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.
But Moyer and Ritchie always had each other.
The first month, they talked on the phone three times a day. Over the next several months, they would check in for twice-weekly weigh-ins and call whenever they slipped in their diets or needed to vent. They would treat each other to weekend visits in Chicago or Virginia, where they would marvel at how the other had shrunk.
When Ritchie moved back to Virginia last year, supporting each other became even easier. They live close to one another and work out together most mornings at the YMCA. Besides taking Zumba, abs, boot camp and weight-training classes, they're training for the Wicked 10K race in Virginia Beach.
And more than 280 pounds later, they still call each other when they fall off the wagon.
Moyer no longer has to bring a chair for her kids' sports events. She's even able to play an entire parents-vs.-kids soccer game herself.
She also has a lot more friends. "Before, I had to be at home a lot because going out anywhere was hard on me," Moyer says. "And now, it's just like my world has expanded. I have more people and friends in my life now than I have in a long, long time."
And when Ritchie gets an invitation to a military ball these days, she's no longer self-conscious about how she looks.
Both Moyer and Ritchie say they're heard from friends and gym acquaintances who say they've inspired them.
"I had somebody come up to me a few months ago and she said, 'I see you here all the time. Sometimes I do not feel like coming in here and working out, but then I think, well you know that girl's going to be there, so I'm going to go too.' That's been icing on the cake," Moyer says.