Top Stories

People Who've Run Away To Start A New Life Reveal Why They Had To Leave

People Who've Run Away To Start A New Life Reveal Why They Had To Leave

People Who've Run Away To Start A New Life Reveal Why They Had To Leave

[rebelmouse-image 18357814 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

Move over bankruptcy and name changes. These people made themselves vanish in order to start over. But why, and how? Were they successful? Here are some fascinating tales from people who left it all to begin anew.

PatientStick asked, [Serious] People who disappeared to start a new life, what is your story?

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

Working on a yacht in Tahiti? Living the dream, he is.

[rebelmouse-image 18357815 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

Currently disappearing. Got bored in the USA so I looked around for jobs on boats/yachts. I went from alcoholic construction worker to currently a deckhand on a private yacht circumnavigating the globe.

We're currently on our way to Tahiti and I'm excited.

Bail out now, tell everyone later. It's okay to focus on you.

[rebelmouse-image 18347913 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

I didn't really disappear, I just flew from the UK to Canada and didn't tell anyone until after.

I wanted a bit of time to make my mind up about what I was doing without any random emotional s*** getting in the way. My friends assumed I'd just f***ed off somewhere as it wasn't that uncommon for me to do.

Told most people where I was after about a month and 6 years later I'm still here.

Some bridges need to be burned.

[rebelmouse-image 18355470 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

Father started dating a new woman and suddenly became a massive POS. Emotional and verbal abuse, gaslighting, guilting me out of money by saying he couldn't make bills but then turning around and buying alcohol and new gadgets.. the works. I was stomaching it pretty well until it started to spread to my then 1.5-year-old son. There was one and only one incident of him going after my baby, and the very next day I was loading up a moving truck headed several states away. Thankfully I had made a good friend via an online game who opened up his home to us if we needed to escape.

Changed my number and haven't heard from my father or his gf since, though I was warned by the town sheriff that a man had been calling the police station asking about a girl from out of state that has recently moved into town, he saw my license plate and made the connection. I'll burn that bridge when I get to it.

It takes a lot of strength to do this. You don't need to stay in toxic relationships.

[rebelmouse-image 18357816 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

Here's the story. Was with someone who was emotionally abusive toward me. I let them isolate me from friends and family, moved across the country, gave up a lot to be with her. Married her, but I realized that things would likely never improve. One day I packed everything I could into a suitcase, told her it was over. I walked to the train station, got to the airport, called the police to let them know they had a potentiality suicidal person that they ought to check on and flew back home. I felt bad about it, but I'm an exponentially happier and healthier person for it.

Follow your instincts if they tell you to change your circumstances. It's not easy, but you don't get many chances happiness. Take them.

[rebelmouse-image 18357817 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

Basic breakup story I guess. I was in my early 20's and I'd been in a pretty lousy relationship for a few years (only really lousy the last 1.5 years). I'd done a lot to try and make the relationship work and it meant I was basically living paycheck to paycheck, working a lot of overtime at a bar.

Then in the space of a few months both my aunt died of cancer that was kind of expected and a family friend died suddenly, so I got in a worse place mentally and didn't have much left to put into the relationship. I was still working a lot of hours to pay our rent, but when I got home I was pretty depressed. My girlfriend was probably already pretty checked out I guess because she cheated pretty soon with a guy in our friendship group, and of course, that ended our relationship pretty suddenly. I moved in with 2 friends and she moved back to her parents.

I felt like I needed a change of scene so just started applying for jobs with loads of holiday companies and got an interview with a ferry company. By the time that came up, I was starting to move on with my life and wasn't so sure about leaving. Then I found out my ex had slept with or hit on pretty much all of my mates since we'd broken up and I decided to get out of dodge.

I never actually meant to leave and not come back or go dark or whatever. I just took the job, spent a summer working on ferries to clear my head with new people, out of all that craziness and went from there. Spent a couple of years working holiday seasons and traveling and then settled into a job and a routine elsewhere. Never looked back.

Changing your name is extreme, but it can provide closure, protection, and a fresh start.

[rebelmouse-image 18357818 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

Highly abusive family, grew up surprisingly well but absolutely bombed out of life when I turned 18. Finally got the guts up and saved a scant of money to change my name and get out of the state I lived in. Still struggling a lot, and I live in constant fear that someone will find me, but I can live a half decent life now. Still lots of psychological issues as a result of long-term traumas, but I'm on my own now and its the biggest relief

EDIT Thank you all for your support! Changing my name wasn't too tricky, I had to go in for a meeting with a Justice of Peace, and there was a fair fee (I didn't have a birth certificate because my family refused to hand it over). I was given an identity document that day and was posted my new birth certificate a week later.

This is pretty dramatic, actually.

[rebelmouse-image 18357819 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

Nothing dramatic. I left home at 16 homeless for a few months, lived with a Gf's family for a couple of years. Mum told the family that I'd stolen money so they cut all ties with me (I hadn't, my mums an arse). I stopped contacting friends because I was dirt poor and couldn't afford a phone.

Three years after I left I started using my first name (in Muslim culture every guy is bloody named Mohamed so we used my middle name for my early life). I moved to a new town newly single, got my dream job and made new friends, got in touch with the old ones and got on with my new life.

Unfortunately homophobia is still rampant in rural America.

[rebelmouse-image 18357820 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

I grew up in a tiny semi-isolated American town I'm going to refer to as Hell. I hated the place. I was bullied from the minute we moved there until the minute I left. I was above the level of the high school classes by my freshman year, but -- isolated. No other school. I've got no issue with my parents, but the majority of my extended family is extremely homophobic and would probably disown me if they didn't depend on my dad for money. I was basically just trying to hold it together until I graduated.

When I was 15, I applied to be a foreign exchange student (basically just out of desperation to get out of Hell). Left a few days after I turned 16. I was popular in my new school, I was much less of an angry person when I wasn't getting screamed at all day five days a week, it was just so much better. I was doing college applications by the end of my year there and just realized there was no way I could ever go back. I ended up going to the UK to study law. I was still getting harassed online by people from Hell, so I started going by my middle name. I'm doing alright now though.

I guess I didn't truly "disappear" because some people know where I am, but I'd basically started over twice in two different countries by the time I turned 18. I have trouble with the idea of staying in one place and my mom has to talk me out of moving every time things don't go perfectly smoothly, but I'm sure I'm a lot better of a person than I would have been if I'd stayed.

This is why we celebrate Mother's Day.

[rebelmouse-image 18357821 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

When my sister and I were young, my mom was engaged to an abusive man. One morning she dropped us off at school and said this would be our last day, make sure you say goodbye to your friends.

When she picked us up from school, we went directly to the airport and flew to California to live with some family. At the time we'd been living in Michigan.

Racism is a plague and needs to be stopped.

[rebelmouse-image 18357822 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

At 17 I had started to date my now current boyfriend of almost 6 years. It was the end of his senior year / my junior year.

-backstory- My mother is 28 years younger than my father and she left him when I was in 7th grade. My father somehow got custody. Story for another time I suppose.

Father is old, born in 1943 old. So he's also a racist. After mom split I went to school and then came home and did nothing. No summer plans, no friends, no after-school activities.

Somehow a friend of S.O. Had posted a picture of us together on Fb and my little brother got wind of it and my dad kicked me out about 2 months before I turned 18 because my boyfriend is black and I am white. I showed the school messages of him threatening to kill me and bf if he ever saw either of us. Cops got involved and deemed that I had to return to my father's house until I was 18. I obviously didn't die, made it through the last three weeks of school, attended my graduation that he wouldn't show up to and never went back. Haven't seen or heard from him or anyone from high school since. There are many more complicated details but that's the gist.

I now hold a stable job since I graduated high school, waited a year and saved up at bfs parents house, then we got our own apartment, our own car, we live frugally and save as much as we can and live comfortably below our means. We both went back to college two years ago and attend part-time because we both work 32 hours a week and I like to think that my f_cked up 'childhood' is pretty far behind me and that I'm adulting really well despite my odds.

It's not selfish to leave if your partner is beyond reproach. It is however important to help as much as they'll let you.

[rebelmouse-image 18357824 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

I left someone who regularly threatened suicide, best decision I ever made.

Addiction is a nasty disease, and in Mexico, the cartels are ruthless.

[rebelmouse-image 18357825 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

Throwaway time.

15 years ago I was a heavy drug user. I was 25 back then and before using drugs I had a good job and I was being paid well. My so-called best friend introduced me to drugs and while at first, I was hesitant to use them, I thought 'what the hell, what's the worst that can happen?'

Needless to say, I started using more and more and I was spending a few thousand every week on drugs. I started showing less for work until eventually I was fired. I had some money saved up so I wasn't too worried at first until my addiction took most of that money.

Since I always used the same dealer and had already given him thousand of pesos, he told me I had 'good credit' with him and he would give me some drugs but I had to pay him every week. So we did that and it worked for a while until I couldn't pay him every week. I started owing him more and more until eventually, he told me he couldn't give me anymore until I had money on me and could pay him. So one day I was really desperate and broke into his house late at night. I knew he had guns so I was very careful not to wake him up when I was breaking in. Once inside I grabbed a baseball bat he had and started beating him with it. I left him in pretty bad shape and took his money and some drugs I found. At the time I didn't know he was with a cartel so I pretty much stole from the cartel. They started looking for me and word on the street was that they wanted to kill me. So with the money I stole from the dealer I decided the best thing to do was to run away to the U.S. I didn't tell anybody, I decided to travel to the Tijuana and find a 'coyote' there who could pass me. 7 days later I was already in the US.

I left everything back home, my family, friends, memories but most important my addiction. When I made the choice to leave the country I told myself I wasn't gonna do drugs again since my life got out control since I started using drugs.

So yeah, it's been 15 years clean. I have an ok job and a great family here. I'm probably a wanted man by the cartel back in Mexico.

The only person who has control over your life is YOU.

[rebelmouse-image 18357826 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

Left my hometown of 10 years because I was ruining my life spending all my money on smoking and being a general loser.

I drove alone 3500+km to start new with no job, house, or money. I landed a job working in a remote community the day after I arrived at my destination, spent 3 months working there before I came back to society and started working in Disability.

Fast forward 5 years and I'm happily married with enough money for a deposit on a house, a new car I go to the gym 6 days a week and have traveled overseas multiple times with the love of my life.

Canadians are so classy, jeez.

[rebelmouse-image 18357827 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

I didn't "disappear" in terms of changing my identity or am doing anything secret. But I did disappear from everyone I knew from "back home" fairly suddenly.

I grew up in a medium-sized town in Canada. A fairly laid back city with a good university culture but not much to do in terms of anything else. I got sick of the cold winters, sick of the lack of culture, sick of the social negativity, sick of the lack of opportunity (Youth under/unemployment is a serious thing in Canada), etc.

Decided to move to Paris. Enrolled in a prestigious business school and got in. Within a month I said goodbye to friends, packed up my stuff and got the hell out.

I've lived in Paris, Milan, and parts of UK for the past 5 years and loving it. I'm making great money and because the £&€ is so high compared to the tanking Canadian dollar I can make investments back in Canada fairly easily.

My life is completely different compared to my life in Canada. I can travel to cool European cities very cheaply, enjoy interesting conversation with people from around the world, enjoy mild Winters, and a positive social environment where people root for each other.

One of the things I didn't like about living in Canada is that it was normal for people to try and tear each other down and talk behind people's back. I don't experience that here.

Edit: I'm still very proud to be from Canada and enjoy visiting family and friends. I wouldn't change my journey thus far for anything. But the Winters and lifestyle just weren't for me. Canada is still a great place. I don't mean to come across as trashing the country

This sounds amazing, honestly. Why be tied down in one place?

[rebelmouse-image 18357828 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

Haven't disappeared, but I tend to start a new life every few years.

I get bored where I am and want something new and different. New places, new experiences, new people, new things to learn.

I look for a new job, pack up, and move wherever it is, or someplace just to a new place without the job yet, but I prefer having the job lined up first. Sometimes overseas, sometimes within the same country. Preferably overseas whenever the opportunity arises.

Grew up moving ridiculously frequently and seeing a lot of different places. That's stuck with me.

Given that I can work anywhere, maybe I should do this. Who's in?

[rebelmouse-image 18357829 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

I was working a successful corporate job straight out of college for several years, and not exactly struggling but not thriving either. A series of bizarre events occurred in my personal life (and within the government...) that made me realize life is too short, too random and all too often dictated by people who don't have your best interest at heart to be stuck doing something that doesn't make you happy if it's not absolutely critical to your survival.

After mulling it over for a bit, I told friends and family I was moving overseas, quit my job, tied up loose ends and got on a plane to another country with no job and a backpack full of clothing. However, I had decent savings and am accustomed to living cheaply so I wasn't entirely unprepared.

So far I've traveled to numerous countries with old friends and relative strangers met people doing things no one was doing back home, gone on beautiful hikes through mountains, swam under waterfalls, snorkeled off multiple coasts, and so many more adventures. I live in a city where I don't need a car, I've been progressing on learning a new language, I finally figured out the direction I want to go in life and am taking active steps to get there, and I feel like I've matured at least five years in the past twelve months.

There are certainly trade-offs: instability, options for job positions, and what the foreseeable future looks like, but if I had the option to redo the last year of my life, I would make the choice to leave every time.

Remember that family isn't defined by blood, and no family is better than a toxic family. Set yourself free.

[rebelmouse-image 18355605 is_animated_gif= dam=1 expand=1]

My parents divorced when I was 16. It was both of their second marriage after like 18 years or something. My mother (adoptive, nonetheless) became abusive as soon as my dad left the state. So I disappeared. I went to Atlanta, Georgia by myself. I took a taxi to New York City and took a cheap $40 Chinese bus ride down to Beaufort Highway and almost immediately found a job in tech repair. Was down there for 24 months before I moved to the same state as my dad. During those 2 years, I didn't talk with anybody in my whole family. People were concerned. I didn't care. My brother went into the Navy when I was like 12 and became a juiced up meathead douche. My sister was always controlling and verbally abusive. I can't say I'd be sad if they were gone. I filed a restraining order against my mother after she kept harassing me over text, call, and email. Best decision I ever made.

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.