Wife Loses 103 Pounds While Husband in Iraq

Feb. 21, 2006 — -- When Alisha Marigoni's husband left for a military mission to Iraq, she embarked on a quest of her own: to knock his socks off when he returned.

Mission accomplished.

Marine Staff Sgt. Kyle Marigoni, 29, returned Sunday, and he barely recognized his wife, who had lost more than 100 pounds while he was away.

"His jaw was on the floor," Alisha, 28, said. "I think I picked it up before I hugged him."

Alisha said she realized she needed to change her lifestyle when her weight began to affect her personality.

"I think I got really mean, and my husband and I had an argument one time about how not nice I was," she said. "I think I was so horribly unhappy with myself. I don't think I knew I was until that fight."

Happier After a Diet Change

Alisha said she started gaining weight after she got married and moved to California, where she didn't know anyone. She believes she tried to treat her depression with food. At her peak, Alisha Marigoni weighed 270 pounds.

Alisha said she was seriously considering gastric bypass surgery but decided to try to lose the weight on her own.

"I joined LA Weight Loss," she said. "They helped me eat right."

Alisha started incorporating more fruits, vegetables and meats into her diet, and began walking. She now weighs 162 pounds, and has gone from a size 24 to a size 8.

Alisha's transformation was a surprise to Kyle. She didn't send him any pictures of herself while he was in Iraq, only photos of their daughter and their dog.

"She says her motivation was to knock my socks off," Kyle said. "She probably would have if my boots weren't laced so high. I'm very proud."