Author, The Skinny Budget Diet (2013)
Selected by Prevention magazine and The Doctors TV show as finalist for Picture of Health contest
Featured on Women’s World magazine
Weekly talk show, Before Meets After, Christian Television Network (CTN)
Husband: Dan, 20 years; Children: Alex (18); Nathan (14)
Linda Goff: Losing Weight on a Budget
TWENTY YEARS OF OBESITY
Linda Goff grew up eating healthy at her family dinner table. Her mom was a nurse who knew the benefit of eating balanced meals. When Linda went to college, she started eating in the cafeteria and put on the traditional “freshman fifteen.” “But I didn’t stop there,” says Linda. During her senior year studying journalism, Linda was told by a professor that her "look" wasn’t professional enough for TV. “Basically he was telling me in a nice way that I was fat,” says Linda. Six hours short of graduation, Linda dropped out of school believing she had wasted four years of her life and thousands of dollars on an education that she could never use because of her size.
Linda met and married Dan in college. “He loved me despite my size,” she says. After two children, Dan never complained. “When I would grumble about my weight, Dan never lied and said I wasn’t fat. He just said when I was ready to lose the weight, I would.” She tried every diet plan, even one that required eating bananas for every meal. She spent money on diet pills and shakes. One day, Linda realized that she didn’t feel attractive to her husband. “It was nothing he said,” she says. “It was how I felt about myself.” Linda had stopped going for her annual physicals and at 301 pounds, she stopped weighing herself. “I have no idea how much I weighed at my heaviest,” says Linda. “I do know that I couldn’t fit in airline, roller coaster or theater seats.” Trying on jeans meant Linda would lay down on the floor in the dressing room and suck in her stomach. The tricky part was getting up without splitting the jeans or popping a button. Desperate for a quick scheme to end her 20 years of obesity, Linda looked into gastric bypass surgery. Her insurance company said Linda was too healthy for the procedure. “I believed my insurance company had just sentenced me to a lifetime of morbid obesity,” she says.
In March 2007, Linda realized how much her obesity was affecting her marriage. “I was afraid that one day we would simply live together as friends,” says Linda. “That thought broke my heart.” She says that she prayed for 20 years for God to help her, but after she made the decision to finally lose weight, she prayed and then let the Lord lead. The first thing she did was stop spending money on get-thin-quick schemes and created the Skinny Budget Diet where she read labels for nutrition and calorie information. Linda started shopping along the outside walls of the grocery store (for fresh groceries), used inexpensive sandwich containers to divide her food into proper portions and started walking her dog. She says the top 5 things on the must-have list: 1. A scale; 2. Measuring cups/food scale; 3. Snacks (healthy ones); 4. Insulated cooler (for your healthy lunches); 5. Storage containers (for bulk shopping and portion control). Caution: bulk purchasing helps the wallet but is dangerous for overeating so it’s important to portion out the bulk foods. Linda says her whole family sits down and measures out individual servings of grapes, nuts, carrots, strawberries, etc., into storage baggies and containers.
SKINNY WAIST = FATTER WALLET
It took Linda 18 months to lose 155 pounds. She started at a size 26 and is a size 6. Today she weighs 145 pounds. After her 155-pound weight loss, Linda quietly began writing again. A blog grew into a talk show on the Christian Television Network and a weekly newspaper column - reaching thousands of readers weekly with her message of healthy weight loss. Now Linda speaks around the country and runs a comfort food test kitchen with her family and friends as official "tasters." To get her latest low-cal comfort recipes, visit www.theskinnybudgetdiet.com.
Linda says before her weight loss, she suffered from the Ostrich Syndrome. By sticking her “head in the sand,” Linda hid from the truth that she was obese. Linda says she was like this with her finances as well. She lived with the idea that she could buy things on credit and pay them off later. She also feared opening up her bank statement every month. It was the same fear that kept her from weighing herself on a daily basis.
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