You Need A Reason - by Orrin

  • You Need A Reason


    By Orrin Hargrave



    Last week in the gym I had a moment. In between chest and shoulders I looked out the window and wondered what exactly I was doing. Not what exercise was next, but really, as a man, as a person, what am I doing in the gym right now. I pushed the thought aside and focused on the rest of my workout, but for the rest of the day the thought clawed at the edges of my mind. I finally sat down to think about it with a little more perspicuity and realized the vital importance, for those new to BFL and those with a few challenges to their credit, of having good, solid reasons.


    First I want to clarify what I mean by a reason because there are two types of reasons and it is important to understand them both.


    The first type of reason is a faux reason. It tries to look like reason but it is more like a general sweeping statement of something you desire. For example: “I want to lose 30 pounds”. Wanting to lose 30 pounds is great, but unless you know exactly why you want to lose 30 pounds you will struggle everyday and most likely become one of the 95% of people that start but don’t finish a 12 week challenge.


    The second type of reason is a real reason. Something you believe in, something that ignites passion when you think about it. Real reasons for wanting to lose 30 pounds might look like this: I want to play in the park with my children and not be out of breath, I want to live to see my grandchildren; I want to be accepted; I want to attract a life mate; I want to stop being ashamed of myself; I want a better love life;  I want to take charge of my destiny; I want to escape this fat body and start living my life to the fullest! I want to be a fitness model or a personal trainer. There are thousands of reasons each one unique and personal to the individual wanting to make a change. Reasons are personal. There are no right or wrong reasons they are your reasons and yours alone.


    Without having reasons we believe in and are passionate about we become overwhelmed with the details, like getting up at 5am to go to the gym or maintaining stringent, planned BFL eating, and forget the bigger picture. When we get bogged down in the details we lose track of what we are trying to accomplish and, bereft of navigation, drift aimless and lost and accomplish nothing. Knowing your reasons, writing them down and reading them every day will get you through those tough times. And believe me those tough days will come. If you hang on to your reasons you will weather the storm and emerge from the blackness a stronger more focused person.


    Why does this man get up and go to the gym? Why do I eat clean and continue to do HIIT three times a week? I want to be the best man I can be; for myself, for my wife, for all those who are close to me. I want to live a long and healthy life still swinging a golf club, traveling and flirting with the ladies when I am an old man. The aim of life is to live and that is what I intend to do - live this life to the fullest. What is your reason?  

  • I am afraid if I don't do this and complete this, I will lose my self-respect and my belief that I am strong enough to get what I really want. I also have a very beautiful man in my life (beautiful to me :o)) and I want him to look at me and see me the way I see him. And that does not include the chunky chunks hanging about my mid-rif. :o(

    Courage isn't lack of fear. It's our ability to carry on despite our fear

  • Those are great reasons, real and meaningful reasons.Thank you for sharing them.

    Know you can finish all 12 weeks and be that woman you want to be. You have the strength! It is okay to be a little bit afraid. Keep pressing on and that fear will turn into confidence and that confidence will grow and grow and you will will get all you really want and never look back.

  • I take after my mom's side of the family. She and every one of her four siblings have had joint replacements. So far so good for me, but I know that the tendency for arthritis is there so I need to do all I can to forestall it. I also want to be vibrant and active all my life.

    Want it. Plan it. Do it.

  • Orrin - Your posts have a tendancy to make me think. I like that, but at the same time it is almost uncomfortable to have to buck up and be honest with myself. It’s alot easier talking about someone else, helping someone else, cheering on someone else. When it comes to me, there are so many reasons that it is hard to be clear on any one specific goal or reason.

    I have mentioned his name before (he isn’t on the forums) but it was Arthur Yochim - an old school mate that was in town summer 2009 for our 25th class reunion. He is a fabulous photographer out of Calgary AB and has done BFL before. He is a small man that used BFL to bulk up. He has trouble gaining weight (freak) anyway, he told me that if ever I read a book, Bill Phillips BFL is the one. He was always the smart boy at school aced all his classes, didn’t go out much, didn’t date and I thought if Arthur recommends this book, it has to be good.

    He was right. I owe that boy alot.

    Anyways, back to my reason – we went through some life changes due to a death in the family and for a short period of about 2 years, I had trouble seeing happiness in my future.  I felt fluffy at the time. Ugly. I didn’t enjoy my reality and tried to avoid being active in changing the slippery slope I was following. I wanted to be trim and firmed up. I wanted energy. I wanted that twinkle back in my eyes. I wanted confidence. I wanted to appreciate me again. I wanted to stick out as someone in my workplace that actually appreciates the importance of a healthy body. I wanted to stop the downward spire of so many 40+ women living in a small town that didn’t seem to care about self image and packed on weight.  I realized that hours on my bike and hours of walking around town weren’t doing it. At first my husband was afraid I would bulk up but I ignored that, and kept going with the program. My husband (as are most I am assuming) was never one to judge my appearance,(bless his heart as 3 pregnancies does funny things to a woman). Sometimes I would go through old photos and gasp wondering what the hell was I thinking and why the heck didnt he TELL me I looked like THAT! So I guess initially I wanted to be fit, healthy and strong physically and mentally on my own now that the kids were out of the house and I had the time and his support. Not a day goes by now though that he doesn’t say something flattering - in his own way he is loving BFL and what it has done for me. He still hasn’t tried it himself, still stands in the doorway to take a pic or just stare and I know he is thinking "how the heck do you do that everyday" or his latest one "why are you running so fast!"

    BFL is such an easy and rewarding program. It swallowed me in after only a few weeks. Between the food, the workout and the water, my body felt better almost immediately. My head felt right. I had a purpose. I dug in my stubbornness and put it to good use. ME.

    My reasons are similar to yours Orrin. I too want to be the best I can be for a very long time. I want to be that lady walking the beaches with my grandchildren wearing shorts, tanned and looking 20 years younger because I can. I get to. It is doable. I want people to notice definition in my body, have my husband proud to have me as his partner and have people question their own abilities. Inspire others. It may sound vain to some, but those that have done a few challenges will understand. BFL will allow you to desire this knowledge and drive to continue to succeed and help others.

    I have not had perfect challenges - you Orrin, are an exception and belong in the "Champion Status" in my head. Thank you for all you contribute to this site.

    On here and on FB, I am proud to call you friend. BFL has certainly drawn out some awesome people into my world.

    Sorry this is kind of long. OK a lot. You got me thinking and that is what happens. 

  • This is such a wonderful thought provoking question. What makes me tick, what makes me get out of bed at 4:00 a.m. and work out?

    Well my reasons are strictly for survival. Just 6 months ago, I awoke one day and could not speak. I could only whisper. I was frazzled and panicked. Two days later, I was diagnosed with a paralyzed vocal cord. In some respects it is similar to a stroke. I am only 39 years old.

    Not being able to communicate to loved ones, conduct business, and simple order food at a restaurant certainly took its toll of my mental health. My friends joked, “Now you can’t yell at your husband”, but my hubby looked me straight in my eyes and said honey, “I would pay a million dollars to hear your voice again” We both cried and I did not stop crying for months.

    Then B.F.L. entered my life. I decided to take the challenge only to help alleviate the stress and looming depression. To my surprise, I learned that weight training was a form of speech therapy and I happened to notice that my voice improved. As the weeks progressed I gained the ability to swallow pills once again, drink water easily (I used to choke). Eventually my left vocal cord got stronger from weight training and it compensated for the paralyzed one. In the end, I regained the ability to speak. So for me working out has been essential in restoring my ability to speak.



  • Orrin,

    I think there is a multiple dimensionality to this question - my immediate answer is also to be the best husband, father, boss, worker I can be, and to age gracefully.  But, I've also come to appreciate that there is something bigger than us all involved here.  Humans are currently the dominant species on the planet (of course that is but a temporary situation).  We evolved from harsh conditions, foraging for food, shelter, using our bodies all day to try to hunt prey and avoid being hunted as prey.  Blessed with the major advantage of reason, and innovation, we have advanced by creating new technologies.  Having the ability to create new technologies unfortunately does not equate to using them wisely.  We have become an entitled society, soft, lazy and with little or no impetus to work hard.  We can drive  home from work in our gas guzzling vehicles, order our unhealthy foods to be delivered to our homes by the time we arrive using our sophisticated smart phones & apps, and on and it any wonder that the incidence of adult obesity and childhood diabetes is skyrocketing?

    In my humble opinion, doing this helps us fulfill what our creator always meant us to be.


    Once I discovered the joys of weight training, all other passions were transcended.


  • I'm doing this because life is so much harder when you're fat.  Clothes don't look/fit right.  Pictures are always bad.  It hurts to go upstairs, you pull your back, your knees hurt, you feel self-conscious.  You feel old.  You hide from the world because you don't want the spotlight on you.  Or at least try to hide your fat.  I'm sick of sucking it in.

    Being fit means feeling good.  Picking out your outfit and putting it on and liking what you see-the first time.  It means having confidence.  It means initiating romance with your spouse,  a better relationship with your family and your friends.  It means loving who you are inside and out.

    I'm doing this because somewhere along the way, I got fat.  I lost sense of who I was.  I didn't want to admit my weight problem.  The thing is, I couldn't really hide it.  And I couldn't  hide my shame for long.  I'm doing this to own up to who I've let myself become and I'm saying "you're better than that."  I'm on day 19 and having control over what I eat, how much I work out is powerful.  It's simplifying my life.  It's giving me more confidence.  Fitting into clothes better means saving me time every day.  Having a plan to eat and following that plan saves me from getting cranky and making bad choices.  Happier already!

    Being unhealthy means getting everything now.  It's a thought of "I'm hungry" and boom, you're at the next fast food place eating grease.  It's "I'm tired", so you sit on the couch, eating something bad for you.  It's easy to be unhealthy.  Bad food is cheaper.  Portions at restaurants are huge.  Numbing your brain on alcohol feels good.  It's easy.

    Being healthy makes you use your brain.  What's the best I can do?  It requires thought, careful preparation, determination, and will.  It challenges me in a way that nothing else can.   At the end of a day that has been flawless, I sleep so well.  I feel so good about myself.  No cheeze doodle or Yodel can do that.  A sense of accomplishment in my own well-being is immeasurable.  It is spiritual.

    I can't wait to see who I'll be at the end of this.  I think she'll be the wife she's always wanted to be, the mom who is energetic, the friend who sticks to plans, the teacher who is proud to stand in front of the crowd, the daughter who stands up to her mother.  If I think I'm happy now, how happy will I be in less than 10 weeks???

    Great topic Orrin, being reminded of our reasons is refreshing!  Thank you!


  • Great post.

    I am doing this for myself, for so many I never ever thought of me, everyone else came first and I was depressed, overweight and had absolutely zero energy, just to get ready to go to the store was a major feat, I hated it, holding in my stomach form sheer emarassement  and couldn't wait to get home again, exercising and eating right is my therapy!!

    I want to be the best I can be at any age, I don't want to be the people you see...and who I used to be...huffing and puffing and moving at a snails pace, I want to wake up every single morning raring to go.

  • Thank you to everyone who has replied to my post. Your responses have moved me deeply. Reading these posts tonight has filled me with an incredible sense of awe and gratitude. I am blessed (and I don't use that word very often) to be a part of this wonderful, insightful, thought-provoking, and dedicated community. Thank you.

  • Orrin,

    I recall as a young kid, our parents would load up all 6 of us kids & go visit our grandparents on Sunday afternoon. I remember sitting on my grandmothers couch listening as the adults talked. I wondered to myself " Why is is that all they talk about is their aches, pains & medicine?". I am 60 years old now. I do not want my grandkids to wonder the same thing about me. Instead I am doing BFL. I can now take them out on my canoe , fishing & hiking in the mountains. They are 11 & 14 and my 60 year old body out lasts theirs. They tell me that they do not know any other grandfathers who can do the things I do with them. That is my reason.

    Thank you BFL. Thank you Orrin for all of your very motivational & insightful posts.  

  • Orrin, you are inspirational and you are definitely a teacher. I enjoy seeing your posts, reading, and thinking about them for a couple of days.

    Generally, this challenge has been about “losing 40 pounds.” Honestly, behind all that, it’s about maintaining my sanity. Having control over something (ANYTHING). After caring for everyone else, it’s an hour of my day that I take care of myself, which, in turn, allows me to care for my kids and husband so much better. It makes me a better employee, makes me a better coworker, makes me a better person. The weight loss is both the bonus and the goal.

  • Great topic Orrin,

    My reasons for taking on and completing my 1st challenge were pretty simple.  Since graduating HS 22 yr ago I went down a slow but steady slope of unhealthy living.  I made excuse after excuse and justified my weight gains with anything that would take the blame off of myself.  IE: your too old to have to care about what you eat and look like, being in shape is for young people, this is just how it happens as you get older.  I did everything but take responsibility for  my health.

    When I started my challenge, I never thought I would make it 3 weeks let alone 12.  But what I found over that 12 weeks is that I am strong, I am discipline, I can finish something I set my mind to.  I can be healthy, look and feel great and I can have the energy back I lost along the way and then some.

    I started my challenge Aug 9th and although I haven't "officially" started a 2nd challenge I have decided to make BFL a lifestyle.  I have just continued to do the program (tweaking my W/O's a bit) and I have no intentions of looking back.

    I now know that I will lead a healthy life as I get older, I will be able to enjoy my kids more by doing the activities that I always did growing up.  I am a better husband to my wife because I have more self confidence and I too like Legs take self pride in being the coworker that takes self pride in putting health and fitness 1st in my life.  

    It's funny when you stop making excuses you start to see them for exactly what they are.

  • Orrin,

    Thanks for posting this...

    My reasons are many as to why I continue living the BFL way...Number one I needed to do this for ME...I wanted/needed to look and feel better for myself. I had done BFL back in 2001/02 and had great results so I knew what it took to get back there...Number two for my immediate family, to be a better wife and mother and a good role model for my kids. My husband has taken to eating the BFL way and has lost 25#, his next goal is to lose 15# more and is going to start lifting (yes he lost the 25# by just changing eating habits! Lucky!); my daughters have asked me to make up workouts for them so they can be fitter and stronger for their favorite sport of volleyball. My son brags on his mom's muscles during PE class! =)

    Number three for setting a good example for the 300+ students I teach every day. There I was back before Christmas of last year sitting on my rear telling them to exercise...I definitely was talking the talk and not walking the walk. Now my students look up to me and ask me when my next race is or what workout I did that day as they know I get up at 5 am to workout...number four, being a role model for the parents at my school; if I can get them to start thinking healthy then this would create a ripple effect and follow through with their children. We have to stop the vicious circle of unhealthy habits one person at a time. That is my mission for my school.

    Number five-I want to become a personal trainer/CrossFit trainer and open my own gym in the near future....there are sooooo many people out there who need the RIGHT advice, not the "lose 30# in 30 days" crap...taking my "little group" through this journey has been very rewarding and I love the feeling of giving back and helping others. Number six which probably should have been listed first, is because my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit...God gave me this body and I should treat it the right way in order to honor Him. Number seven, I have met so many inspiring, motivating, and loving friends on this forum...and to continue on in life without them would make me lost...the connection to this forum is PRICELESS just like good health!

    Okay, I think I'm done...going add your favorite highlights, Orrin!! =)

    DebMO :0)           Blessed to be a Blessing...

  • Orrin,

    Thank you Thank you Thank you, I so needed this post. I know this is exactly what I am missing in my journey. I feel like I am going thru the motions but not really with the motivation and gusto I want. I need to sit down read the book again and write down my reasons and read them everyday. There are several reasons for why I want to do this as well. #1 on my list is to feel better, and be able to live life to its fullest for as long as I can and I know by eating unhealthy and being over weight that time will be cut short. Just read all the post on this forum, people doing BFL have so much energy such a zest for life, who doesn't want that? I am going to go home tonight right after work and I am reading this part of the book and I am writting down my reasons and I am putting them by my bedside so I can read them first thing in the morning to get me motivated to start my day out right each and every day! I feel like my last challenage and beginning of this one I am just coasting by, it is time to get down to business and make this body do some changing!!  Thanks again for the post!! Really makes you stop to think!! Exactly what I needed - basically a little kick in the butt and to remember why I started this journey. Why is it so easy to forget?

    "If you mind can conceive, you can achieve it