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People Who Disappeared To Start A New Life Tell Us Where They Are Now.

Have you ever dreamed of leaving it all and getting a fresh start? You don't tell anyone where you're going you just go. It sounds like the tagline of a good movie. But for some people, it's reality. These people all embarked on the adventure of shirking their identity and starting anew. Thank you to everyone who contributed their story.

1. Everyone who I knew before 9/11 thinks I am dead. I changed my whole identity because I couldn't stand my life. Little back story first. My parents are very rich, my dad is a surgeon and mom owns a very expensive clothing store. I got married at 24, right after I finished my senior year at Brown, we lived pretty happily for a while, then I went to Law school and the whole thing started to crumble.

I was studying a lot, extremely busy and never had time to go home, so I guess it was partially my fault. As the years passed, my wife and I started to drift apart, we had sex maybe once a month, wife stopped talking to me about her personal stuff we still made small talk about the news, neighbors, and stuff but when I asked about her issues I was always met with, "Everything is fine, honey."

Then, suddenly we had a baby and I thought everything would get better but it only made it worse. My wife started accusing me of cheating on her. Our relationship went downhill very fast. Meanwhile, my parents stopped talking to me. My dad said I wasn't living up to his expectations and my mom took his side. Basically, my life was crap.

In the last 5-6 months before 9/11 my life became a routine that I just needed to do. Every day became harder to wake up. Then, a few weeks before 9-11 I discovered my wife had been cheating on me for the last 7 years and our 6 year old daughter wasn't mine. I didn't know what to do I was seriously lost.

Then 9/11 happened.

My firm was located in the North building. I was at a client's house looking over some files when I heard the news. At first I freaked out, naturally. My coworkers and friends were in that building. Then it dawned on me everyone probably thinks I'm dead. I was standing there and thinking the same thing over and over again and every time I thought it I felt such a weight off my shoulders, such a relief.

I took a cab to Garden City and just went into a bar, sipped beer while watching the news, stayed there until it closed. I was about to go home when I had a thought: "Why should I go home? I'm dead!"

I took a bus to a small town near Niagara Falls. My parents had a small house there that they never stayed at. I spent the night there, then went to a bank and took out all my savings from my personal account (about 80k).

I went to Canada.

I now live in a small RV park in Ontario. I changed my name and my appearance. I live a very modest life and I couldn't be happier. Every year on 9/10, I go to NYC and visit all the places that I went to on the day I set myself free. I go the bar, tip the bartender $100, visit ground zero, and take a quick peek at the place where my ex-wife lives with her new husband. I always imagine going up to the door and knocking, telling her it's me, and seeing the look of shock on her face, but I never do.

- Anonymous

2. I moved from the United States to Taiwan. And, while I will likely only be here for a couple of years, it's amazing how much it helped. It cured the depression I never even realized I had.

I never realized I was "depressed" in the United States. I mean, I wasn't sad all the time. I had friends. I did well at a top tier university. None of that characterizes a depressed person, right?! But, I never felt very excited about anything. I just felt as if though I was going from box to box, looking for happiness. Wake up, get in my car. Drive to class. Leave class, go to a restaurant. Go home. Want to have some fun? Meet friends in a bar. It was all driving in a box to another box and convincing myself it all mattered. I just thought that's what life was, and the fact that I was always sorta "meh" was what being human was.

Then, I got a grant to move to Taiwan, and I did it. (Continued)

Continue this story on the next page.

I don't really know how to explain it, but I suddenly feel like a person for the first time. There is a large, large, LARGE sense of community here. I feel like things matter. I don't just drive from place to place, eating at identical restaurants. I realize I am perhaps being a bit cryptic here, but it just feels like things "matter" more here. Go out to eat? It's not always going to be a chain restaurant that looks like all the other chain restaurants, due to all the building codes and ADA regulations. I might find myself in a bit of a shack, run by a family for decades, where people pour their heart and soul into the food. I know I am being general here, and I KNOW that "real" restaurants exist in the US, too. But, in general, I feel like Americans have traded variety for security. We like the security of knowing we can travel to another state and find the same 10 restaurants. We like the security of strict building codes, knowing that all the door handles are the same design in case of an emergency. And, of course, there are merits to all of this.

For example, in Taiwan, people will park all over the sidewalks, and you often find yourself dodging around parked cars when walking, into the street. As an American, I sometimes freak out and think, "WHY ARE THEY MAKING PEDESTRIANS WALK IN THE ROAD?! JERKS. THIS IS A SIDEWALK! AAARGH!" And, this isn't about sidewalks.

But this draws to a larger metaphor. In America, you'll get a ticket in a second for parking on a sidewalk, and pedestrians never have to worry about walking around cars on a sidewalk. To me, that is trading variety for security - we want to make sure every road is safe and "up to code," and as a result, all you ever see are empty sidewalks. In Taiwan, just walking down a block can be a fascinating experience, as you never quite know what you'll see. I worked in an un-air-conditioned building in Taiwan's 100 degree summer, and I was sweating all the time. As an American, it bothered me so much, and I took several showers a day. Then you realize, "I'm human, it's hot, I'm sweating... so what?" It's that overall mindset and general ideology that "freed" me in Taiwan, and made me feel like a person again. I'd rather just live, rather than attempting to set up a utopia of safety and comfort.

So, me? Personally? Hopping on my scooter, driving through slightly-un-okay-level dangerous streets, not knowing if I can always find "that restaurant I like," and knowing that every street will bring something completely new (good or bad).... It changed my life, honestly.

I am pre-preemptively worried that someone will misunderstand this as a Taiwan vs. America argument, which it isn't. If you can be as happy as I am right now in America, then more power to you. I am legitimately happy for you. But me? I can't. I needed a change. And, it wasn't until I made the change that I realized how badly I needed it. If you feel like you need a change, maybe you should just do it. Something like moving to the other side of the planet may seem insane and almost impossible. Well, it is. And that is exactly why you should probably be doing it.


3. I have an uncle who attempted suicide four times and failed. For his fifth, people were pleading with him to try anything else. I went to a park with him and smoked a joint and he told me he was planning on killing himself again. We sat in silence and jokingly, I suggested he just start over. (Continued)

Continue this story on the next page.

If his life was bad enough to end, then he could end his life that he's living and just starting a new one, in maybe Arizona or somewhere far away.

Two months later I heard he left out of state and got a new phone and maybe a new name. I found an M&M container with a thank you note and three perfect joints a couple weeks after that.

I'm sure he's doing ok.


4. I didn't have to fake my death, but I was an active heroin addict in my old life so I guess it's possible that people think I'm dead or in jail. I got lucky not to be.

When I got clean I also moved a few hundred miles and cut ties with everyone except my family. It's much easier to stay clean living somewhere without a ton of history of drug use, no reminders. I also am in a new college.

Overall it's pretty good; I have a quiet and productive life, not much socially but I have people I can call if I feel the urge to not be alone. Loneliness is an issue but I try to remember that it's better than living like I used to and isolating myself with erratic behavior.

So overall I'm pretty content with the whole "fresh start" deal.


5. A bit more than seven years ago I got denied from every Ivy League law school I tried for, leading to an existential personal crisis. I did it all right and still failed. After two months working in a kitchen in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, I realized I was trying to go to Law School because I had never actually considered what I wanted to do. I took all my savings, a tiny loan from my parents and moved to South America.

After 6 months I got a corporate job (I spoke Spanish already). Then I started a business. The business exploded. I sold the business. I was in Argentina for 3 years, based there while traveling most of Latin America, and Brazil for nearly a year. I mastered Spanish and became fluent in Portuguese. Came back to the USA for a year, taught a little Spanish in a charter school and consulted for a few companies. A year ago I took a job in China, Im still here. What happened next was incredible. (Continued)

Continue reading this story on the next page.

Ive made a bunch of money and met a ton of people. Ive lived with a kind of autonomy and sovereignty over what I do every single day that I could never have imagined as a college student headed for law school. I see possibilities and value so many things that the old me didnt notice or value. I've had a few beautiful relationships. Ive been published and paid for writing almost a dozen times now. Im at complete peace with my career, my lifes trajectory, and money. I no longer see money as a goal but as a means to do what I want to do TODAY. Abandoning the path I was on and going off into the unknown was the best thing I ever did. It is still the primary experience that defines the path that Im on.

In March-September 2015, I'm filming a travel, surfing, rock climbing, and rural culture documentary with some old friends. My job on the team is 'scout,' I'll be riding a motorcycle ahead of the production crew to scout locations and conduct pre-interviews. When my contract in China ends, Im taking a year off to travel and write a book that already has a publisher while I wait for the documentary to start.

My parents miss me and I miss them. I've seen my sister 4 times in almost 10 years. I've lost nearly all of my American friendships, although I've managed to retain a handful of the most important ones. I'm 27.


6. My uncle disappeared (disembarked off cruise ship, didn't come back). Nobody heard from him.

He reappeared 30 years later and asked to borrow money. Got money, disappeared again.


7. Faked a big move and cut ties with family and friends. I live about 20miles from my old home and kept my job. It has been 2 years and my anonymity remains intact. Happy life without the drugs, drama and abuse. Still keep in contact with my little brother, but that's it. Everybody thinks I now live in Russia.


8. A few months ago, I threw my hands in the air, said "To hell with it," and moved several states away. (Continued)

Continue reading this story on the next page.

The fresh start is awesome, and I'm so much happier now. I have just about everything I've ever wanted here, and I love the fact that I don't have to relive ancient history every time I pass a landmark that reminds me of something.

Just cut ties with whoever is causing you grief, regardless of who they are or what their impact on your life is. Excise the tumor, and then pick up and go. Don't ever let them back in, either...because cancer spreads.


9. I didn't do anything drastic like change a name or fake a death; I merely chose to cut out the terrible people in my life. My father abused me growing up. While coming to terms with this as a young adult, I tried to kill myself. After leaving the mental hospital he mocked me. That was when I saw the light and decided to cut him out. A year or two after that my mom decided to a) uninvite me to christmas, and b) kicked me out the day before the holiday when she realized I didn't intend to go. I left, she changed the locks. I decided to leave totally, and merely left town, blocking everyone there on my fb (didn't want my whereabouts getting back to my family.) I live within an hour's distance, never had a run in since. No regrets.


10. This has been pretty much my way of living for the past 10 years.

Every few years I pack up, move countries and start new. Burner phones, changing emails, and no social network accounts.

I don't really have a reason for it, I just enjoy being a vagabond and seeing places.

I grew up moving country to country as a child, and when I turned 16-17 it just seemed a natural way of living. I've hit around 150 countries so far, and lived in over 20.

I'm still young, and I work in all these places. (surf instructor, running hostels, bartender, teacher, etc.)


11. I dropped everything and left without telling anyone where I was going. I hardly packed anything, just grabbed what I needed and left the state. I go by a different name now and I have no regrets. I was in a terrible place and now I'm so much happier.

I think the only difficult thing is how to figure out who I am now. I spent so much time living for the people around me that I didn't even know who I was. Do I even really like to bowl? Is this really how I want to dress? But I get to re-learn and re-explore myself slowly and it's a wonderful journey.


12. I was always the one that my 'friends' would pick on. Got high grades, so got called the nerd. Had a boyfriend, was labelled as the slut. Travelled a bit, suddenly I'm a snob. Wanted to go study something other than education or nursing (the standard fields they all chose), they accuse me of thinking I'm better than I really am. This went on for 9 years. Didn't matter if whatever they picked on me about was something one of them also did, I was the punching bag. Obviously as a young girl stuff like this has an influence on how you see yourself, so by the time we were in our final year in school, I practised my hobbies in secret, didn't really engage in social activities, kept to myself, always scared of what they will think. I internalized everything, it got to a point where I cut myself in secret (that's a story for another day).

Finally while on holiday in the middle of my matric year, I met a group of people (eclectic and weird bunch of hippies, they were awesome) who I hung out with for the three weeks I was away. They were all so different but they fit in so well with each other because they respected the fact that everyone needs to be their own person. That's when I decided eff this, I'm done with all the crap, and I'm done with the people. What I did next I never thought I'd do in a million years. (Continued)

Continue reading this story on the next page.

So I spoke to my parents, told them my plans, and they agreed to let me do it. After school I moved 1500km away from where I grew up. Lived in residence at varsity, studied what I wanted to without the constant negativity. I met my now best friends there, they're wonderful. I know more about who I am now (still learning a lot) and I'm not afraid to be myself anymore. It's so freeing.

I never told anyone there where I went or that I was leaving. It's been 6 years without them and with no contact with anyone from my home town. It's the best thing I've ever done for myself. My parents moved from there the same year that I left as well. I've never been happier.

My only regret is that it took me so long to realized how poisonous those people were to my health.


13. When I was 17 I up and moved a few states away. Didn't tell a single soul.

I was sick of being picked on and harassed. I had a drug problem, my friends were all dying, my mom died when I was young, and my dad left me after she died, so I was taken into foster care. After I was taken into foster care I was homeschooled, and never got the social integration that I so badly needed. I was isolated to the foster family. They refused to let me hang out with anyone, have friends, girlfriends, etc. I started acting out at like 14/15 years old, doing drugs and dumb stuff to feel like a person. My lack of social skills got me beat up and stepped over every day. I just wanted a friend though. Anyone I would hang out with would steal my money, or talk behind my back...this, that....I guess the teenage experience.

So one day, I decided to just leave.

I had a lot of people that knew me, I had family, not a real mom or dad, but I do have blood relatives. And...yeah....

The story is pretty messed up.

I had a realization that anyone I cared about was dead, and I would be too, because if I didn't destroy myself, I'd kill myself. So, I decided to grab a bag of clothes and hop on the next train out. No money, not even a wallet. Just a small duffell with a blanket and about two days worth of clothes. I snuck on the train, went 4 hours, and got off when I felt like it. I begged for bus money, and slept on the street and random strangers couches for about a year.

The rest of the story is kind of boring, just a lot of struggling. But I will say, it was the best choice I ever made.

I have my own place, a new car, I got my GED, got to college, work as an EMT, and also work at MIT. None of that would have been possible without leaving. It was refreshing. Nobody knew me. I wasn't a failure to people up here. I wasn't that weird kid. I wasn't being bullied to the point of thinking about suicide. Nobody really knew my situation, well, anyone I was talking to as friends anyways. But that doesn't matter now. People don't matter to me. I concentrate on my own life, my own well being.

I'm content with reaching my goals, and being the person I aim to be, on a daily basis. Someone who is there for whoever needs it, as a shoulder to cry on, a door to be opened, a person to vent to, a couch to crash on.


14. I closed my Facebook account in March and it really put my "friendships" in a different perspective. It felt like, for a lot of people, I was gone. I now have about 5 close friends who still keep in touch after I deleted it, everyone else seemed to trickle out of my life.



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.