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Dysfunctional Families Reveal Their Traditions No One Else Celebrates

Dysfunctional Families Reveal Their Traditions No One Else Celebrates

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Dysfunctional families are the rule, not the exception, and all of them have their own sets of traditions that outsiders would probably find strange. But it's what makes them special, right?

realkpossible asked, What is a tradition that your family does that you found out was not normal?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

This is definitely a way to get kids to eat less candy. Well-played, mom and dad.

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The Pumpkin Fairy. It was a Halloween tradition in my family, where we would take a portion of the candy we got, put it in a sack, and hoist it up a tree. The next day, we'd cut down the sack, and there'd be a game of some kind in there. It blew my mind as a kid but was really just a ploy by my parents so we'd eat less candy (honestly not a bad move imo).

"I know what this tree needs... testicles."

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At Christmas time, while decorating the Xmas tree, my brothers would always take two golden ball ornaments and put it at the very bottom of the tree so they hang down. They proclaim the tree is male because it looks like it has two golden testicles. Over ten years later and we have all moved out, my mom decorates the tree but leaves the two golden balls out so when we visit for the holidays my adult brothers are able to place them. It is a simple thing but I love it.

Ok this is actually hilarious.

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When my parents first moved in together they could not afford all the flashy Christmas bling for their tree so the topper they opted for was a rubber chicken.

They continued to use the rubber chicken as a tradition and I never thought anything of it until 1992 when I was in grade primary (kindergarten) and our teacher asked the class what goes on top of the Christmas tree. As I had only ever had one experience this was an easy one...

The rest of the class didn't understand so later that night I asked my parents why other kids all said they used stars and angels, like demented weirdos.

After that, my parents decided to get a more traditional ornament for the top of the tree but the original rubber chicken remains amongst the branches.

When I moved, out a few years back, my parents gave me an early Christmas present, my own rubber chicken that goes on my own coniferous pagan centerpiece every year.

Edited for fat fingers.

Christmas seems to be the theme here. MMMMMMM cinnamon rolls.

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My family has a Christmas tradition of eating fresh cinnamon rolls on Christmas morning. I thought this was a traditional Christmas Day breakfast until I got to first grade!

This isn't a far cry from the Festivus pole.

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Every Christmas, my Grandma and my brother exchange a bowling pin, this goes back to the early 90s. It's the same pin, but whoever has it that year dresses it up like a pop culture figure. Some of the best ones have been Britney Spares, Osama Pin Laden, Shaquille Bowl'neil, Fresh Pins of Bel Air, Barack Bowlbama, Caitlyn Pinner, Tim Tebowl, Ty Pinnington, Jesus Strikes

Whoever has the pin that year also writes a poem filled with jokes about the celebrity. It's always bad and really offensive.

My mom and my aunt also started a "Holiday Heist" where they took turns every year stealing something obvious. One year my mom stole my grandma's life-size Mrs. Clause doll and dressed it up like the grim reaper. One year my aunt stole my mom's phone. We were all digging through wrapping paper and trash for HOURS. My mom was pissed and they didn't do it again.

We throw in playing in two different keys on the piano.

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The way we sing happy birthday. We all start at different times sing really loud and are free to change/add extra words as you wish. It can be frightening the first time you hear it.

By all means, fly the dead bird around.

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Final Flight of the Turkey: every Christmas Eve, typically pretty late when the kids have gone off to bed, my family would make the stuffing and prep the turkey. However, once the stuffing is ready to be put in the turkey, we have to get the turkey out of the sink and into the pan. Instead of simply transferring it from the sink to the pan, it is tradition to "fly" it around the dining room/kitchen (typically done by 2 people, holding a wing and a leg each) with at least 1 "knife edge" turn, before executing a hard landing into the pan. I think this has been done every Christmas Eve for at least the last 20 years.

Before you ask, yes, lots of alcohol is involved. As is tradition .

My family used to do this, but in our neighbor's yard.

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My family has always burned the Christmas tree at midnight on New Years. None of my classmates, friends, or anyone I know personally did this. Apparently, they all just take their dead tree to the dump. After looking it up, it's apparently a thing in Europe, but it's not a thing in my area.

Edit: What we normally do is take the decorations down from the tree on New Year's Eve and get together all the wrapping paper (no plastics) from presents. We have snacks and get wasted and as midnight approaches the soberest few (usually family too young to drink) stuff the naked tree with paper and put it out in the yard. My dad gets together ammunition and as the clock turns we light the tree and fire into the night (in a safe and clear direction, usually a close hillside). Cheering and hooting commence and we quiet down and watch the tree burn until it goes out. If the tree burns well it's supposedly good luck. We go inside and continue partying and usually, someone vomits uncontrollably after getting too drunk on Vodka. Fun fact: this is the only day of the year any of my family gets proper s***faced. Good times. My family doesn't know when we started this tradition, but it's from my dad's side.

The Great Pumpkin is a hero.

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On Halloween, after everybody's gone to sleep, the Great Pumpkin visits little kids with allergies and turns all their store-bought candy into safe desserts.

I first realized this wasn't a thing when I started grade school and found out that my peers had never heard of the Great Pumpkin at all. Then in high school, I found out that The Great Pumpkin isn't even a thing for families with allergies. Usually, parents make the kid trade out their candy, or go door to door and ask their neighbors to give their kid some kind of alternate treat instead.

But my mom wanted to let me trick-or-treat like a normal kid and have the fun of getting as much candy as possible from total strangers. So she decided that the Great Pumpkin was real, gave him special candy-transforming powers, and showed me the Peanuts Halloween comics as "proof." Then after I went to bed, she swapped out my candy for safe treats and told me the Great Pumpkin had visited. (The Great Pumpkin also had to visit my little brother because he got jealous.)

If my kids have allergies (or I decide I want to limit their access to garbage food) you can sure as heck bet they'll get visits from the Great Pumpkin too.

My dad's family smears the name on the cake. It always made me feel like I was going to die.

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An odd birthday thing. Now everyone sings happy birthday and the candles get blown out as usual. The birthday person also cuts the first bit of cake but is supposed to scream when first inserting the knife. No idea why and never encountered it anywhere else.

No visitors? Naps? Yes please.

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Total silence in the house between 3 to 7 PM, no visits allowed. "After lunch, everyone wants to rest, no one visits anyone."

Then my parents go to take a nap. I didn't realize this wasn't the norm till I was an adult.

Not all heroes wear capes.

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My family has this Christmas Eve tradition called the Pajama Man. Upon telling friends in college, and years later at my work, people have found hilarity in my family's tradition. I would like to hear yours.

Pajama Man: He delivers pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve/Christmas Morning to your front door and disappears before you can answer the bell.

Treating kids like intelligent individuals capable of understanding consequences? What a novel idea.

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Growing up my parents never yelled at me. When I say never, I mean never. They would explain to me why what I was doing was wrong and punishment would be talking about my problem ending with an Andy Griffith style lesson to be learned. They were super upbeat and always wanted to treat me as an equal, not just as their son. I know some families don't like to do it this way, but it worked for us. I was a more responsible and mature kid growing up.

"Sorry, the family and I are playing Jingle Dick."

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I'm a little late but it's worth a mention.

We open presents on Christmas Eve under the supervision of an art piece purchased by my aunt. It is a ceramic gourd filled with jingly beads. Its shape is very bulbous at one end, with a long cylindrical shaft and a small "head" or "tip."

We call it the Jingle, and everyone who opens a present must shake it over their head and scream like the sand people from star wars.

This is really cool. We all wear masks, right?

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We display masks and statuettes on the walls.

My father traveled a lot and would buy masks and the like from flea markets and shops and all sorts of places, and he'd hang them up in the front hall. There were so many of them, some with "hair", some small enough to fit in your hand...there was this one big one that was too tall for the hall so he put it over the fireplace when it wasn't in use (I hated that one, it was curved on the back so it always slid to the side when you passed it).

I never thought anything of it, if anything I loved the masks (I was always fascinated by masks. We have a poster of hockey masks from the earliest ones to the "latest" (latest being like the mid-80s) and my mother said when she used to bottle feed me as a baby I'd just stare at it) but I eventually came to realize that it was kind of weird.

My father passed away many years ago now but we still have the masks. Most are in storage right now because we moved and my stepfather isn't a huge fan of them (though he has one set up above the toilet in their bathroom, amusingly). We split up the masks into three groups, my brother, mother, and I took one, and when I get my own place, I plan to set up my own wall of masks and continue the tradition.

Nothing brings a family together like competition on a holiday.

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We play bingo on Thanksgiving. It is a big deal - so much so that when people sign up to bring a dish for Thanksgiving, they also sign up to bring prizes for bingo. We're very competitive and there have been a couple tantrums from the younger players when they have to clear a card after a round.

Cue the chants and drums.

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Well, this tradition started when I was an adult, but my nephews and nieces are going to have a hell of a time explaining that their family constructs, and then burns, a wooden turkey on Thanksgiving.

All glory to burning bird!

Not having traditions is most certainly a tradition. Cheaper, too.

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My family has absolutely zero traditions. Not one. Now I'm older I realize it's because my parents and grandparents are very dull people. I'm starting new family traditions with my wife and daughter that we can look forward to.

A celebration for the ages. Parenting FTW.

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My mom had a ceremonial latin/LGBT family dinner after Ricky Martin came out of the closet.???????

People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.