Letter from the Founder: Michael Liner
I’m going to brag a little bit.
Because when last December, dressed in a full Santa getup, I made a 2018 New Years’ resolution video announcing the Liner Legal Largest Loser challenge and explaining my personal goal to get my weight under 300 pounds—I started the year at around 350—I don’t think I really believed it was attainable.
I’ve struggled with weight my whole life. Surgery definitely helped. Those who know my story know that at one point I weighed as much as 458 pounds. But even with surgery, I was stuck yo-yo’ing between 345 and 360 pounds.
Getting below 300 pounds seemed impossible because to get there I had to do it the old-fashioned way. Having already had surgery, the only way to continue my weight loss was with disciplined diet and exercise. Diet and exercise—there are few words in the English language I loathe more. I decided to make a series of small changes.
Any time I had ever tried to make a big lifestyle change in one swoop (“I’m going to cut out carbs”, “I’m going to run 4 miles a day”) I have always fallen on my rear pretty quickly. On the exercise end of the equation, I built myself up. In January I was walking for 30 minutes a day on a low incline at 3.3MPH. By March I was walking for 40 minutes a day on a mid-grade incline at 3.5MPH. As I write this in late September, I now walk 50 minutes per day on the highest incline my treadmill offers at a speed of 3.6MPH. When I am finished with my workout I am sweating so hard I must look like I just surfaced from the ocean floor. I also feel an incredible sense of accomplishment.
Though I think the biggest change has been my dedication to an exercise regiment, the question I’m asked most frequently is how my diet has changed. The biggest difference is I have (mostly) eliminated night time eating. I still love cookies and cakes and its hard to say ‘no’, but my going to bed earlier at night and waking up earlier in the morning I have cut out many of the late night calories I used to consume that I think contributed to excessive weight maintenance.
On September 14 I stepped on the scale and I almost had to do a double take. It said I weighed 298 pounds. What I learned through my journey the last 8+ months is that the best way to accomplish something is just to keep chipping away at it. The best home run hitters tend to strike out a lot, but Ichiro Suzuki won 4 MVP awards by striving to do little more than consistently making contact between the bat and the ball.
I share my story and this lesson learned because I think it has tremendous applicability for so many of my clients. You can recover from the back surgery, you can beat or at least adapt to living with the toughest of mental illnesses. Step by step, little by little, one day at a time.
From my heart and for my community,