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Parents Who've Adopted A Child Older Than Five Share Whether They Regret It Or Not

Adopting a child isn't an easy choice. It can be prohibitively expensive. It can also be quite taxing both mentally and emotionally. There's also the matter of which type of child to adopt. Do you go with a baby or toddler? How about one significantly older than that? Each child comes with their own unique parenting challenges.

After Redditor ComplexPick asked the online community, "Parents who have adopted a older child (5 and up), how has it gone for you? Do you regret it or would you recommend other parents considering adoption look into a older child?" people explained how their lives have gone since they made the fated decision.

Hell yes! 

I adopted a 15 year old, he was hell on wheels and made a lot of really poor choices. He's now 20, and I am so proud of the man he became. It was a horrible time trying to get him to understand that abuse isn't love and that we wanted the best for him, but he's doing great now and is working really hard to create a loving family of his own.

Do I suggest adopting older kids? Hell yes! The biggest reason is because I grew up in foster care, all I wanted was my own family, its hard, its taxing, and you have a lot of rewiring to treat their hurts and make them better so they know you're not going to do the same to them but every minute is worth it! TYRwargod


I adopted an older child and the only part I regret was agreeing to an open adoption with the birthparents, separate bi-annual visits with bio mom and bio dad. Each and every visit was sheer hell on earth, from the build up to the fall out after. I regret nothing about adopting an older child and would do it again in a heartbeat, but I would do a closed adoption. DavisSquared

27 years later......

I'm asking because I adopted my daughter when she was age 10. It was pure hell to begin with as it was not shared with us she had serious psychological issues. After 7 years of therapy and many many tears, we had a breakthrough. Now 27 years later, I was asked if I recommended doing it. I was at a lost if I should have been honest or just say yes because once you get past the issues that will surely arise, it's a wonderful thing to do. ComplexPick

Proud Dad.   

My experience adopting is one of the greatest experiences I could describe to you, and if you want kids, I strongly recommend you look into it.

My kids were siblings aged 7, 4, and 6 months, so it was never unknown to them. The bio parents abused them and things were a bit tough at first, but other than matters of faith, it is the most rewarding thing I've ever done.

Proud Dad.

My oldest is a student at Purdue and is studying abroad in Ireland right now. My middle daughter will be attending Purdue in the fall. My youngest is learning Japanese in middle school right now, and I suspect she'll go to either IU or Purdue when she graduates high school.

Proud Dad. waiform

She's now 12. 

We adopted a five year old girl. She's now 12. Don't regret it at all. But it has been extremely hard.

She has been diagnosed with PTSD, Reactive Attachment Disorder and most recently bipolar disorder. She has been in therapy since we adopted her. Much has improved, but she still has extreme anger issues. She has run away from home three times. She has been inpatient psych twice. Her school has reported us to DHR.

(When she gets out of control we have to restrain her to prevent her from hurting herself or us. She told her teacher about an incident when we had to restrain her so they reported it and a social worker showed up at our door that night).

I wouldn't recommend adopting an older child to someone unless I know they are willing to put in the work. Love doesn't cure all. Brandysheanix

You'll be better off...

I don't regret it and I do recommend other parents look into older children. There are an abundance of children who need loving parents.

We adopted two siblings and we also have two biological children. Our biological children were 9 and 7 when we adopted our 5 & 4-year-old children. That was 11 years ago.

Best advice: embrace an open adoption BUT adopted parents fully control any contact.

Our kid's biological mother has been a huge help in counseling our kids. They misremembered so many details about how and why we adopted them that lead to blame against us and challenges in our relationship. They have a fierce loyalty to their biological mom that's decreased over time as she's openly reminded them how unfit she was.

It wasn't a cake walk, but we are all much better-off than we were when we stumbled into this. roonerspize

Parents Explain Which Things Surprised Them Most When Their Child Moved Out | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

Family Experience. 

My wife and I adopted a 16 year old boy over a year ago. We originally went in thinking we are going to adopt much younger, but when we started reviewing profiles there were a large number of teenagers in the mix. Most people adopting children are looking for the full parental experience. For some, adoption is their only chance at raising a child, so I can kind of understand the desire to adopt a young child.

The result is that the older children are skipped over. It's heartbreaking, as many unadopted kids 'exit the system' at 18 and almost all of their supports disappear. We kept running into these profiles and it was impossible to ignore them. We were adopting to expand our family, already having kids of our own, so parenting wasn't new to us. He's been a great addition and has blended really well. bfarrgaynor

It has gone mostly well.

I have adopted six kids four were between 7 and 13 (a sibling set) and then two that were younger. 3 and 5 (a different sibling set).

It has gone mostly well. There has been a lot of therapy and issues due to past abuse.

The hardest part has been earning how to redefine what it means to be a successful parent. It is also challenging discovering deficiencies in their upbringing

I did learn how to do creative parenting. YeahIprobablydidit

The Siblings. 

We adopted a sibling group of 5. They were 12, 10, 9, 8 & 3. We are only 2.5 years in and the first 2 years were just pure chaos. It's like a cycle of trial and error as well as them testing us. Each child is growing at their own rate and making great progress and healing. 5giantsandaweenie

Never too Late...

My husband and I unexpectedly adopted a 17 year old. She was on drugs and a downhill spiral. So we gave her a place full of love, therapy, help, therapy, rehab, and more therapy with love.

She healed and became a part of our family.

It is kinda odd being only nine and ten years older than your kid but she is still our kid.

Also we are a gay couple and knew basically next to nothing about females and their "monthly needs". She never had a loving and stable household with men that didn't hurt her in emotionally and physical ways.

So it was one big old learn process for the three of us.

But we made it work and now we are like any other family. SurpriseThere1

Worth the Pennies....

My wife and I took in a 17 year old 4 months after we got married at 24 and 27. 2 years in, we are very happy with our decision. We walked her through everything: learning to drive, getting her first bank account, getting enrolled in college, the death of her father and mother, getting counseling, estate planning, taxes, and numerous health issues. It has been worth every minute and dollar we have spent to know we have gained a daughter and changed what life will look like for her and generations to follow. ThisIsNowAUsername

He was 9...

I feel I got lucky. He was 9 when we adopted him, but he was just grateful to have a home and people who loved him. My wife and I love him dearly as he does us. TyrannoDragon

"My son has complex trauma..."

My pre-adoptive son just moved in 6 weeks ago. He's almost 10. Him getting here has been a bit of a long and wild story but he's been in care since he was 6. It hasn't been easy but there's SO many older kids who need families. My biggest thing is just to make DAMN sure you're committed. Know your limits. Be honest with yourself and your adoption coordinator. And demand honesty from the social worker as well. Ask for psych evals and treatment histories. Because if you convince yourself "Oh I can handle this" and you change your mind? You are re-traumatizing that child.

My son has complex trauma from years of abuse but the thing he talks about most after his meltdowns? Having to leave his first pre-adoptive home because he kept losing his temper and throwing things. He's been in 4-5 placements and a PRTF since then.

I work with girls involved in juvenile justice so I felt uniquely prepared for this situation and even for me, it's been physically and emotionally exhausting. I'm a single parent and we're in the middle of a global pandemic so I'm sure that's a factor. But if you choose to adopt there shouldn't be any "changing your mind" or "this just isn't working out". That kiddo is part of your family. My son and I have a little mantra "together forever. Even when things get hard, even when things get sad."


"I took guardianship..."

I took guardianship of my sons half sister when she was 14. Her mother was a pushover who didn't know how to handle her so she was put into the system.

I knew she wasn't a bad kid, so I stepped in and said I'd take her. It was rough that first year. She tested the boundaries a lot until she realized that I wasn't going to give up on her. I think it also helped that her baby brother adored her and my parents welcomed her with open arms. We found her a good therapist that she clicked with and that really helped her work through her issues. She finished school with good grades, met her boyfriend who is wonderful with her. She has kids of her own now and is a fantastic mother. Best decision I ever made was taking her in.


"We adopted..."

We adopted a 15 year old girl, after raising three bio kids to adulthood. It has been good but quite different from what we expected. 15 year olds are not " fully formed" but almost. She is a nice smart kid. But also got pregnant, hid it for 4 months. Had a beautiful baby. We expected to finish high school and hold down a part time job, save some money which she would need to become independent after graduation ( her goal) She moved 1000 miles away. Took up with kind of a rough crowd. Was immersed in a druggy thiefy homeless group that made her fear that her son would end up removed and back in the foster care system.

For now the baby is with us. Almost 2 Babies are a lot of work but also a lot of joy and laughter. We are about 60. Occasionally I think " this is not what we signed up for" but in reality it is exactly what we signed up for. Most folks when they have a kid or multiple kids have a bunch of expectations. Part of what makes it interesting is that the kids come with their own personalities, software, journeys, whatever you want to call it. Can make for a wild interesting 20 years.


"She was challenging to raise..."

We adopted our eldest daughter at 10. We actually adopted her baby half sister first. After the mom met us (since we were doing this via foster care) she asked if we'd adopt her other daughter too. She had been in and out of foster care most of her life, and her bio mom selflessly made the decision to let her go for stability and safety. We definitely weren't planning to adopt an older child, we already had a 6 year old biological child, but after meeting the 10 year old, we knew we'd want her to be a part of our family. It's been 16 years and it definitely hasn't always been easy, but we have no regrets. We love our daughter like our "own."

She was challenging to raise the first few years, definitely had some trust issues with us and some deep seeded abandonment issues. Family therapy helped. Every once in awhile (like once every few years or so), these issues resurface. She still struggles with depression and anxiety. Id be lying if I said this doesn't worry me, it does, but she seems to have a handle on it. She's always been incredibly smart and talented. She just finished her masters degree, has had a successful career thus far, and she's engaged to a wonderful man (they were supposed to get married this summer, now we aren't sure. Thanks covid!) It's almost odd that she has really excelled in everything she's ever tried (she thinks it's mostly due to good luck). We call her (half jokingly) "our achiever". Some of her success was due to our parenting I'm sure , but most of it is just her and how she's wired. I'm proud to be her mom.


"We chose to adopt..."

My wife and I are a little older, so when we decided to adopt we opted for an older child for a host of reasons, one being it made more sense for us financially (healthy infant adoptions are crazy expensive for average people like us, plus the long waits, etc) and also because our hearts went out for older children whom society generally wants to look over and forget. These kids need a home too.

We chose to adopt from the foster care system. This meant taking the same set of classes as standard aspiring foster parents, so even though we had no intention of becoming actual foster parents we learned what they learn and became legitimate foster parents.

We took in a troubled 13 year old girl. I won't tell her personal story of how she got into the system, except to say it was not as one might expect. We stuck through it with her. There were lots of twists and turns in her story and we found out the hard way that she was not, in fact, clear for adoption months into the process; so we became what we wanted to avoid, foster parents instead of adoptive parents. I'll never forget during one of the regularly scheduled court appearances we were obligated to go to, of having the court workers review her story to the court and later having random people sob in the back from listening to it, and tell us "We will pray for you."

She was angry at the world for her situation. Angry at her bio mom for abandoning her. Angry at the system for 'forgetting' her for so many years. She lashed out at us many times as well, thinking we would just give up on her. I'll never forget her slamming the door to her room and screaming at my wife "I HATE YOU!" over and over, and my wife barely holding it together and saying "I love you anyway" each time.

My wife and I had moments of despair. When one of us would grow weak and say we couldn't do this anymore and maybe we should consider giving up, the other would remind us well what would we do in this situation if she were our child? and we would nod, and press on.

One day, about a year and a half in, this child turned to me while I was driving her somewhere and said, "I don't want to go back to my bio mom. I want you. I want you to be my dad" and I, a grow man, broke down and wept.

The adoption went final when she was 15 (yes, it was that long of a process, but the actual adoption took all of 5 minutes in a judges chamber, for which this girl quipped, "That's it? Just the stroke of a pen? Hell I'd have lent you a pen years ago!") People who didn't know us back then honestly are surprised to learn she was adopted. She's an honor graduate from high school now, and is planning to attend college in the fall for nursing. We couldn't be more proud of this child, our daughter.


"Even with the struggle..."

Teen years were rough. It's hard to be a kid again after having to parent yourself and younger siblings. But now that she is an adult, things are better and calmer for us all.

I would 100% recommend it. Even with the struggle, my child is a huge blessing and I can't imagine life without her in it. She is one of the strongest people I know.


I've been a foster parent for four years (have fostered birth to 15, about 20 kids total) and I've worked as an advocate for foster/adoptive parents for two.

I adopted my son last year after he had been with me for almost a year in foster care. He was 5, so still pretty young. He is autistic and nonverbal. His mom has severe mental health issues and he had been homeless his whole life before coming into care. He was wandering the street in a diaper and nothing else in November when he was found by police.

I've never regretted adopting him for a second. He's wonderful. He's ridiculously bright and funny and sweet. I love him more than I knew I could love anyone. We have many difficult days (or weeks). I gave up a lot of things to be his dad (I'm only 27) - it's hard to find a sitter for him, his daycare keeps him in the baby room, he can't always go out to the store or anywhere loud/crowded, etc. But I adjusted and I don't regret it.

From my work side, I can say I have encountered many adoptive parents who regret adopting. Usually these are folks who adopted little ones, like birth to two, and when those kids start exhibiting "big behaviors," having trouble in school, needing psych hospitalization, getting involved with juvenile justice - that's when they call me and ask how to give them back. (Jsyk, there are no givebacks unless you're willing to accept criminal charges.) [Edit: This is not true for all places. Some places have civil charges and some have nothing.]

I often see people say they want to foster teens, which is amazing and I will never get in the way of that because it is so needed. I want those people to talk to people who foster teens before they do it. It's very hard. Not just "hard" like remodeling your bathroom or getting a work project done. There's no finish line. It's always a struggle.

There are lots of good days and happy times and it is worth it. But people who talk about their kids going on to law school or even college, in my experience, are the minority. Kids with trauma often need lifelong support. That means when they're 20, 25, you're still lending them money or driving them to rehab or dispensing medication. And if they have kids, they may not be able to parent appropriately without a lot of help. I know lots of adoptive parents now raising their grandkids as well.


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.