Her lowest point came in fall 2010 when a stranger at a gas station -- heavy himself -- made a nasty comment about the size of her rear end. Months later, the comment still stung.
The turning point
In 2010, Moyer developed sleep apnea, a disorder commonly associated with obesity in which breathing at night starts and stops. She was tired all the time, often fell asleep during the day and snored so loudly her husband had to sleep on the couch many nights.
"I thought, 'Oh my gosh, all the things I can't do anymore, and now I can't even sleep,' " she says.
Rather than go for more medical tests, she resolved to solve the problem herself.
That's when she called Ritchie. After Ritchie pledged to lose weight too, the women agreed to start in the new year. They began doing research.
Moyer knew counting calories would work best for her. She used the iPhone app MyFitness Pal, which calculates how many calories to consume based on how much weight someone wants to lose per week. It adds calories back when you exercise. Moyer allowed herself to eat fruits and bread but cut out soda and enriched flour.
For the first year, she plugged every single thing she ate into the app.
Ritchie followed the South Beach Diet, a plan that encourages replacing "bad" carbohydrates and fats with "good" carbs and fats, lean protein and low-fat dairy. She ordered "The South Beach Diet Supercharged" book and two South Beach cookbooks, got rid of all the enriched flour and alcohol in the house, switched to whole grains and documented her meals and twice-weekly weigh-ins in a journal for the first eight months.
They set goals they thought they could meet. Ritchie sought to get below 200 pounds, while Moyer wanted to sleep through the night.
The first few weeks, it took all their willpower just to focus on their food.
"It was like I was coming down off drugs," Moyer says. "Headaches. I literally had the shakes. The first couple of weeks were just absolute torture."
Once they adjusted to the new eating plans, they started thinking about exercise. First, they walked. Three mornings a week, Ritchie took her 4-year-old to the mall, and they did laps together.
Moyer started with one block. She gradually added distance until she felt comfortable joining the YMCA.
They were both realistic about what they could manage.
"I didn't say, 'I need to walk for an hour.' When I first went to the gym, I did the elliptical, and I could only do it for 10 minutes," Moyer says. "And then I gradually would add to that time. Then I went to my very first group class, which I was absolutely terrified to do. I was constantly trying to push myself to do something more or longer or harder."
Eventually the women were running and working out regularly on machines and in classes.
It took losing 75 pounds to stop Moyer's snoring. By that time, she says she thought, "My gosh, if I could lose this, why don't I keep going?"
Some friends weren't supportive. Ritchie called them her "saboteurs" -- overweight pals who would try to tempt her into having "one bite" of cake, or who made her feel bad about spending her mornings at the gym instead of joining them for breakfast.