altered her diet, exercise routine and lifestyle, Karen lost 99 pounds in 36 weeks.
She said her husband hadn’t seen her since the weight loss. At Wednesday’s welcome home ceremony in Frankfort, Steve saw her for the first time.
“Let me see,” Steve said when he first saw her. “You look wonderful… completely different person.”
Steve said he didn’t recognize her at first and added that he’s “always loved her for what's inside though.”
Karen said it’s changed her inside and out, “I'm just so excited because it's not just a physical transformation, it's an entire transformation. It's the person that's been hiding inside of me that's just been scratching to get out and just didn't know how.”