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Things People Can't Understand Unless They've Been Through It Themselves

Reddit user Slow_Inflation8701 asked: 'What's something people don't understand until they've been through it themselves?'

people running on grass under blue skies in the daytime

Naassom Azevedo on Unsplash

There's an old saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes in order to understand them. It's an accurate sentiment as there are things in life one simply won't grasp unless experienced personally.

For example, I've been very open about my autism in my writing.

My fellow autistic adults often share how similar our experiences are and how well we can relate to each other.

However no matter how descriptive I am, it's difficult for someone neurotypical to fully understand what it’s like to have a brain that's wired differently.

But on the flip side, my autism means there are things I'll never understand.

Like what hunger feels like or how people usually feel pain or easily recognize faces or eat spicy foods or visualize things in their mind or don't get physically ill because of noises.

Reddit user Slow_Inflation8701 asked:

"What's something people don't understand until they've been through it themselves?"


"Nerve pain."

~ LaughingIsAwesome

"I pinched L3/4, L4/5, and L5/S1at the same time. It's unreal the pain, numbness and weakness that comes with it. Also really hard to explain to someone else."

~ Aken42

"I herniated L5/S1 and didn't sleep for 6 days, barely slept for a month. I didn't understand nerve pain. You can't understand it until it happens to you."

~ HamOwl

"My experience was and is so minor compared to what could be. I had nerve damage that lasted for about a year before it began to heal—it’s mostly okay now, but I still don’t trust that limb."

"It looks fine, so you always feel like everyone thinks you’re faking. It’s inconsistent, so sometimes it feels fine, and then YOU start to wonder if you’re faking—then something little happens and it’s hot lightning bolts again."

"That something could be lifting a few pounds the wrong way."

"Or you could feel fine one day and lift something heavy without thinking and be fine. Or it might just be horrible pain for literally no goddamned reason."

"You look the same regardless."

"It’s maddening and f*cking horrible. Take care of your bodies, people."

~ paprikashi


"Losing a parent at a young age."

"You’re not sad because you miss them. You’re sad because you were robbed of ever knowing them."

"The last times (aside from now) that I cried about her was because a cousin sent me photos and another cousin posted a family video and she was in it."

"The photos triggered a dream where I actually touched her. I was 3 when she passed, so I have zero memories."

~ Schmaron

"I lost my mom at 16 and it’s been 33 years."

"I just started seeing a new therapist and when I was describing my childhood, I started crying talking about my mom."

"She was sick for a long time and I don’t really have strong memories of what our relationship was like."

"There’s just a mom shaped hole in my life."

~ kylielapelirroja

"My wife Alyssa died in my arms on May 13th 2023, at 6:28 pm. She was 33. I heard her last breath, saw her eyes empty, felt her go limp."

"I didn't dream at all the first 4 months after. No nightmares, no dreams. I had to call her family and friends to let them know she had died that evening."

"From September of last year to May this year, she had lost 70 pounds. She looked like a skeleton, but not to my eyes. She was beautiful and I told her every single day."

"She started Agonal Breathing at 1 am on Saturday the 13th. I administered morphine and Ativan every hour so she wouldn't suffer too much.

"I played all of her favorite movies (50 First Dates, Deadpool, Forgetting Sarah Marshall) and read her our wedding vows. Her last words were 'I love you too'. She died 6 hours later."

"When the funeral home employees came to pick her up that night, they asked me if I wanted to spend some time with her before they took her, I couldn't speak. I just shook my head no."

"She wasn't there anymore, her mortal cage had opened its door, and she had flown away. Her eyes......I'll never forget her eyes after she had gone."

"Please, everyone. If something doesn't feel right, and the doctor says it's nothing, GET A SECOND OPINION. C student's get degrees, and Aly's primary care doctor absolutely murdered her through misdiagnosis."

~ Cubbycupcake-Uther


"Chronic illness and disability."

~ StayWinning100x

"…'but you don’t look sick'…"

~ birchitup

"Have you tried this diet? This essential oil? Losing weight? This drink concoction? Exercise?"

"Standing on your head with your hands on your hips like a down-pointing arrow? NO‽‽"

"You don't want to get healthy."

"You're doing it all for attention."

"You’re exaggerating. Etc... Etc... Etc..."

~ FuzzyTotoro

"My husband has epilepsy and his brother told him he just needs to drink more water—like dehydration is the reason for his brain misfiring."

~ kitty0712

"Chronic debilitating illness and disability. How quickly life can change permanently without you doing anything wrong."

~ melkesjokolade89

"Most people don’t realize that having a body that doesn’t hurt and isn’t sick is a luxury they should appreciate as much as they can while they still can. Illness and disability can happen to anyone at any time."

~ badskibunny

"I'm paraphrasing, but I once read 'The healthy have hundreds of desires. The chronically ill have one'."

"Somehow that quote was what got me in gear to finally pay attention to my health."

~ Liquidmilk1

"I want to add being too disabled to work."

"Living in deep poverty because what the government gives you to live on is barely half of what a person needs to survive."

~ mapletreejuice

"And when you’re not living in complete poverty people say it would be 'so nice to sit at home and just do nothing'. No it’s not, I sit at home because I can’t do anything."

"Remember covid lockdowns when everyone was getting stir crazy after a week? That’s your life now."

"They really think we can just go out or something—have fun outside."

"No, I’m just working on surviving while not going insane from my limitations thank you.

"I’d be overjoyed if I could reliably work, my life would be so much better and less isolated."

"It’s not a vacation it’s forever!"

~ lokimycat

No Safety Net

"Struggling without anyone or anything to fall back on."

~ Fried-Pig-Ds

"Knowing that if one thing goes wrong, I'm completely f*cked. That there is no safety net.

"Then watching prices climb and mentally running scenarios of what I'm gonna do in any given situation."

"All while acting like everything is ok so I don't pass 'adult' problems on to my son."

~ kylanmama

"Not having enough money due to unforeseen circumstances."

"Not every poor person is poor because of their own decisions."

"Finances are like traffic, you can do everything right on the road, and have your life completely flipped by some other a**hole driver."

~ WhereTheMoneyAtBoy

"My Dad's family had money until his brother was diagnosed with a rare heart disease that needed surgery. They sold everything to pay for it."

"It hit them so hard my Dad didn't go to high school so he could work for food."

"I grew up dirt poor because my Dad didn't have an education and struggled with everything. I finally clawed my way out of poverty."

"One hit took three generations to correct."

~ Sekmet19



"What it really means to go through cancer treatment."

~ Japan_Superfan

"I'm 4 years NED but still have regular interventions which terrify me—monitoring CT last December showed random liver growth, so liver MRI in February which thankfully showed it was harmless but so scary."

"Then colonoscopy last week to check for polyp growths (had bowel cancer) as part of my surveillance. One harmless dude found and removed but still the whole process was exhausting and frightening."

"I'm so so grateful for my treatment (was a stage 4 recurrence and treatment seems to have been curative) but I wish I could erase all the memories I have of diagnosis, treatment (which included psychosis due to steroids used to treat radiotherapy side effects and emergency admissions for chemo toxicity), recurrence, fear."

"I think that's what's difficult for someone to get their head round when they've not experienced it themselves."

~ t00manykittieees

Car Crashes

"I was literally in a minor crash, 20mph I was going when someone crashed into the side of me."

"I now hesitate driving by junctions where a car is waiting to exit, I freak out thinking they'll get me. It's honestly so f*king horrible."

~ twopeasandapear

"I was rear ended twice in 2 years. Both times, I was stopped with my left turn signal on waiting for oncoming traffic to pass."

"The first one was relatively minor—her car was totaled but we were both fine. Second time, the person who hit me was injured badly but I was okay."

"I didn’t even notice (?) I was hit—I felt the car vibrate, thought 'oh, someone just hit me' and pulled over—did not realize my car had been pushed up like, 25 feet."

"I don’t remember the actual impact at all. Also did not even realize it was considered a 'serious accident' until the police and the doctor at urgent care and the insurance agent who totaled my car kept all calling it that."

"I swear I have PTSD-like issues from those accidents now."

"I hate left turns and I dislike being in the passenger seat, and I just imagine getting hit in some catastrophic accident now when I drive. When I was driving shortly after the second accident, my Apple Watch kept dinging at me to 'breathe'."

~ Ok-Grapefruit1284

Mental Illness

"'Can't you just wake up and not be depressed?'."

~ Nornamor

“'Why are you depressed? You have nothing to be depressed about'."

"No, I do not have trauma. I had a perfectly healthy childhood. I have a healthy marriage. I love my job. We aren’t rich by any means, but we are financially stable. I have 2 wonderful children. I have a great relationship with my family. I have friends. I have hobbies."

"My brain just sucks."

"It has since I was in middle school. Like how a diabetic’s pancreas doesn’t produce insulin, my brain doesn’t produce sufficient levels of serotonin."

"No amount of therapy or lifestyle modification is going to fix that. I need drugs to function normally."

~ the-hound-abides

"This is truly the thing that people don’t understand. There are literally people in this [Reddit] thread trying to argue that it’s all just your mindset and you need to change the way you think and everything will get better. Just take control of your life."

"I think most people in this world experience depression at some point in their life. But it’s situational, it’s because of something that happened, a breakup, losing a loved one, job loss, bullying, etc..."

"Because they go through that they think they understand what it’s like to suffer through more severe mental illness. When you suffer from a true life long mental illness it is a disability, it’s like having a permanent injury to your knee that causes you to walk with a limp. You can’t just stretch and drink water and walk normal again."

"Sure diet and exercise and positive thinking can help, but it’s not a cure. It doesn’t matter how well things are going in your life—sometimes it’s just excruciating to be alive. Like it just hurts to be awake."

"It’s impossible to explain to someone how awful it feels."

"It sucks because no matter what you do you’ll always be broken. But there’s always going to be someone there to tell you that it’s your fault, that if you just did X you would feel better."

~ MrBurnz99

"Someone commented on another Reddit thread that they completely understand people who have a psychotic episode after they stopped taking their mental health medications because 'people don't want to become dependent on those drugs'."

"It's a perfect illustration of how people don't get what clinical mental illness is."

"Who applauds an insulin dependent diabetic who skips their insulin and ends up in a coma?"

"Or an epileptic who skips their medication and has a seizure?"

"My medication is viewed as a weakness and a choice I'm making to be dependent, but stopping it can kill me just as well as the diabetic or epileptic who skip their meds."

"Massive F*CK YOU to people who have this attitude about mental health medications."

~ Redditor


"The medical gaslighting and downplay."

"I watched my girlfriend go through it trying to get her fibro diagnosis and I will never forgive certain doctors—both male and female—who ignored obvious symptoms just because of her gender."

~ mmm_burrito

"YES. This was my experience, also. All because I am a woman."

"Took me well over 10 years for a correct diagnosis for ONE of my ailments, by which time my affected internal organs were literally nothing more than scar tissue, and I was bleeding internally."

"Had to have emergency surgery."

"Doctors had previously insisted that there was nothing wrong with me, and I was just being hysterical or over dramatic."

"They all told me the pain was nothing to worry about."

~ TheBadKneesBandit

"Discrimination. Of any type."

"Disability, religion, sexism, racism, fatphobia, homophobia, anything."

"When you experience it the rage and the fact that it is systematic crushes your soul in a way no one can explain to you."

~ dawnofsea


"There are lots of facets to this that I think aren't spoken about enough. When loneliness or isolation is mentioned, particularly on TV/posters it often focuses on the immediate obvious aspect of it (such as sitting alone in a quiet room)."

"That part is unpleasant but I think it's far from being the worst part of it. I've spent a long time with 0 support system & there are so many tiny things going on buzzing about like a thousand cuts."

"Have a question about something? No one to ask. Have a funny/philosophical/stupid thought? No one to share it with."

"Need someone to hold up a shelf while you nail it in? No one there. Need someone to witness you signing a will or other important document? Good luck."

"Read a book & want to discuss it with someone? Nah. Need a character witness for something? Proverbial lol."

"Break your leg & need a lift home from hospital? Yeah right. In an abusive relationship getting gaslit by your partner? No one is there to tell you that's what's happening."

"Want advice on your first tattoo? How about a blank wall. Want to watch a film with someone? No. The joy of shared experience is not something you can access."

"Want to play that board game you saw? Better get a single-player. Want to swap funny stories with people? Better just keep them to yourself."

"Get sick & can't get to the post office to send important documents? No one will believe you when you say you've no one to do it for you."

"Regarding the last one I know that people don't understand what isolation is like because I've tried in very plain language to say 'I do not have anyone who can do this for me' & they always act as if I'm just not looking hard enough & if I just looked again I'd find 3 people hidden under the carpet."

"Having 0 outside perspectives is actually quite serious too. Maybe living in a bubble with no one to challenge anything sounds good on paper but in reality it's horrible. Perspective & relativity keeps us grounded, keeps us in check, keeps us healthy."

"For example if you experience something but have no one to talk to about it, it can be hard to know if you're under-reacting or overreacting which can have all sorts of different ramifications on a spectrum where one end is being taken advantage of & the other end is radicalisation."

"Being isolated warps everything. Enough of it can affect you in the same way physical pain does. Your tolerance for dealing with tough situations will diminish because the only energy you have is yours."

"Having a support system is like an exchange of energy & we have a lot more energy when we have people to trade it with. We can do more things, see different avenues we'd not have noticed, deal with more obstacles & people don't even notice how much this silent exchange is carrying them through life until they don't have it anymore."

"It's not simply sitting alone in a room feeling sad, it's thousands & thousands of tiny things that wear you down over time."

"There is a reason 'exile/shunning' is akin to capital punishment in some cultures."

~ CommanderFuzzy

"Pretty much anything."

"If you have a modicum of empathy, you can imagine, probably inaccurately, but I don't think you can truly grasp what it's like to experience anything until you have."

~ RetroactiveRecursion

Some experiences really can'tbe adequately explained to others.

But with empathy and compassion full understanding isn't necessary.

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.