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Federal Employees Reveal How They're Handling The Shutdown

Federal Employees Reveal How They're Handling The Shutdown
Photo by Chris Kleponis - Pool/Getty Images

The current government shutdown is the fourth longest in U.S. history, and there is no end in sight, despite assurances from Democrats that they will pass funding bills as soon as they take office. The inauguration of the 116th Congress last week marks the first time ever that a federal shutdown will extend into two different Congresses.

President Donald Trump has claimed he can "relate" to the plight of federal workers who are struggling to get by without their paychecks, but these stories provide a window into a world that couldn't be more foreign.


Excepted worker, but I'm only allowed to work on excepted activities. I have to consider whether every email/meeting/phone call/report/whatever is vital for national security, protects life or property, or is related to shutdown operations before I can do the thing.

Not a whole lot is happening.



I'm a government contractor and consider myself lucky to be in one of the agencies that are funded so I don't need to worry until September.

My company's policy is that when a shutdown occurs contractors either burn our PTO or are forced into unpaid leave. Which is what I had to deal with the last 2 shutdowns.

No one in my office is happy with the current situation even though we are unaffected.



As someone who lives in a town with a heavy National Park contingent and tourism influence (Jackson, Wyoming), the government shutdown always influences us more than most know. Even during the winter. It's tough.



Our sister agency that refers customers to us shut down mid-last week. We have funding and did not get shut down, but are entirely dependent on customer referrals. IT is furloughed and we are now at three computers that are blue-screened. We have a Wii in the break room and now play smash brothers because we can't go home and only one person has a working computer at this point. Other games include Guitar Hero III, a Call of Duty game, and a rally car racing game.



Still going to work, although my motivation is falling to 'malicious compliance', which means, I do only what is directly asked of me and nothing more.

Meaning, I sit next to the door, someone rings the doorbell. I later get asked, "did the doorbell ring?" My answer is yes. And that's it.



Government contractor here. I burned through through my PTO last week. My company was great enough to let me go in the hole and even gave each employee 16 hours PTO. so I'll get a full paycheck this week. I filed for unemployment today. Other than that it's been lots of time hanging out with my 5 year old. Mostly just bored and stressed.



Essential here. It is frustrating to go to work for an IOU but all in all I feel like I am one of the more fortunate ones and can probably float all the way until April or so before desperation sets in.

That said, it is incredibly irritating to see people that act as though this is something federal employees should just accept as being part of the job. Using people's livelihoods as a bargaining chip to push one's own political agenda is disgusting.

If this shutdown is like previous shutdowns, I could call in sick everyday and get paid after the shutdown AND not be charged the leave I took during the shutdown. I do not do this because I have a sense of duty to provide my essential services to the flying public. I just wish everyone at the top of the executive and legislative branches shared in this sense of duty.



People don't seem to understand that government is a chunk of an interconnected economy and any interruption has real big effects on everyone. Its not just federal employees, there are thousands of private companies and nonprofits that get a large percentage of income from government contracts and grants. Higher education? Local and state government? Millions of employees. Do you work for a construction company on a transportation project? You bet there's federal funding involved. Do you rent to Section 8 voucher holders? Are you a farmer seeking a government loan? A tour guide near a national monument? In a matter of weeks we'll see ripple effects on banking, technology, and retail. The longer this goes on the higher percentage of Americans will feel the effects.



I'm a full-time nursing student, part-time CNA living with my parents at well-below-market rent until graduation...and I'm currently the only earner in our household. It's stressful. Dad has the attitude that it'll all work out okay in the end since they do have savings and that they should be counting their blessings for that. Mom is more realistic/pessimistic and keeps accusing him of being a pollyanna with his head in the clouds. (It's worth noting that Mom handles the bills). The last time they argued this much was when my sister was about to flunk out of high school.

In short, there's a lot of uncertainty in the near-term, and it's straining relationships.



The shutdown, for me, has not been particularly good timing.

A few weeks prior to the shutdown, we put in an offer on a house that was accepted.

About one week before the shutdown, I set up 3 experiments with live specimens. Now they're all probably dead (I work with insects).

Personally, I've been trying to get things done, doctor's appointments and the like. If there's time, I'll try to konmari my clothes.



Just graduated in June and got my federal government job right after. Moved to a new state, essentially broke, just barely recovering from moving expenses and about to start paying off my massive student loans. The thought that this will last much longer and force me into further debt scares me but honestly the lack of work is what is getting to me the most. I absolutely love my job and I've always been the type to commit myself 100% to my main focus. Without that I've been wandering around my apartment, in a mostly unknown city where I haven't made any significant friendships with way to much time to think about every dark thought constant activity usually wards off. Also I bought a cheap ukele and have been learning a handful of songs so there's that.



Currently enjoying a planned vacation that I didn't have to use any leave for so that's a plus.

This following week I plan on ramping up my job search that I've only been able to put a mediocre effort towards while working full-time so also another plus.

As a newer and non-permanent employee, I don't have nearly as much invested in staying a federal worker as many of my co-workers. The shutdown is one thing but the freeze on the cost of living increase I find even more disrespectful and is the proverbial "straw that broke the camels back". Private job sector, here I come!



I keep telling myself that it'll get fixed soon. That maybe I'll fall behind only slightly, but in the end it'll be ok because we've danced this dance before and always bounced back. But this time with Trump, there is so much uncertainty that I just try not to think about it because if I did I'd be a wreck of nerves. We got this last paycheck, but once next payday comes and nothing gets deposited, shit will get real, super fast. I've already called my representatives, for all the good that's done.

In short, I'm worried, but not in panic mode. Yet. After 2 pay periods, I will be in panic mode.



I am currently being required to work without pay and it is horrible. I work for an agency that is tasked with law enforcement and morale is the lowest it has ever been. We do not have the manpower or resources to be able to effectively do our jobs and, on top of the stress of our work, we now have to worry about how make mortgage payments, bill payments, arrange for child care, pay student loan debt, etc. We are all angry and frustrated, and I can say with certainty that no one in my office supports this shut down, despite what Trump says.



I'm essential and rather pissed off because my vacation has been cancelled and now I have to go back to work. So I bust my ass off working OT constantly all year, I have my vacation time scheduled months in advance, theres coverage but for some reason all vacations were pulled. It doesn't make sense, so I'm forced to go to work while other workers get to stay home and will most likely get paid anyway. On the one hand at least I know I'm getting back pay unlike the non essentials but it still pisses me off that I can't use my leave that I earned while the govt is shutdown. Our agency also has guidance to screen call offs, which has never been done. And of course none of us are getting paid anytime soon so theres guys I work with who are going to be in trouble real soon if they don't get paid. On too of that I gotta read all the asshole comments from people not affected by the shutdown saying govt workers make too much. Like bro I'm just a regular guy like you trying to make the best life I can. It's all rather frustrating and I hope it ends soon so people can go back to having some stability in there lives.



I was supposed to start a job with a federal agency this coming Monday, but that obviously won't happen. I assume I will never get paid for the time between when I was supposed to start and when I actually do. I can't even talk to HR about it since they are on furlough. Financially I can handle it since my wife works, but the uncertainty is super frustrating.



Coast guard member here; we gotta show up and work regardless. The service is tremendously helpful, thanks to special conditions we were paid on the first but were told we most likely we won't be paid on the 15th. We're kinda the outlier branch because we are part of DHS and not DOD so it's frustrating not knowing what will happen.

USAA and other banks have set low interest loans for service members during this time with a 50/50 satisfaction because its 0.01 percent. Where in the past USAA would place the money in your account and just receive the money from the government after the shenanigans is settled. For the more financially stable members it's easy to go along with this but members who have kids or low ranking that go paycheck to paycheck may struggle.



Well, it's a great moment for some introspective thought. Like why am I risking my life for a government that gives zero f**ks about me? Why did I choose this path that is full of suck and sees me sleeping in an abandoned Russian theatre. What I'm I gonna do with my life when I finally get out of here? Will I ever get a retro check for these weeks of deployment during the shut down?

Oh you mean this shut down? Hahaha no, I peaced the f**k out of those gigs after learning my lesson the first time.

And the answer is no, I never got paid for those weeks, nor that entire 16 month period of my life that they took from me. Thanks Congress! Thumbs up!



Federal contractor, self-employed/sole-proprietor. I provide services to museums in the area.

It f**king sucks, I can't go to work because the museums are closed. I get paid hourly, so I'm not getting this pay back either. Thankfully I have enough in savings to hold me over. People sometimes forget about the self-employed contractors with shutdowns-- we usually get hit hard the most since we don't have retroactive pay or benefits through our clients. If it goes on for more than a month, I'll be looking for another line of work.



Essential employee here. Have an emergency fund so financially okay for a few months; however, honestly it still causes worry. Not knowing when your next paycheck will come forces you to reevaluate all purchases.

You also really have a dilemma when under the weather - come in sick or risk furlough hoping that they will backpay. Sure they always have, but times have changed so you don't think you can rely on it.

Not being able to take any time off is a pain. Any pre-approved leave was cancelled.

More concerned for some out there who are furloughed and generally lower paid. They miss a check and they will be in serious jeopardy.

For most people I think missing 2 checks would be the tipping point.



Research has grinded to a stand still. People are freaking out about their timelines for projects. Some people have to go back to square 1.

Even if this only last a few weeks, people have very limited windows for their research projects and this just adds variables and ruins data. It's not just TSA and contractors, it's also researchers who are feeling this.



Husband and I are both federal employees. We're good until mid February at least. We're some of the lucky few that have the ability to hold out that long. He's not worried at all but I stress about everything so it's been fun. He's considered essential and has to work for no pay. I work for a branch of government that won't run out of money until January 11th or 18th so I've yet to hear whether I'm essential or furloughed. I really hope the shutdown ends before then.



FAA ATC here, we're all still working, including mandatory OT shifts (due to historically low staffing numbers) until the shutdown ends.

We don't know when the next check is coming, we're not getting a cost of living raise, we can't strike, and we're turning in scheduled leave so we don't lose it.

Personally, I'm okay. Wife and I save, live within our means, and we can hold out for a bit on what we have. It's not great, if it goes on a while it'll be different, but for now it is what it is.



I work at the immigration courts and my coworkers and I are really stressed of the mountain of work we will have to deal with when we return. Also, all the cases we now have to reschedule. With every single day that passes by the more work that is piling up. The court is already understaffed as it is so we're all going to be scrambling even more than usual...In the meantime, I'm doing door dash and I just signed up for uber so I have that going for me. Luckily, I have my husband who is also a federal worker but he is still getting paid because his work is fee based (USCIS). However, other people aren't so lucky so they're in a scarier situation of how they are going to pay their bills, food, rent, mortgages, loans, etc.



I work for NPS and it's pretty terrible. Although, much more worse for the Law enforcement rangers who are required to be working right now, without pay. The park I work for is being completely destroyed and with ~10 (most of the time less) LE's for the whole park, they can essentially do a whole lot of nothing. Being broke is terrible and I've had to ask family for money, but seeing this park that I love so much, being destroyed, is much worse. We were all able to apply for unemployment, but would have to repay it once we get our backpay.


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.