Struggling with your weight is a vicious cycle and, most of the time, simply wanting to lose weight isn’t enough. A Reddit thread asked former overweight people to share what finally pushed them to take the first steps to getting in shape and losing weight. Here are some of the most notable responses.

  1. Realization I realized that people take you more seriously in life when you are in shape.

  2. Time for a Change I’m getting into shape. Was 250, am now around 210-215lbs. I just got tired of being out of breath. I wanted to see things I have to walk to, like interesting natural stuff in state parks and such. I wanted to be able to shop for clothes that loom normal (for some reason designers think fat women need sleeveless cheetah print blouses). I just wanted to feel better. I’m still technically overweight, but there is already a huge difference in how I feel. I like it.

  3. More Confidence There were the girls I wanted to sleep with, and the girls who would actually sleep with me. I wanted the girls who I am attracted to, and they weren’t fucking fat guys. The weight loss also gave me a lot more confidence. My tip: track calories, and stick with it.

  4. Sweat As everyone knows, fat people can get sweaty very easily. I used to be so fat and sweaty that I would leave sweat marks behind on vinyl chairs (or any surface that could reflect moisture). I found this remarkably and extraordinarily disgusting.

  5. A Documentary There’s a documentary on Netflix called “Fed up”. A friend recommended it to me and it scared me into controlling my consumption of processed food. I lost 30 lbs in a couple of months from just limiting that junk. I took before and after pictures and was amazed at the results. You don’t notice the results yourself because you look at yourself in the mirror every day. I’m obsessive in nature, and when I find something I like, I go all out on it. I thought “Hey, I went from 220 to 190 in a few months, what’s stopping me from losing even more?” I began reading about work out routines on (There’s a beginner section) In the past month, I went from doing a 20 minute mile (I would actually stop to catch my breath) to an 11 minute mile. While it’s not the greatest time, It’s progress that I actually log and can visually see the improvement. That’s what keeps me going, actually seeing that I’m improving over time.

  6. Vacation I went from 355 to 220. At that weight, everything in life is telling you to lose weight and that you’re a miserable mass of flesh no matter what those who love you say. The final straw was, while on a trip in Italy, my beautiful wife and I are staying in an amazing room right on the beach. It’s dusk and the colors off the water will rob your tongue of speech. Wife is grinning at the giant tub on a pedestal in the bathroom, that has balcony windows facing the water. This is going to be glorious! Except for once I’m in the tub, no matter how we tried she couldn’t fit in with me… When we got back state side I immediately sought a gym membership, did a bunch of research, went on a twins for 90 days, then crossfit and a paleoish diet.

  7. Depression I wanted to all along. It wasn’t a decision the way you think it is. I went to a lot of therapy. I was using food the way lots of people use alcohol: as a kind of self medication. I ate to make myself feel better. Getting help was what it took for me to be able to make changes. It’s so awkward when people ask me what I’m doing when the honest answer is “I’m not depressed anymore!”

  8. Addicted to Accomplishments I quit smoking, leaving me with a lot of aggression. I started going to the gym and biking the 12 mile round-trip to work. This was just to work out my emotions but in the end I got addicted to the feeling of adrenaline, and the confidence it gave me (also, pot). Gradually I got thinner and stronger. Women started noticing me, I felt better, and was saving money. So in the end losing the ~100 lbs that I did was kind of unintentional but once I got a taste of life without being fat, I couldn’t resist it.

  9. Bad Relationship I was never technically overweight according to my bmi, but I was definitely above where I should have been. This was mostly due to being in a shitty relationship where I just ate my feelings and watched tv. I was exercising frequently (I’ve always loved to exercise) but I was burning nowhere near as many calories as I was in-taking. Then I broke off my relationship, and suddenly didn’t feel the need to eat my feelings. Between eating normally again and continuing to exercise (and adding in a bunch of strength training) I lost a bunch of weight. So it wasn’t so much a conscious decision as just changing a couple things in my life to create an overall healthier environment.

  10. Buying a Wii I bought a Wii fit for my girlfriend when it first came out. I tried to play it and it told me to step off the board, I was too fat. Joined a gym the next day. 7ish years later, still 70lbs+ lighter, can run 10k and not going back.

  11. Looks I hated being looked at as the fat and cute one in the class, or my sister’s chubby brother. Plus a lot of people are willing to take you seriously (especially when you’re younger) if you don’t look like a sweaty marshmallow.

  12. Walking Up the Stairs One day I walked up the stairs to my bedroom to put my socks on, sat down, and noticed I was breathing hard. I went out, bought a scale, and saw it at 310. I almost shit myself because I didn’t know I had gotten that bad. I had to find some way of losing weight, so I immediately thought back to what is beaten into your head growing up, I HAVE TO EXERCISE! So I started, and completed the Couch to 5k program and had gotten down to around 280.

  13. A Look in the Mirror All of my clothes started to get really tight on me and I didn’t want to buy even bigger clothes that would give me an excuse to just keep gaining weight.. One day I got pretty high and I started looking at myself in the mirror and I didn’t even recognize myself.. I started eating less and biking 15+mi 3-5 times a week. I weigh 179 after losing 46lbs, I haven’t been this weight since middle school

  14. No Magic Trick It was my sophomore year of high school. I was 6'0 and stepped on a scale, saw I was 240lbs.,and immediately went to the gym. Over the next year, I lost 70 lbs, and have (more or less) kept it off through changes in diet and exercise. There’s no magic way to do it. I ended up developing an eating disorder when I hit a plateau around 195, and have struggled with it since then (though I’ve gotten a hold on it through support from my family and friends). It became an unhealthy obsession that I was going to accomplish no matter what. But now I’m 23, healthy, and much happier with myself. It’s hard work to change your life but it’s definitely worth it.

Also, girls.