The Why I Left Blogs

Be Your Own Oz remains a place where you can come and

share your story with others. 


<Click on the underlined text to go to each individual’s story>

 Why I Left by Michelle Treichel


Do what’s right, not what’s easy by Clara K. Showalter


Transforming Turmoil into Triumph by Dianne Orwig

Part 1          Part 2          Part 3


Why I Left by Linda Ann “Getherdone” Smith


December 26, 2009, 9:11 am by Laura Howe


Why I Left by Troy “Zooman” Cook

Part 1          Part 2


Today I’m Pushing Delete by Guest Blogger Brett


Sticking with Body-for-Life: the Original by Rena Reese




4 Responses to The Why I Left Blogs

  1. Chris says:

    I remember towards the end of her pregnancy, she was done. She just wanted him out already. I was there to support the best I could. We started looking up natural methods to hurry up nature’s process. My instinct was telling me to let nature run her course; but I wasn’t the one who couldn’t sleep on those hot summer nights. I wasn’t the one in so much pain. Among the ingredients we tried was castor oil. And of all things, we decided the best available thing to add it to was a can of A&W root beer. I’d be willing to bet that if today you offered her a can, she’d turn a pale shade of green. Funny how things can put a bad taste in your mouth.

    I’ve known about this site since it started, I’ve been around since 2009. When my wife got pregnant in 2001, I ate with her, and many times, for her. I gained a lot of weight, which is somewhat frowned upon when you’re on active duty in the military. It was Bill’s first big book that I used to help me shed the weight. I worked hard and it came off fast. Everyone asked me how, and I obliged. But I didn’t finish that 12 week challenge. I’ve been on the roller coaster ever since. I reached my highest weight in 2008. And it wasn’t a few months later that I found Bill again. That’s been a similar experience for many of the people that I talked to. Body for life worked, transformation worked, but why did it work for me. Perhaps more important. What was going on when it wouldn’t work? And why am I writing here?

    I’ll start by saying why I didn’t share here earlier. Honestly, the woman I loved was very much still involved with I didn’t want to complicate things for her. But I had other reasons. There were many posts and comments (especially early on) that were angry, there was a lot of finger pointing, and a lot of complaining. It turned me off. I know the intent of the site is to help people move on, and that’s why I’m here, but I’ve always preferred not to vent in public. I’d write something to share here, then I would edit it down, and then some more, and then I realized I was done. I gained that peace I was looking for by just sharing what I had to say with myself.

    But I’m here now. I’m here now because I am at that point in my life where I want to admit that I can’t move on. And it’s been too long. I tried working ‘the steps’ on my own, but I kept getting distracted by the author, somehow he had become my A&W root beer. I thought about that close group of friends I kept in touch with every day as I went through quite a journey of my own. I loved sharing in their journey, if only to be their sounding board. I tried getting on board with Clarissa’s latest venture, but it wasn’t long before I saw people fighting for attention, people hashtagging her and her bosses boss with every little positive experience. It seemed the similarities would only grow from there. I don’t think the attention Bill received at corrupted him, I think he showed up with a severe deficit of the one thing that I need most in friends and leaders; integrity. I don’t think that of Clarissa, but still I could smell the castor oil in the kool-aid.

    So now, I weigh 10% more than I did at the beginning of 2009. I’m miserable, addicted and desperate. And there’s so much to tell, so much that should probably left unsaid. My beef isn’t with Bill. I was a willing participant. I should have seen it much earlier. I should have left much earlier (though it’s been a while now). Winning the championship was a big motivator for me. I knew from my previous experience with BFL that I could do well, I was at my worst and I was ready to make a change. I stumbled across at just the right time. It was the tool I’d use. Someone close cautioned me about putting Bill on a pedestal, and I tried to keep that in check, I certainly wasn’t an overt Bill worshiper. But I called in on the radio show with butterflies in my stomach (and Right shakes). I worked those steps like they were a college course and I wanted an “A”. I chose to share fairly intimate details of my life, the good and the bad, I do believe that shining a light in the darkness is the only way. A lot of the support I found there seemed manufactured and without sincerity. But there were some that touched my heart. I see some of me in his book as well (besides that one page) I’ve never been offended by that. It’s all too often the messenger and the message just aren’t compatible.

    I remember when things got ugly there. I remember Bill essentially telling all of us that he was going to take his ball and go home, like some sad little school kid. I remember watching him come back and turn it all back around on us. I think he even referenced “Lord of the Flies” at the time. I remember with him gone, when the leadership of the site was given next to nothing to go on, I made an effort behind the scenes to focus on the people who were just trying to make changes in their life. Shortly after, I was accused of mutiny by someone further up that cannibalistic food chain. That one still gets me, were we really supposed to just sit there and wait for his next move. There was a long process… I remember thinking that him leaving was the single best chance the site would have at surviving and making any progress towards continuing to be a place where people could change their lives. I remember when I found out that I wasn’t the only person that he didn’t follow through with the rest of the prize as it was written in the terms. It was a humiliating experience when I had to explain to the local Make – A – Wish foundation that I didn’t know when or if their $10K would ever arrive, because my emails went unanswered. I remember feeling like I was giving up my most valued quality, my integrity, by staying on under contract. Behind the scenes, people knew they were sacrificing theirs as well. But still we remained. I hate seeing myself anything like the red-headed lady in Requiem for a Dream. But perhaps it was a little more like that. I truly believe you can’t have something like what he wanted wrapped around a central ego. I remember when the camera crew came, pulling for drama, pushing the limits of what was true just because it sounded better. I was careful, it was my story after all and it’ll probably be on the internet forever. And his version is somewhere way out in left field, they butchered it. I suppose he can have that story, seeing that he got it wrong anyway. Maybe that guy was able to keep the weight off. My championship, and what I viewed at the time as my true prize quickly became my burden and curse. Now I’m stuck with finding what it was that I brought with me to so that I can do it all over again. I’d have deleted my blogs and profile long ago if I could have, but I had problems with my log in, and really, who cares. I’m not angry, he is what he is. I grew from the experience and the bumps and bruises I got from the experience are my own as well. I just wish I could get that taste out of my mouth so I could start heading in that general direction again.

  2. Chris says:

    I guess I just had to drop this anchor. After writing this… what has it been, 30 days, I’m 35lbs. lighter and well on my way again. We are all accountable for our own actions, there’s no way to escape it. I’ll answer for mine. I turned to junk food because I chose to be in an unhealthy relationship. For others, they may just have to live with who they choose to become… So, thanks for posting this story for me. It seems maybe some people think I’m the other Chris. Sorry about the confusion… I thought the relationship stuff would give it away. Funny how healing is sometimes just right around the corner and you feel like you’ve lost sometimes, right before you win.

  3. Troy says:

    Congrats Chris!!!!
    Really, for me the people I looked up to and respected were guys and gals like you and Michelle who did the work. There were many others too, It’s just ashame that Bill tries to capitalize on your successes and portrays them as his own victories. Many people have said that once the champs were rewarded they were caught up in his contracts and webs of deception and they begain to lose their way in their journey.
    It seems as many used the ” falling off the wagon” as a means to distance themselves from Bill because of what they ultimately discovered about the guy.
    Kudos to you for finding your way!!!!

  4. ari says:

    The more I read this forum, the more I see truth. Too many koolaid drinkers out there, and Jim Jones is going strong.

    The man is evil, and 100% manipulation driven. If anyone can’t see it, they’re still being manipulated. Bill Phillips is a pathetic fraud. Some will wake up and some will die waiting to be acknowledged, by the one, the only…..OZ.

    Bill Phillips is nothing more than opportunist, a liar, a marketer, a soul killer, a self-esteem demolisher. The only ones who follow him, are the saddest souls on earth. When you are rock bottom, you attract what you are.


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