Becky and Ethan Spiezer, a married couple of 11 years from Rockford, Illinois, have both struggled with their weight from young ages. At their heaviest, Ethan weighed 430 pounds and his wife 310 pounds. Today, the couple is showing off an impressive 300-pound total weight loss and sharing what motivated them to get in shape.
The Speizers, who are parents to two young sons, shared with TODAY that a pair of experiences during a vacation in 2018 inspired them to embark on a weight loss journey.
"We were so excited to take a family trip to Universal Studios, but it got off to a rough start when I couldn't fit in the airplane seat, even with a seatbelt extension," Ethan told TODAY. (Universal Studios is a part of TODAY's parent company, NBCUniversal.)
Once they arrived at the theme park, the Spiezers came across another unexpected obstacle.
"We found out we were too big for the rides," Becky explained. "Once we got home, we both knew we had to make a change."
After their trip, the husband and wife both launched into healthier routines. When Ethan started eating better and exercising, he instantly saw results. His wife, on the other hand, went on her own path.
"I took a different route, trying every diet program out there, but seeing little results. So six months in, I changed it up, started walking, and decided to follow my husband's meal plans instead," Becky said.
Two years later, the couple has lost a combined 315 pounds, and Ethan said they've been "motivating each other every step of the way."
During a live appearance on TODAY Friday, the Spiezers reflected on their health transformations and Becky recalled that moment during their 2018 trip that really inspired her to get fit.
"For me, it was the Harry Potter ride," she explained. "They have these sample seats outside the rides to see if you'll fit, so we thought it'd be a good idea, and it ended up being horribly depressing and it just was a real eye opener."
When asked how he started losing weight, Ethan said he opted to follow a keto diet and started limiting his carbs and counting his calories. He even created his own recipe for a keto pizza that his family now swears by.
"It was really just about tackling one day at a time," he said. "I just started every day off thinking, 'OK, if I can just do today and then the next day repeat.'"
After the coronavirus pandemic hit last March and the Spiezer family found themselves spending a lot of time at home, they decided to relocate from the Midwest to Las Vegas, where they could get outside more often and stay active.
Life in quarantine also taught Becky to be kind to herself and take her weight loss journey one step at a time.
"It made me really realize that you can start over every day," she said. "You can start over every six hours if it's a bad day. You can't close yourself into 'win or fail.' You have to look at the bigger picture. You have to stay positive."