Day In The Life of… Gerilyn

We love black and white. This diet or none. That crazy program or else. If it isn’t radical, different, or all-or-nothing then it cannot be effective.

Yet lasting change doesn’t happen in the extremes, but in knowing and confidently executing healthy choices in the midst of…

life. 

In life, there isn’t always a black-and-white answer. To create lasting change we LOVE, we must be willing to be flexible in various social settings and situations. And we must be willing to play and practice! 🙂

So today, I want to begin a monthly series sharing a day in the life of various people who love the healthy life they lead! They will be in various stages of their journeys, goals, and in the way it all plays out. Some eat gluten sometimes… *gasp!*… but they are still healthy. Some skip workouts, overeat, undereat, overtrain… you get the picture…

Because they are REAL women with REAL lives and it’s important to see how this works for us and how it can work for you too.

So I will start us off this month with a day in the life of yours truly! I don’t recommend following my lifestyle verbatim but I do believe it’s helpful to see the shifts and get a peek inside the journey.

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Name & Age: Gerilyn Burnett, 27photo (78)

When did you start caring about your health? I was always obsessed with my weight & being “bigger” than other girls my age, but after crash dieting unsuccessfully several times in college (counting calories, Food Pyramid, fake Atkins), I began my quest for the healthiest way to live in the summer of 2007. I wanted to honor God with my entire being and I knew that if I pursued health, my body transformation goal would fall into place also. Granted, my main priority was the way my body looked, but that’s how it all began.

Did it work? Yes and no. First, I pursued vegetarianism and began strength training consistently. I tracked my inches and weight and saw fabulous results… as long as I trained 3x per week… when I wasn’t able to train, the weight immediately increased.

I remember a mentor sharing that “we just gain weight as we age” and there’s “nothing we can do about it.” That wasn’t good enough for me though, and I was determined to discover the solution.

What were you eating at the time? When I was a vegetarian, I LOVED this mix of cottage cheese, blueberries, walnuts, and sometimes protein powder, so I ate that frequently, along with tofu, tempeh and various soy products. A day might consist of oatmeal for breakfast, a salad with tofu at lunch, cottage cheese for snack and maybe some fish and veggies at dinner. I still ate fish occasionally. And cookies and ice cream… those were always tasty. “Healthy” ones of course with whole wheat flour, lots of dried fruit, etc.

What was the biggest shift in your journey thus far? After vegetarianism, I got into raw veganism as it seemed to be the cure all. It eliminated many of the foods I now know as toxic and inflammatory so for awhile I felt much better & experienced high energy. But I think I actually gained weight during this time and stayed puffy. About 11 months into my raw veganism with the occasional fish, I took a dare to try Paleo for 30 days to see if it would help my strength gains. I took the dare to prove someone wrong, but within two weeks I not only shed 5 pounds, but my skin was clearer, energy was consistent, and my digestive issues had disappeared. In short, I was insatiably curious about why this worked and began my life’s work learning about holistic health and helping people experience similar and more astounding results.

What were you eating then? Well, everyone “knew” fat was “bad,” so I was scared to eat too much fat. Instead I ate tuna with a bit of olive oil, a few eggs, a steak, that sort of thing. When I began adding a bit more fat, though, my results continued to get better and better. This began in the fall of 2009. So fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables, meat and fish.

Let’s fast-forward 3 1/2 years… what’s the biggest lessons you’ve learned? The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that our food is a message to our body. When we eat nutrient dense whole foods, our body can heal itself dramatically because it has the necessary raw materials to THRIVE. Conversely…

The second biggest lesson is that our self-talk and mindset are at the core of our current circumstances. We can change our behaviors, habits, and patterns all we want to, but until we believe something different, all results will be a constant struggle and more than likely temporary.

Hardest thing to let go of? My negative body image and low self-confidence.

What are 3 things you now eat regularly that you never thought you would?

  1. Liver – I have not-so-fond memories of being forced to eat this gray disgusting substance called liver as a child. I’ve learned that isn’t liver, though. When prepared properly with fresh liver, i.e., not overcooking it, it melts in your mouth!
  2. Dairy – When I began the journey into the ancestral health movement, I always thought dairy was “bad,” because “it wasn’t Paleo,” but I’ve learned that dairy is a very individual food and experienced firsthand how healthy, nutritious and healing high quality raw dairy, like milk and cheese can be.
  3. Carbohydrates! – A few years ago, everyone thought carbohydrates were the problem… and they ARE in metabolically sick people. But carbohydrates – like white rice, rice cereal occasionally, potatoes, and other starches can be very healthful too.

What is a typical day in your life like? A typical day for me begins the night before. Ideally, I set my schedule and intention for the next day the evening before and sleep for 8-10 solid hours to awaken between 5 and 8 A.M. I begin most every day with Bulletproof Coffee + vanilla and sometimes some raw milk. I personally do not eat breakfast most days and then spend ~30 minutes reading my Bible and sometimes praying and/or writing.

Until 10 or so, I’m usually meeting with clients, working on articles or a program, and sipping on water or the rest of my coffee. I make 2 cups every morning, but only drink what I want, so sometimes it’s gone before 10, sometimes it lasts until noon.

If it’s a training day, I drive to the gym while listening to podcasts on health, nutrition, or Christianity. I usually have some coffee with me too, but not always. My training lasts 2 solid hours these days, 3x per week, because I’m dialing in for a Strongwoman competition in August. Also, I’ve realized the value of foam rolling and self myofascial release with a lacrosse ball, softball/baseball, or tennis ball in the shoulders, chest, and glute area, so that takes about 15 minutes before and after each session (to equal 2 solid hours).

After training, I’ll eat some fruit or have some blueberries w/raw milk waiting in the car (~1.5 cups of milk with 1 cup of blueberries) for the drive home. Then I shower and cook lunch or heat something up… usually a piece of chicken, burger, or a few eggs, with some greens with onions, and/or a sweet potato with butter or coconut ghee.

Then I work for the remainder of the afternoon and eat dinner with Clint. I’ve begun cooking more frequently with soup stock (a.k.a. bone broth) in braising greens and veggies, so it’s tasty. Add a piece of meat and we’re all set. There’s usually a potato around too.

Later, I might have a piece of fruit, but that usually does it for the day.

Fave snacks? Toasted coconut, a cup of raw milk, a piece of fruit, or another cup of Bulletproof Coffee. 

Fave splurges? I celebrate occasionally, but I don’t think of it as “cheating” or “splurging” anymore. This is my life. It’s just what I do to feel energetic, confident, strong, and alive throughout the day, every day. If I choose cookies, I am happy about choosing cookies. If I drink cider, I do it without guilt. I love this gluten-free pizza called “Against the Grain.” BEST PIZZA EVER. As in, including any pizza I’ve ever eaten. I also LOVE gelato. Yum.

What supplements do you take? Right now, I take some fermented cod liver oil/butter oil blend a few times a week, magnesium at night, and a probiotic at night. I’m waiting on some blood work to come back to give me some info on what, if anything, I may need to work on or if I am deficient.

Best piece of advice to a newbie? Honor the journey. Your body and health did not suddenly change overnight and reversing it won’t be overnight either. Be okay with it taking time, and getting in a practicing because it’s up and down, but the rewards are indescribable. Also, working with a coach is an amazing experience that ends the overwhelm and confusion that cause many to give up right before they achieve BIG results!

Best budget tip? Buy in bulk. Prioritize nutrient dense fats, like grassfed butter, ghee, and organic coconut oil. Those matter. And if you can’t afford all grassfed, pastured meat, maybe eat a bit less meat until you can… crazy I know, but the health benefits of pastured and wild protein sources continue to astound my mind and taste buds. And I heard this recently, “Buy ingredients, not products.” TRUTH.

What do you love best about being where you are now instead of where you were six years ago? I feel AMAZING every day, throughout the day, and it’s so good that my old ways of living and eating are not even attractive. The consequences just aren’t worth it… And because I feel my best, I’m no longer wasting precious time and energy obsessing over my weight, my size, what other people think about me. Instead, I get to focus on helping others achieve health and healing in their own lives and it’s very empowering! 🙂

What’s the next step in your journey? I feel solid on nutrition and my current training, so I’m leveling up my mindset and looking into working with a practitioner to release trauma stored inside my body. I’ve been through a lot in my young life and I think it’s time to finally release the past!

 

Any questions you want to know the answer to that I haven’t answered here??? Leave a comment and I’ll answer each one personally. 

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Gerilyn Burnett helps women achieve the body, energy, and impact they desire by implementing healthy lifestyles they love! She specializes in helping Christian women cultivate health to the glory of God. Her own journey from miserable, fat, stuck, and tired to fit, confident, vibrant, and delicious make her uniquely suited for this mission! She has a knack for creating contagious healthy experiences and providing the needed support and accountability that turn diets into lifestyles and dreams into realities. Get started on your journey to vibrant vitality for life here

 

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