Former Cult Members Share The Exact Moment They Realized They Needed To Get Out
I have always had a fascination with cults. As you can imagine, I've read a fair amount of books on the subject. Helter Skelter, which tells the story about the Manson murders and was written by the lead prosecutor on the case, is highly recommended. Raven, a deep dive into The People's Temple and the notorious Jim Jones, is another stellar read. Films on the subject, including the recent The Endless, are well worth the watch.
But what makes people join these cults and what would get them to leave?
After Redditor theotherweatherguy asked the online community, "Former cult members, what made you realize you were in a cult and that you had to get out?" people shared their stories.
"My mother realized..."
My mother realized there was something wrong when our head minister publicly called her a wh*re, because she was one of the few women who WOULDN'T cheat on her husband with him "in the name of Jesus." She left, taking us (the kids). My father, the husband she refused to cheat on, stayed in the cult for a couple more years.
"After this got to be too much..."
I was born and raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Got married to another witness when I was 19. Around age 23, I started questioning the intense level of control they have over our smallest choices: What we wear, look like, what we watch or listen to, who we spend time with, etc.
Things really started falling apart when my cognitive dissonance was reckoning with the fact that I've worked with several hundred non-witnesses, and they were every bit as intelligent, compassionate, and loving as the best witnesses I knew, yet the Organization taught me that non-witnesses were selfish, horrible people, and they were all going to die at Armageddon (which has been constantly and urgently imminent for the last 150 years), I'll drop a link to some of their quotes regarding this in case you're curious.
After this got to be too much, I finally decided to research what ex-witnesses had to say. The Organization called them "Apostates," we were trained to be terrified of them and what they had to say, to never listen to them. Once I gave them a chance, it clicked instantly. Our leadership told us to never listen to "Apostates" because they knew the whole time that the apostates were right about everything they say.
My wife was not thrilled, to say the least, but I convinced her that truth stood up for itself, and she had the right to examine all the evidence and decide for herself what was true. We've been happily out for a year and a half, making new friends, having the time of our lives and we are buying a house this week.
"I felt insulted..."
They told me I devoted too much of my time studying instead of praying/proselytize/going to gatherings/so-called 'family time.' I even explained that I study because I want to one day contribute to the alleviation of poverty in my country. They confronted me one day. They said that studying is more important to me than God, that it would be better to save myself a seat in heaven, and that all I could do is pray for God to provide for the poor.
I felt insulted because they were Americans and it seemed like their privileged life blinds them from how humiliating it is to not be able to eat. I personally know how many generations that have passed that have prayed for poverty in our country to end. After that exchange, I was so shaken with disgust from what I just heard. It was then that I decided I should get out. I'm a spineless coward, so I composed a letter detailing my leave and handed it to them rather than confront them directly.
"When they told me..."
When they told me I couldn't leave and if I did defy them and leave, I would be excommunicated.
"By the time they let us go home..."
In the early 2000's I went to the Church of Scientology as a 20-year-old. My dad was an Evangelical pastor and I was really turned off of Christianity (still am, even more now). I had heard that Scientology was kind of crazy but hadn't heard anything about what we now know their beliefs to be. When I first went, I really liked the idea behind how they viewed it as "tech" and not really religion. They start you off slow and you don't necessarily get into doing auditing right away (unless you have a bunch of money). I also ended up working there to pay for my classes since I was a poor college student. I actually really liked the people there and had a good time for the most part.
After a couple of months of spending a few days a week there, going to classes and working, I got past the intro classes. That's when the crazy started to show itself. I remember having discussions around how basically, you have to follow what Hubbard said to the letter. Well I'm a bit of a free thinker and that didn't sit well with me, but they would just respond with "Well that's how his 'tech' works!".
A week or so after our discussions around following things to the letter, they had a big event. I don't really remember what it was for, but it ended with trying to sign people up to go on a Scientology "cruise." If you couldn't afford it, you'd have to join the Sea Org and work your way through. Being as it was a pretty expensive cruise (more than normal since you were paying for the classes too), they were having a hard time getting people to sign up. They had a quota they had to hit for the meeting and wouldn't let us leave until they met their quota. So they'd hound people in the audience (maybe around 40 of us) until someone would finally relent and sign up. Then they'd do it to someone else.
It was getting to be around 10 pm and I had to be at my real job at 7 am so I asked if I could leave. They said no, just wait until they finish signing people up. Well, it kept getting later and I kept asking. Finally, after another 45 minutes, I tried to walk out. They physically barred me from leaving. Oh, and not to mention, this entire time they were trying to get me to drop out of school to go. The program I was in had a 2 year waiting period and if I left it would be quite a while before I would be able to get back in.
By the time they let us go home, I hated every person in that place. The people I was starting to like were the ones telling me to drop out of school. I never went back. They called and called begging me to come and talk to them. I finally ended up talking to who had been my favorite person there and explained how upset I was that they were asking me to drop out of school etc. They just doubled down and kept trying to get me to come into the church. At this point, I knew if I went back they probably wouldn't let me leave. So I never went back. Told them never to call me.
I've gotten mailers from them over the years still and they'll find my phone number and start to call. Well, a couple of years ago I had finally had enough of the calls as they would call almost as much as the car warranty scams now. I had already told them nicely to stop calling but one day I lost it on someone. I went ballistic on the phone. I don't remember what exactly I said but they haven't called me since and I haven't gotten anything in the mail.
"They control everything..."
A friend from the same church explained it to me when I was young. They control everything from our money, marriage, thoughts, actions. But growing up in such a church makes it feel normal, you know? I couldn't question it.
"When I realized..."
When I realized that forcing everyone to legally change their last name, not leave the building, not take pictures and not say certain words was not normal, dude. Also the mandatory viewing and the evening classes for those inexperienced in the cult's niche (paranormal).
"I left when my partner..."
I was in an offshoot of AA for drug addicts called DAA. They treated the AA big book as gospel and they encouraged absolute control from your sponsor (mentor). You had to tell them every grisly detail about your life. They refused to allow people to take mental health medicine.
The group took up all of my time and spent hours trying to go to NA meetings to recruit people. They saw Bill Wilson as almost godlike. At the top of the organisation in London was a figure who subtly placed himself as the cult leader, and took advantage of young newcomers.
I was 17 and had begun questioning the doctrine. When I requested to meet with the pastor of our mega-church to discuss my questions, I arrived to find that he'd brought in several other men to the meeting, leaders in the church, as the doctrine did not allow a man to meet with a woman alone. Again, I was 17, a child, not a grown woman. I was curious about contradictions in the church teachings and wanted to discuss. Instead, the pastor and deacons berated me for questioning "God's Word" and told me I would go to Hell if I did not accept what I was told at face value.
I was expelled from the church for questioning and informed that, because I had questioned, I could not repent. No matter what I did, "God" would no longer accept me into "His kingdom". I could not pray for forgiveness or be baptized again. I was a lost soul.
I went on with my life and my parents left the church not long after. About a decade later, the pastor was accused of embezzling from the church and was hit with federal charges. Even though he had claimed to have a PhD, it turned out he didn't even have an undergraduate degree. He was a con-man and many of his family members, who were in leadership positions in the church, were part of the scam. They'd used millions of dollars of tithes to fund their lifestyles, hired bodyguards and lived in a secret compound.
He's still preaching, sometimes moving to another country when he comes under fire again. I pity the people who fall prey to his and his family's schemes.
They cast every problem in your life as your fault. You'd be lacking faith, or not doing the right prescribed cult actions like meditation or writing down your failings in detail and sharing them. Sponsors often told other people what their sponsees told them - there was no privacy.
I left when my partner, now wife, managed to show me what was going on. Unfortunately, she read a lot of my graphic writings about my past and we struggle to repair trust.
I hate them - they prey on vulnerable people and make the cult their lives. If you leave you're isolated and bereft and alone, because your entire life is in there.
Please avoid. Happy to answer questions about them. I'm UK based but they're worldwide.
"I felt a lot of pressure..."
I was raised in a group that many consider to be a cult. My parents are still involved. I felt a lot of pressure to not finish college and instead do missionary work and so I stopped attending. They kept scheduling me for things despite my no-contact, no-show and they thought I would just show up whenever they said. When no one reached out to check on me or make sure I was okay, I realized I was just being used.
"But to answer the question..."
The cult I was in never acknowledged it was a cult but after reading up on how cults operate I'm convinced that it was one. It was located in a farmland area of Tennessee and called The Farm. Here's why I felt it was cult like.
Both me and my husband and our daughter were forced to either change our names (me spelling only) or completely (former husband and daughter).
The amount of shame heaped on anyone who snuck off the property and broke dietary rules was insane. If you went to town and drank a cola or a candy bar it was a breach of conduct and public shaming occurred. If you wore glasses for nearsightedness that was called something- I can't recall but mine were taken from me. People were always confronting you about any you said or did that they thought was not copping to the vibes.
There was a pervasive mindset and a ton of jargon that you couldn't shake off even after leaving. But leaving for me was the most controlling event. I got very sick from bad water and had been forced by my husband into a 4-way marriage. I didn't want it and was outvoted so I went along for a while, just getting more and more disgusted by the sexual relationship with this second husband and watching my husband and the other wife, so I was told I could leave but never to return. That felt ominous.
I went to the guru at the head of this disaster and said I wanted to leave. A plane ticket was bought for me after extraction of a promise to repay it. Since I had nothing but the clothes on my back I agreed. Thinking at the time that my parents would reimburse it since I had nothing, not even a pair of shoes or a coat and when I got home my dad said no effing way will I pay them a cent. So the group wrote cajoling letters which I ignored. Those were followed by threats of legal action and finally a visit from my husband begging me to either cough up the bucks or return. I countered with a divorce. I never saw this as a cult until I got home, to be honest, but the jargon and group think tactics made me feel crazy. I got counseling. It helped me see that my 19-year-old self was in no position to stand up to a quasi-religious spiritual system.
But to answer the question I felt it was a cult after I left because I was expected to act, eat, procreate and work according to the dictates of the leader. I was not permitted to question the rules or authorities. And when I got hepatitis from polluted water I was told it was all my own doing.
"They called anyone outside the group..."
I was part of a South Korean Cult called Shincheonji. They called anyone outside the group betrayers and destroyers, even one's close family and friends. They also demonise internet and prevent us from reading news especially during the pandemic when the church was exposed. They keep a tight schedule for us; we need to recruit almost everyday, and meeting and gathering to a point that we only have 4 hours sleep. I realise it's a cult after they changed their doctrine a couple of times in order to control its members. They talked about how Korea is going to be the centre of the world and everyone is going there to see the Founder - Lee Man Hee. Now the founder was charged with embezzlement, however, this information is controlled and people inside have little knowledge of it.
"When there were rumors..."
When there was rumors going on saying the cult leader was in a relationship with an ex-member although they were both married. Also, notice that the doctrine kept changing. There was zero compassion and love there. I was constantly monitored and controlled. Also, after I left the cult the leader was arrested for embezzlement. I was in Shincheonji a Korean cult very present in the U.S.
I was struggling with my religion (raised as a Mormon) for multiple reasons throughout high school and things only got worse after I came out as gay, including my mother trying to set me up with a man that was five years my senior as soon as I turned 18. The missionaries were teaching my Sunday school class and the very next Sunday after I came out to my parents they taught a lesson about the Family Proclamation and started attacking the LGBT community. I managed to drown out the majority of what they were saying but the damage was already done. A couple of months later, I cut my hair in a style that I had been wanting for months but my parents wouldn't let me even though I was 18. When I came home my parents were furious with me. My mother started telling me that if I kept going down the path I was on, I would never be able to see my deceased family members ever again. That completely broke my shelf and after that point, I refused to go to church for any religious activities.
"Once I learned about the true history..."
I went door to door trying to pressure people into joining my cult. We were explicitly taught to target vulnerable or lonely people in ways that are textbook predatory, psychological manipulation. I slowly realized that 90% of the "lies" all those "anti-Mormons" tell were 100% true, and it was the people I had trusted my whole life who had been lying.
Once I learned about the true history and evolution of a church founded by a con man, the spell was broken. I tried to get answers from their best apologists, but quickly learned that they were intellectually sleazy and obedience was valued, not the truth they claimed to hold. I realized it was a fraud, despite the shiny veneer of goodness, and I walked away.
It was quite the existential shock to have your whole reality turned upside down like that. To add insult to injury, you're then completely shunned as an apostate by all the people you've known your entire life.
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."
"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."
"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"
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."
"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."
"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.""
"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."
"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"
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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."
"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."
"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."
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."
"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."
"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."
More Than Super Hearing
"I can hear the television while it's on mute."
"What does it say to you, child?"
"I put mustard on my omelettes."
– Deleted User
"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."
"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."
I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!
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?"
SensationsHappy 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."
FreeThe 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!"
"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.
We all have our favorite foods, food preferences, and even foods that we don't like.
But there are some popular foods out there that just don't make sense. Nonetheless, we keep seeing them advertised, included in movies and TV shows, and of course, our loved ones ordering them while we look on in confusion.
Curious about others' food preferences, Redditor YarnSpectre asked:
"What's one food everyone seems to go crazy for, but you just don't understand the hype?"
So Much Sugar
"Nutella. It’s just okay."
"Way too sweet for me, I’d probably love it with one-fifth of the sugar."
"Unfortunately that's true of a lot of desserts, though. Most would benefit from a cut of at least 25 percent of the sugar."
"Red velvet cake. I've had ones that were supposed to be excellent but it's just red cake."
"Most red velvet cakes are just s**tty vanilla cake with red food coloring. Get one (or make one) the correct way with non-Dutch-processed cocoa powder, buttermilk, and vinegar. It's an incredibly smooth, very different type of chocolate cake."
Mastery Makes a Difference
"Those multicolored cookie things that everyone was making into cakes or something for a while? Macaroons? Macarons? I don't think I've ever had one that tasted good. They're pretty, but that's it."
"Macarons. I never cared for them either."
"I had one yesterday at a potluck, homemade ones. They were seriously something else, with some sort of butter cream and jelly inside. Never had anything quite like it. Now I wish I had grabbed a few to take home."
"I still won't eat store-bought ones, though."
The Wrong Kind of Spice
"Hot Cheetos or Takis. Anything with the artificially colored spicy powder."
"Takis texture is my issue. They’re like semi-stale rolled-up Doritos."
The Sugar Cookies of the Midwest
"Those dry-a** Walmart sugar cookies."
"They taste like play-dough cookies came to life."
"I mean, people go crazy in both directions, but cilantro. There’s the whole 'does it taste like soap or not' thing, but it’s usually presented as 'people either think it tastes like soap or they find it amazing.'"
"I am neither. It doesn’t taste like soap to me, but I also don’t love it. Meh."
"I don't think it tastes like soap, but I do think it tastes weirdly metallic. I don't go out of my way to avoid it in pre-prepared food, but I usually leave it out of things I'm preparing myself."
Fancy Decor Only
"People like how fondant LOOKS. I refuse to believe a single soul wants to EAT it."
"It's like eating a candied raincoat."
Back for a Limited Time
"Every time it comes back, I’m SUPER excited for the McRib at McDonald's. I bite into one and then… the spongey texture hits me and makes me remember why I don’t need to buy it ever again."
"Then, somehow, McRib season rolls around again two years later, and there I am in line…"
"I'm convinced this is why they only bring it out every once in a while. Nobody actually likes it, but they wait just long enough for you to forget that it's no good and then hit you with a combo of nostalgia and 'limited time only' FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)."
A Seasonal Tradition
"Pumpkin spice. It’s fine, but absolutely not anything to make a fuss about."
"There is a car parts place in a small town I drive through to visit family, and last year on their reader board, they had: 'THEYRE BACK! PUMPKIN SPICE BRAKE PADS.'"
"And now I can never see anything pumpkin spice and not think about it, might have been my favorite reader board sign ever."
Pure Caffeine Addiction
"Energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster."
"I'm an avid Monster drinker, but I totally get it. I'm always trying new and interesting energy drinks I see, but so much of it is just garbage."
"The white Monster tastes like 90s Fresca to me and is the only energy drink I love."
"Can it be a beverage? Because I kind of hate IPAs but everyone else seems to love them. And I like beer, just not IPAs."
"I have nothing against people who want complex beers. It's just not for me. I want an easy as f**k to drink fizzy yellow beer for when it's hot out. And a nice smooth stout for all other times. When I want more complex flavors, I'll go for wine or scotch."
Just Too Expensive
"What about lobster? I can dig it with drawn butter and I ain’t mad at it. But f**k me if I’m gonna pay $29.99 for a lobster. I’d rather eat shrimp."
"Truffles. I paid $60 this weekend at an Italian restaurant for eight slivers on my pasta shaved in front of me. I barely tasted anything. I don't get the hype."
Improved Gut Health?
"Ah, yes, dirty pond water."
"Everyone goes crazy for caviar? Most people seem to dislike it."
"Though admittedly, people who do like it tend to like it a lot."
"That all being said, I really don't like it, either."
When it comes to food, to each their own, but it was interesting to see some undeniable fan favorites like pumpkin spice hit this list.
It just serves as a great reminder for a larger picture idea: Don't be unkind about the things that might bring someone else joy.
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!"
"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."
"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."
"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."
"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."
"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."
Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight
"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."
"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."
"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."
These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.
"I can buy clothes in any store I want."
"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."
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."
"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."
People Change Their Tune
"How much nicer people are to you."
"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"
"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 😅"
It's gonna take some getting used to.
"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."
"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."
"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."
"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."
"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."
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.