Moving forward

Perhaps you have found this site because you have recently “pulled back the curtain” and discovered that Oz is not who you thought he was.  Perhaps you are a simply seeking to seat your own “Great and Powerful Oz” firmly in the driver’s seat– to navigate your life going forward.  To this end, what I have discovered is this:  You may find a group, a person and even a place aides you in discovering your personal power but abdicating that power to anyone of those will never fuel your life purpose for long.  Your internal compass requires 100% autonomy as you make decisions, act with character and make a contribution.  No more looking to food to numb sadness or pain— no more looking to those in positions of authority for approval and validation– and no more excuses for being silent and muting your personal truth.  What is it time for you to act on in the interest of your inner peace– and your physical as well as emotional health?

Quite simply, it is time to be your own Oz.

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I had to change my life myself, but I didn’t do it by myself. If you need help gaining control of your health and fitness, may I recommend the following resources?  They have been invaluable to me during my journey and I know you would benefit from the knowledge, insight, and community participation.

Body for Life

The Soul Salon

Mike Harris

Hussman Fitness

Precision Nutrition

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18 Responses to Moving forward

  1. Beth says:

    Michelle, we’ve not met but since I’ve spent the last 8 years involved in BFL principles, I can relate to so much of your message. Mind you, I’ve never been harmed by anyone and have no personal resentment. However, I agree that ANY program in which others fear rejection for respectfully questioning or disagreeing with anyone, be they the CEO, Coach, or past champion, is potentially harmful to that person’s wellbeing. Human beings helping each other, with honest motives, by sharing their experiences is beautiful. A group of people practicing “hero worship” (particularly when a prize is on the table) becomes dangerously cult-like. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. It has been my experience that helping others with NO STRINGS ATTACHED, will always be in everyone’s best interest.

    BTW, great job in changing your body and your life! You did good, girl 🙂

  2. Janelle says:

    Yeah, they lost me for good now. All this talk of a “wisdom council”?? Hello? We do NOT need a “wisdom council” to live healthy and well. Wow! Yes. Be your own Oz!!! I am glad to learn I do have boundaries and I know when to walk away. Take care, Michelle! Keep that power and don’t give it away.

  3. Traci says:

    I love this post, Michelle. I can completely relate to the “pulling back the curtain…” and revealing someone human, someone flawed. I knew deeply that it would be that way, but had wanted to believe it wasn’t so. And so, we begin again!

  4. Annie says:

    Hi M-
    Some great insight here. We’ve shared many of the same internal struggles and revelations. Today, this line is the one that struck me: “…no more looking to those in positions of authority for approval and validation.”

    This resonates with me after years of trying to gain validation & approval by winning a contest. Body-for-Life and the Transformation challenges have helped many along their journey, myself included. However, after ‘losing’ I felt I was without approval, without acceptance to a degree. By the grace of God, and wonderful family & friends, I finally understood that this is NOT the validation or approval I need. Being selected by someone who really doesn’t have a clue who I am as a person, outside of a written essay, in a very subjective contest does not mean I haven’t ‘made it’. It doesn’t mean I am ‘almost there’. I agreed with them for awhile, you know. I believed myself to be less than I was because they told me I wasn’t the ‘winner’.

    Silly, silly me. God is the only one from whom I need validation and approval; I will never earn that through a contest. And, the best part is that there isn’t only one winner in God’s eyes. We can all share it!

  5. Emma says:

    I stumbled upon this site quite by chance this evening whilst thinking back to my, admittedly extremely short, time on T.com. This evening a friend, in a fervour of New Year ambition, was thinking of Body for Life and I warned him not to do it unless he really fancied joining a cult.

    I came to T.com from the UK; quite simply a woman looking to lose some weight and get fit, nothing more, nothing less. I joined a board for UK members and whilst posting there one day, mentioned that I thought Phillips’ marketing techniques were clever; that he’d taken techniques from religion, having champions to spread the word like disciples. My posting was in a backwater board on the T.com site…but not for long. Before I knew it my post was dragged out into the full glare of the main board, reposted by one of the community leaders and taken as a full frontal attack on Phillips.

    What happened next was an eye-opener to me. A lot of people took part in the thread and I defended myself vigorously (I’m no shrinking violet, in fact I can be rather ferocious on paper). I’d describe what happened on that thread as a poor attempt at bullying, involving Phillips himself. I was portrayed as a troubled person; there were hints that perhaps I drank excessively or that there were other, darker, issues with me. The fact that I’d openly stated I was an atheist was dragged out and used as a weapon to try and belittle me. I had numerous private emails, some from Phillips’ ‘gatekeepers’ which I’d describe as bullying and threatening – I was threatened with what I jokingly now called ‘excommunication from T.com’ which was a thread wide of the mark with me as by that point I really didn’t care one iota.

    I left a few weeks later and never regretted it. Why? Because getting your life in order is about understanding and respect, not about fitting into a cookie cutter template some guy with a god-complex tells you is *right*.

    • Richard says:

      I stumbled upon this site quite by hncace this evening whilst thinking back to my, admittedly extremely short, time on T.com. This evening a friend, in a fervour of New Year ambition, was thinking of Body for Life and I warned him not to do it unless he really fancied joining a cult.I came to T.com from the UK; quite simply a woman looking to lose some weight and get fit, nothing more, nothing less. I joined a board for UK members and whilst posting there one day, mentioned that I thought Phillips’ marketing techniques were clever; that he’d taken techniques from religion, having champions to spread the word like disciples. My posting was in a backwater board on the T.com site but not for long. Before I knew it my post was dragged out into the full glare of the main board, reposted by one of the community leaders and taken as a full frontal attack on Phillips. What happened next was an eye-opener to me. A lot of people took part in the thread and I defended myself vigorously (I’m no shrinking violet, in fact I can be rather ferocious on paper). I’d describe what happened on that thread as a poor attempt at bullying, involving Phillips himself. I was portrayed as a troubled person; there were hints that perhaps I drank excessively or that there were other, darker, issues with me. The fact that I’d openly stated I was an atheist was dragged out and used as a weapon to try and belittle me. I had numerous private emails, some from Phillips’ gatekeepers’ which I’d describe as bullying and threatening I was threatened with what I jokingly now called excommunication from T.com’ which was a thread wide of the mark with me as by that point I really didn’t care one iota.I left a few weeks later and never regretted it. Why? Because getting your life in order is about understanding and respect, not about fitting into a cookie cutter template some guy with a god-complex tells you is *right*.

  6. Clara says:

    I remember that situation well. It was one of the first big incidents which got me really looking at what was happening on t.com.

    I’m glad to see you here. 🙂 As for your friend, I’d point out that using BFL is a world of difference from being exposed to the vibe on T.com. There’ve been a ton of us who used it quite successfully. At the end of the day, it’s not about the messenger, it’s the message. If she needs support, there are good places she can find it.

    That said, I loved it when you called Bill out on the site being a multi-level marketing gig. 🙂

  7. Margi Faze says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I came across your page while browsing and I wanted to say “hi”.
    Your beauty inside and out knows no boundaries. It is evident that your spirit is pure and your willingness to share your story to inspire others genuine. I wasn’t surprised to read about why you left T. It is a sad day when those we look up to let us down in this manner, but I am happy to see you on here and continuing to share your story in your words and on your own terms 🙂

    I look forward to seeing more of you and to see you hopefully at a future event.

    Hugs,

    Margi Faze

  8. Mae says:

    Yesterday a friend pointed me here. I had no idea that there were so many other people that found themselves stung a bit on T.com What a relief to find that my instincts were correct. What a pleasure to see you all somewhere else – strong and free,

  9. LJ says:

    Thank you for this avenue to share my story. I became active in t.com in November 2009 and by November 2011 I had lost 60 pounds, regained my health, repaired my marriage, and made many close friends on t.com. I didn’t get too involved in the forums but I did see my share of threads disappearing.

    Recently Bill Phillips blocked me from his “Bill Phillips Transformation” facebook page and I don’t know why. I supported him and the community. I attended his open house and thanked him personally for the program. I even gave his now wife a ride to the airport after Camp 1!

    Is it all because I am not willing to shell out $2000 to attend a 3-day seminar and work out at the center for a month?

    As I reflect upon my two years with t.com I realize that there were a lot of scammers. It sickened me to know that so many of his contest winners and runner-ups were using fat burners and appetite suppressants and trying to peddle them to members. I did it the old fashioned way. Eat right and exercise.

    I was reading about the 10 warnings signs of an unsafe group/leader (cult) and my opinion is that t.com easily meets 7 of those criteria.

    I tried to stay supportive and active this past year but the spirit and beauty transformation once held is gone. I deleted my t.com profile a couple of weeks ago and have never looked back.

  10. Troy says:

    Congrats on your 60 pound loss LJ. You took what you needed from Bill and did some great work. You did the work. What a lot of people have found out is that Bill is marketing his site and camp and basically, if you don’t pay, you don’t play. He will allow just about anything anyone can use to make a marketable story. Heck, go google one of the champs Valerie Fontenez. He found her after she had done all of her own weight loss. She was on another site hoping to find a way to get some help to have her excess skin sugically removed. Bill apparently found her, made that happen and has been using her as one of his champions who has used his program, which is totally not the case.
    With Bill, it’s almost about smoke and mirrors.
    Again, great work LJ!!!!

  11. Troy says:

    Well, time has moved on since the Oz site first started and it seems so has Bill. He moved on to his next adventure, which was his camp in Denver, but even that seems to be coming to a halt. And as time moved on I’ve had many more people contact me and tell me what a fraud and narcicistic jackass Bill is. So many of his contests were rigged, people made champs who didn’t deserve it or were given prizes as a way of apopoligizing to certain people for his behaviour toward them. Then if you look around his site, which hardly has any activity on it anymore, you have to ask yourself why so many of the past champs have deleted their profiles. Where have all the people gone that he hired at his camps. They surely aren’t around anymore singing his praises.
    I guess, maybe as the title suggests on this entry….. they’ve all simply moved on……..
    From worst to first was his vision.
    What a joke !!!!!!!

  12. Julie says:

    I too have moved on from T.com. – but I’m having trouble getting over a run-in I had with Bill years ago.

    I idolized this man…HE was going to change my life…HE really cared about me…HE was going to be my savior! Yeah…I drank the koolaid HARD. I had given up my own thinking and now, I understand I was brainwashed in a way. My thoughts not my own…

    My husband had been diagnosed with a serious heart issue. This was back around the time Bill still had his radio call in show. I knew Bill could tell me what we could do to help him get the weight off safely. I was desperate – like so many of us who go there.

    So…I made sure I called in 1 hour early to make sure I was the first caller in line. The screener assured me Bill would talk with me and confirmed I was the first caller. I waited…and waited…and waited… He NEVER picked up my call. I was mad a the call screener…he lied to me by telling me I would get to talk with Bill.

    So, I wrote a note to Bill through Paige. I explained how I was desperate for his help and how the call screener had not followed through on his promise. I begged him to help my husband (who I was deathly afraid was going to die).

    I received a note back telling me how selfish I was…about how it should be enough that he offeres this ‘free’ website and ‘free’ radio show – essentially calling me ungrateful and telling me that I was free to leave.

    I cried a bunch…Bill…you were my ‘hero’ (at the time)!!! How could you say these things to me? I felt like a little kid who had disapointed her mom or dad – it was a pit right in my gut. So, I apologized…because that’s what abused women do…the apologize after being abused…because they feel like it’s THEIR fault.

    I couldn’t have been more wrong.

    After having time to digest the situation, I realized that he was a pompus ass. I bought all your books you ass…I bought your shakes and your bars…I am so pissed about the money wasted.

    Just wanted to share my story with you guys. I feel so used – and I’m just starting to get my life back in order after that. I’m coming out of the fog and creating a new future for myself – one that does NOT involve T.com.

    • Clara says:

      Hey Julie! I am so sorry that you went through that. I’m glad that you are working on making that new future.

      One thing to remember here. YOU did some amazing work while you were at T.com. YOU did that. It was you who fought to get workouts done, you were the one who pushed yourself. That was all you. I’ve seen your strength and know it’s there. You can and will make these changes and carry yourself forward. You are a good person, and lots of people still care.

      Big hugs.

      • Gina says:

        I am sorry this guy pissed you people off, truly I am. He is only a man, he is not God. One thing I have learned over the years is people will let you down. With that being said, I only have one question. Does the program work? The people on this site keep calling him a lier. All I want to know is if the program works. Are you saying he lied about that?

  13. Troy says:

    Julie, I never knew why you quit coming to the site. And for that I am truly sorry. I met a lot of great folks, like you and just figured most left due to either the site wasn’t their thing or they just had problems trying to get healthy and left on their own. I had no idea at the time, but have learned that many left due to Bill and his being such an asshole to so many people.
    It’s odd that a site that was supposedly created to help the people is a site that has derailed and soured so many people.
    One has to wonder if the jackass has hurt more folks than he’s helped.

  14. Cate says:

    Hi everyone,

    I stumbled here quite accidentally whilst searching for some inspiration. Started when I found a video about Bill’s Transformation Camp, I don’t even know if its around anymore at this point, but I guarantee you I won’t be attending. I have put down the kool-aid and will be doing it the good old fashioned way. BFL is a solid program I’ve fallen back to many times. Eat clean and exercise. I’m grateful though to read some of your comments about how it’s not about the competition, validation from others, and “winning”….I never thought about it that way! I have also been looking for validation from others, that’s been the hold up ALL ALONG. Thank you for lifting the veil from my eyes!

    I appreciate your honesty and openness and wish you all the best. Michelle, I thought it was important to let you know that you’re message is still being heard 😉 Keep up the good work and keep it real my friends!

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