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Listen to Your Body Podcast 347 - How to Get Crystal Clear on Your Fitness Motivation w_ Christa Shelton

Getting Clear on Your Fitness Motivation

If you struggle with staying motivated when engaging with exercise, you are not alone.

Starting a fitness plan is very exciting initially, but when reality sets in about the amount of time it can take to see results, especially as our bodies change through the different phases of life, it can be a bit disheartening.

This is why I have brought the ultimate motivator, Christa Shelton, to the show today.

Listen to Your Body Podcast 347 - How to Get Crystal Clear on Your Fitness Motivation w_ Christa Shelton

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Key Takeaways

If You Want To Get Clear On Your Fitness Motivation, You Should: 

  1. Adapt your training schedule to where your body is at right now in this phase of your life
  2. Get clear on why you want to accomplish a goal and if it is coming from yourself or outside conditioning
  3. Harness the confidence you get from strength training into all areas of your life

For The Love Of Motivation

Christa is a certified personal trainer and behavioral change specialist who is passionate about helping her clients use motivation as a vehicle for long-term success. She loves helping women in mid-life feel confident with their movement practices and get to the ‘why’ behind their goals. She has combined her enthusiasm for fitness and her love of motivating people into a purpose that serves her clients, herself, and her community.

Feeling Confident In Movement at Every Age

When getting back into fitness, especially if some years have passed since the last time we engaged with that exercise, we all tend to compare what we can do now to what we could do back then. But the truth is, how you are training now should be different than how you were training 5 or 10 years ago because your body needs different things. By being tuned into what your body is saying to you, you can get over the barriers of movement and learn to embrace the changes your body is going through.

Know Your “Why”

The best way to stay motivated is to be confident in the ‘why’ behind your goal. Christa uses strength training as a gateway to getting into your internal mindset and figuring out what each unique person needs at that moment. 

When you can own and feel good about your intentions and feel secure in what your body can do, that confidence translates into all areas of your life. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be strong. While the definition of the word strong may change from person to person, the positivity that comes from feeling assured in your body’s abilities is universal.

Are you ready to stop procrastinating and start using your mindset to fuel your motivation? Share what you loved most about Christa’s approach with me in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • Common fears and barriers surrounding women holding women back from getting started on a fitness journey (14:06)
  • How to address the changes in your body mid-life and adapt your training program accordingly (22:54)
  • The role of mindset and listening to your body when doing any type of training (25:21)
  • Tips for overcoming your mindset challenges when it comes to strength training (28:51)
  • How strength training can help you tap into your motivation and create inner transformation (36:45)


“Because I am walking this journey, it really compelled me to really immerse myself in how we are looking at aging and how we are feeling about our bodies as we age. And that’s really what made me want to make the shift to really focus here.” (8:39)

“Generally speaking, it still takes work and time to build muscle. So to think you could go from where you are to somehow ever get to ‘The Rock’ or anywhere near that is in itself a huge misconception.” (18:40)

“I am very much more the type of trainer that is going to talk to you about how you are feeling, specifically that day when I see you, and then we are going to move according to that.” (23:44)

“Getting down deep and relating to people on a human level is not something that I feel is really talked about as much as it should be for people coming into this work. Because when you are dealing with people’s bodies, I feel that that is a very personal space, and it needs to be treated with the utmost respect.” (27:46)

“What are your motivations behind the things that you do? I think it is important to dig into that so that you can really understand if your motivation for doing something is based on conditioning and messaging that you have been getting… or is it something that you have a clear mindset about this approach and why you feel it is important.” (32:23)

Featured on the Show

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How to Get Crystal Clear on Your Fitness Motivation w/ Christa Shelton – FULL TRANSCRIPT

Steph Gaudreau
If you’ve ever felt that it’s hard to stay motivated to do your workouts and engage in exercise, you’re definitely not alone. One of the biggest struggles that my clients often face is they get excited at the beginning of a new workout plan. And then slowly, things change. The newness wears off, and they’re left asking, why am I doing this?

Today on the podcast, I am welcoming an amazing guest who is talking about how to get very sturdy in your motivations and understand why you are doing what you’re doing. Whether it’s you want to change your body, or look a specific way or reach a particular fitness goal. Today’s podcast is going to give you some insight as to how to get clear on your motivations so that this becomes something you do long term.

The Listen to Your Body podcast is all about helping women who lift weights get stronger, fuel themselves without counting every bite of food, perform better in and out of the gym, and take up space. I’m a strength coach, nutritional therapy practitioner, and certified intuitive eating counselor, Steph Gaudreau. This weekly show brings you discussion about building strength without obsessing about food and exercise, lifting weights, food, psychology, and more. You’ll learn how to eat, train, recover, listen to your body, and step into your strength. Hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app. And let’s dive in.

Welcome back to the podcast. Hello, thank you so much for being here today. I am so excited for this show because this is one of the biggest struggles that my clients and my community face, you’re ready to start a fitness plan you want to get stronger. It’s so new and yummy and exciting and fun at the beginning and then the reality sets in that this is something that’s probably going to take time for you to see results or things aren’t happening as quickly as you wanted them to. So before you give up or before you say, oh, this isn’t working, and you get frustrated at yourself. I want you to tune into this show today and listen to my very special guest, Christa Shelton.

Christa is a certified personal trainer and a behavior change specialist. And she really focuses and specializes in helping her clients understand the mindset and motivations behind what they do. And being very clear on that as a vehicle to find long-term success. I loved this podcast so much. And I know you’re going to get so much value out of listening to Christa’s approach and all of her wisdom.

Before you hop in just a quick reminder that the doors to my Strength Nutrition Unlocked program are currently closed. However, you can join the waitlist and I will email you when we’re getting ready to launch the next round. You can do that at StephGaudreau.com/link. And without further ado, let’s jump into the show. Hello, Christa. Welcome to the show.

Christa Shelton
Hi, Steph, thank you so much for having me. I’m very excited to be here.

How to Feel Confident with Movement

Steph Gaudreau
I’m super excited to have you here. And we were just chuckling because when you start a Zoom meeting now, which is how I record with guests. This is a little insider sneak peek for the listeners, when we record usually it’s over Zoom because most of the people that I interview are all over the world, which is really cool. Although you’re in California, same as me. Zoom asks you… there’s a woman’s voice that comes on and she says like recording in progress and I call her Karen because she’s just so abrasive sounding. So I said that before we started recording and we just had a good laugh.

Yes. Well, I’m excited to have you here today on the show because of who you serve in your professional life, your career, the things that you do online and I feel like not only am I a huge, I mean this is like yes, I am all about fitness and lifting and all of that stuff but particularly the specific community that you serve is women in midlife.

And I think that so many of my listeners can relate to this, or they have, you know, they have a family member or a friend or someone they know who is potentially curious about this stuff too, and is running up against some really common, I guess obstacles with aging midlife and how to feel confident in movement. So I would love to hear from you like, you know, how did you get started on this career trajectory? And specifically, when did you know that you wanted to work with women in this, I’ll say age range, but a phase of life?

Christa Shelton

Well, I started personal training in 2015. And that was actually I always say that this line of work shows me, you know, fitness has always been a part of my life. And it’s something that I’ve always, you know, I’ve always worked out and really liked lifting and feeling strong and doing all those things. But I also have always loved motivating other people, it’s something that lights me up. I feel it comes naturally to me. And so I was looking to make a career shift. And it was just a perfect marriage of taking my love of fitness and my love motivating people and bringing those two things together.

And then starting all this journal, this journey for personal training. So I started that in 2015. And once and I started, you know, at a corporate gym initially, and that, you know, there’s been, you know, some, I’ve just grown that since then after I left the gym, and then just slowly started building my own personal training business. And then it really the part about me, really working with women in midlife, the web serving now is really quite new.

Actually, I want to say just within the last, I don’t know, few months, that’s really where I have, I have zeroed in on wanting to focus my attention with this age range. Because I myself am in that sweet spot. I just turned 45 in April. And I never really I’ve never really thought about aging, honestly, like, when I’m what I mean by that, like I’ve never, like sat and I’ve never been scared of it. Or I’ve always just felt like, would it be useful, and I’m fun. And I do you know, so I never really thought about it until I started to notice or feel differences in myself. And in mindset and noticing changes in my own body. And things were just, you know, a little bit different than I was used to.

And I remember having because I’ve always had older women around me, my sisters are 11, 12 years older than I have it my cousin’s. So I’m like the youngest of in the family. And so I would have a lot of older women kind of hit at, you know, when you get and I would push against that so much. And then like I said, Now I’m kind of walking in that now and noticing certain changes, and it really just got me to thinking about it. And because I am walking this journey, it really compelled me to want to really immerse myself in how we are looking at aging, how we’re feeling about our bodies as we age. And that’s really what made me want to make the shift to really focus here. I know that was a long way around.

Barriers to Women in Fitness

Steph Gaudreau
No, it’s beautiful. And I think that that context is so important. And there are so many things I want to ask. But going back to earlier, when you were talking, you said that you’ve been into like you’ve loved to work out or you’ve been into fitness for a long time. And as you know, I’m 42 so we’re relatively close in age to each other. It seems like there’s this interesting kind of generational split, where sometimes women who are maybe a decade older, they’re like, they’ve never really grown up with working out and exercise.

Obviously, that’s a generalization. And then, you know, nowadays, it’s like there are so many people out there encouraging women, you know, young women, girls, teens, you know, to like love movement and do sports and all of that stuff. How were you? How did you come up? I guess with that SMD you always like to do, did you have a family influence? Like, was there a sport that you played? Because I always find this really fascinating how some women who are similar in age to us are like, yeah, like I’ve always loved movement and then others. There’s a big barrier there.

Christa Shelton
Yeah, for me, my mom when I was young, she started me in dance. So I want to say I started dancing around like three or four years old. And so I was just doing, you know, ballet and tap. And then I did that all the way until I want to say like, around 11, 12 I then we incorporated jazz, I was doing ballet, tap, and jazz. And then when I got to high school, I was a cheerleader. So then I was cheerleading through high school. And so I guess, however, in addition to that, I was always just an active child.

So I was, you know, I was definitely, you know, I would say I loved being outside, climbing trees, getting dirty riding my bike all the way around, I was just an active kid. So in addition to the things that my mom said, you know, sent me to class-wise, in addition to that, I was always doing something physical. And it’s just something I really just love to do. I love just to just be out and about. And being an 80s kid, very, you know, I think most people that are growing up in that era can relate to that. That’s just how it was, you know, you went outside, and you are your friends. And it was just what you did.

And so I’ve always been active in that way. And then I had friends that played soccer. And I never got, you know, tried out for a team, but I would just play with them. And I remember their dad at one point saying, you know, you’re really good, you should really actually think about leg soccer. It’s just not anything that I ended up falling up with, but I would play you know, with them. And at summer camp, so it was just, I, I feel like it was something that I was just naturally inclined to in terms of movement. And, you know, I just had, of course, you know, my, my mom, who was very supportive of that. And then I dance and then I did the cheerleading.

And then when I went to college, I wanted to like my freshman year, it was for vanity reasons, I’m gonna be very clear about that and be like, okay, I was like, I am not, I did not want to gain this freshman 15. Like, every, that’s where my head was very honest, that he was very much so about vanity and wanting to look a certain way. And so even though I enjoyed it, some of my motivations for wanting to do it were shifting at that time. But then once I got into strength training, I was like, No, I really actually like this.

You’re saying, like, I really love this. And I just happened to be around people that supported that. And I will say, even then at the gyms when I would talk to some of the personal trainers there who happen to be men, they were not the type that was trying to, you know, be literal or dumb it down. Like they were very much like on it, like, you know, we’re not treating you any differently. Because you’re so I feel like I always had that sort of support. And once I started doing it, I just, I just loved it.

Motivation for Fitness

Steph Gaudreau
We were talking about being outside and like doing all the things and getting dirty, just brought me back to also as an 80s kid, you know, Mommy, like don’t come back till it’s dark. I don’t want to see you back in this house. Maybe chuckle days. Oh. What about?

Okay, so just kind of shifting back forward. So you know, you learn to lift weights, like obviously struck a chord for you. Now, when you’re helping women who are, you know, approaching midlife, this new phase of life? When you’re working with women who are curious, they’re like, you know, curious about lifting weights, but they are, there are just things in the way you don’t know how to start or whatever it is.

What are some of the common, I guess, fears or apprehensions or barriers even, that you tend to find with women who are in your universe who are like, oh, I look like I’m like, I think I want to do that. But I’m not sure exactly how to how to get started. Or I’m worried about this thing where I’m unsure about this other thing, what are some of the things that you’re seeing are holding women back?

Christa Shelton
In my experience, quite frankly, usually, when women are coming to me, they have made up their mind that this is what they want to do. Which is helpful. I think the main barrier, especially if you’re talking about in particular lifting is that and this is not even just women in midlife. I feel like this is women in general, have this misconception about lifting weights, they automatically equate it to weight. This is the term that usually comes up they don’t want to be bulky. They don’t want to look quote-unquote manly, that’s a whole ‘nother thing to unpack in and of itself.

But I’m just saying that these are this is the language that comes forth a lot and this fear of like not really wanting to in those I’m saying you know, not wanting to appear too too masculine, and, you know, wanting to, you know, look a certain way. And even and I just spoke on this recently, you know, the idea of even being more comfortable saying that they want to be toned, rather than they want to build muscle. And I’m like, it’s the same like, like, you’re not, you, you need to understand that you what you’re saying is that you do want to build muscle, with what it is that you’re trying to achieve requires you to build muscle.

And so I think even the languaging so I think that that’s what I faced more so than anything is this misconception about what it means for your body to actually pick up weights? And just, you know, as I have encountered a lot of Okay, well, I don’t want to lift more than eight pounds, you know, because I have a tendency to, you know, get too big too soon. And so that’s the type of languaging that I feel that I face, mostly. And those are the types of barriers that I find that I have to break down when it comes to really get into a strength training program.

I Want to Get Stronger

Steph Gaudreau
Yeah, I would actually I had gotten, as soon as I go back to your Instagram, and I’m looking for interesting things that my guests say, and you had a post that said, you don’t want to get toned. You want to build muscle. And I wanted to ask you about that. So I’m so glad that you brought that up. There’s kind of a difference of opinion, I guess, amongst trainers, fitness coaches, strength coaches in this space about how you approach even having that conversation with a client.

And so I’d love to, like give you the space to sort of, you know, what would you say I’m, let’s say, I’m your client, and I come in and I say, you know, alright, I’m ready to do this, Christa, like, let’s, I want to get stronger. But you know, I kind of want to get toned like, how would you walk me through that? Because I think on this podcast, there are still some folks who have this apprehension.

Christa Shelton
So for me, I would say, I would want them to break down what they think that that means. So I would really give the floor to them, and ask them Okay, so what do you think that means? Like? So when you’re saying that you want to be toned? What exactly do you think that is? Because I think that’s part of the issue, too, is that these catchphrases are thrown around. And people don’t even really know what they mean. And it can mean something different for everybody.

And so I would want to dig into each individual person and find out okay, what exactly does that mean? And then I would just say to them, because I feel like the, like I said, this picture that they get in their mind is like have, you know, the rock? Like, you know, I’m just like, there, you don’t have to worry about getting looking anywhere near this idea that you have. Because first of all, I think that people need to understand how much work, it goes into even building muscle.

And I think that’s one of the things one of the biggest misconceptions is that you don’t just start a strength training program one week, and then two weeks later, you are, you know, have muscles every, it doesn’t work that way. So I think that’s the thing, that is part of it, too. Now, obviously, everyone genetically is made up differently, and some, you know, gain muscle quicker than others. Of course, there’s a nuance there. But generally speaking, it still takes work and time to build muscles to think that you would go from where you are to then somehow ever getting to the rock or even anything near that is in itself a huge misconception.

And so I think, you know, that’s sort of where I would start is really kind of peeling back that onion and explaining how this really works, how the body works, and how, you know, it takes a lot to build muscle. And it takes a long time. And a lot of the ideas and pictures that people see, even if it’s not of the road, maybe it is of someone you know, that is a woman that you know, carries more muscle or what have you, or that picture that I feel that people get is that, you know, sometimes there’s an enhancement, sometimes people are, you know, taking, you know, steroids and things that so there are a lot of things that go into getting people looking aesthetically the way I think a lot of women run from and I would be having these types of conversations with them.

Fitness is Always Growing and Evolving

Steph Gaudreau
I love that’s so valuable that, you know, like asking what they think it means. And is there a picture in their mind? And yeah, I think that that’s huge, that’s a really powerful way to break it down. And getting that insight is so important. And you know, you’re right, we have that languaging that we the industry uses and so it’s what gets in our minds about how we discuss our bodies or how we even vocalize or describe the changes that we think we want and so sometimes it’s like it’s the languaging to that’s, it’s just like what we’ve learned. It’s just the words that we learned.

Christa Shelton
Yeah. And listen, and I and I, you know, I definitely also like these myself, as an example, in terms of growing and evolving and learning new things. I’m not the same trainer that I was in 2015, that I am in 2021, for things that I’ve learned and how to unlearn and the, you know, the deconditioning, that comes when you really take a step back and look at the messaging that you’ve been taking in and picking that apart. So it’s a journey, and it’s a process.

And so I like to make sure that I’m relating to my clients and not making them feel even worse about feeling that way or thinking that way. So I want to make sure I say that too, is that it’s never a way in which I’m saying something from on high. It’s definitely a relatable conversation. And I’m using myself even as an example in terms of breaking down barriers and things I’ve pivoted from and change my mind about as I’ve grown. And as I’ve learned more. So I think that’s really an important piece of it as well, because I at one point, was saying that I wanted to be told before I knew better, so I just want to make sure I threw that in there, too.

Adapting Workouts for Aging Women

Steph Gaudreau
That’s such an important point. And that’s one of the things I really appreciate about you. And other people like you out on Instagram, or having these conversations with our clients is saying, Yeah, I didn’t, you know, I used to think this too. And I didn’t know better, you know, I didn’t know that there was a different way of even thinking about this. And this is what I learned. That is so key because the minute we have that, like, you know, shame-y kind of like, an approach that two people just turn off. So I think that’s absolutely so wonderful.

Alright, so when you’re trying to, like, there are so many things I want to ask. So when you have a client come to you, and they’re ready, they’re like, yeah, I’m here, I’m ready, I want to, you know, engage in this with you I want to get stronger, or whatever it is. What are some of the specific challenges for those of us who are listening out there who may not have a clear sense, as you said earlier, like, you know, you would sort of listening to sometimes these older women in your family, and it kind of like would hint that you know, things are gonna change or this and that?

And I feel like that’s changing a little bit. I feel like things are more open now. But if someone’s coming into training with you, and they think, Well, my body could change a lot in the next few years, the next five years, maybe it is changing right now. What are some of the things when you’re training someone going through something like perimenopause or menopause? Some of the specific things to how you train them that you like, you’re all trying to be kind of mindful of like, how might they be feeling different than they used to feel? Or how might you help them adapt or shift some of their workouts compared to what they used to do are some of the other considerations that as we are aging, and we are in midlife that you find are helpful when you’re working with people?

Christa Shelton
You know, I want to say, as I said, this shift is newer for me, but most of my clients just happen to fall in that age range. And I think for me, I am very much driven. And the work that I do and how I’m moving with my clients is very much driven. I’m more, I’m very tuned in to mindset, right. So the things that I’m doing with my clients, I’m very much more the type of trainer that is going to talk to you about how you’re feeling specifically that day when I see you. And then we’re going to move according to that.

So if someone is saying to me, and it’s a specific concern they have about movement, then we’re going to take some time to actually talk about that. So I can get more insight into the piece of the mind of it because I feel like for me, I always say that the strength training, part of the work that I do is really just a gateway into getting into them internally. And then of course, then we do the workout, you know, externally.

But so that’s how I approach it more so so if they are having a specific concern about how they’re feeling in their body, then I’m going to peel back the layers of that and ask specific questions, and then we’re going to shift and adjust our movement based upon that. And we’re going to look at how I’m going to move forward and training with them based upon how they are feeling because here’s the thing, I think what’s really important is well, first of all being in the moment, right because what you may have done or how you may have trained even six weeks ago, could be very good different than how you’re training now much less, much less 10 years ago, right.

And so I think that it’s very important that we are like, very, I tried to work with them by clients to really be in tune to their bodies and what their bodies are saying to them. And then moving according to that, rather than so you’re trying to you’re embracing where you are, and working with it, rather than trying to shift and change it and break out of it.

Because you’re trying to do something that you did 10 years ago, which your body was asking of you 10 years ago, is very different than what your body could be asking me right now. It could be similar, it could be similar. You know, however, I think it’s important that we learn how to move with the body and the changes that it’s that it is ushering in and learn how to embrace those and feel like okay, this is where I am now, how does it feel best to move in this body at this moment and then we work from there.

Honor Changes in Your Body

Steph Gaudreau
I will show you, how should you just like repeat that whole thing and like play it back? I think it’s really important. It’s such an important, and you laid it out so beautifully. I mean, I hear, you know, a very person-centered approach I hear, you know, really trying to, to help people be in the present rather than to keep thinking well, I used to be able to do this or, you know, when I was in college, I exercise this way or something like that. And wow, that is such a powerful way to approach it and helping people be here in the now in the present in an honoring whatever’s happening in their body.

Christa Shelton
I think that’s just really important. And again, that just even speaks to just what I said a few moments ago like that’s not the trainer I entered in being. Because when you talk about, you know, coming in and going through programs, these typically are not the things that they’re teaching you. Every program is different. So I don’t want to like say make a blanket statement. However, most of the things that you learn, are not centered around that, you know, it’s for me anyway, it seems to just be kind of like a blanket thing. And yeah, you can kind of tweak it and apply it to person a person.

But that really getting down deep. And relating to people on a human level, is not something that I feel, is really talked about as much as it should be for people coming into this work. And because when you are dealing with people’s bodies, I feel that that’s a very personal space, and it needs to be treated with the utmost respect. And I feel the best way that you can do that is by really getting to the core of how people feel about themselves, about their body and really working with that and seeing where people are because just you know, throwing, you know, reps and sets at people, I feel like you are missing out on so much more and so much more transformation that can take place beyond just the aesthetic.

Staying Motivated at the Gym

Steph Gaudreau
Beautifully said, beautifully said, Gosh, when you are, well, let me rephrase and say this way when you’re working with somebody when they come to you, and what is some of the mindset, so you’re talking about asking questions, really seeing how people are feeling and making changes and adapting what you’re doing that day to really honor that. Rather than just, I think we all people want to just want to be told what to do. And that in and of itself is such a change. But what are some of the biggest mindset, I guess, challenges that people can have when they come to work with you and, and how do you sort of work through that?

Christa Shelton
Yeah, I think just thinking that they need to be smaller, you know, that they need to be that they need to feel or look differently. You know, the idea of wanting you to know, it, a lot of it, like I said is centered around losing or, you know, reef reshaping themselves and some sort of way, which itself like, you know, I’m of the thought that, you know, everybody has a choice to do what they want to do with their body period. You know, I may not agree with it, I don’t have to agree with it. It’s your body. You know, do what you will with it, I can like say kind of opinion about it. But at the end of the day, that’s going to be your choice to make.

And so I think that but a lot of where I find that women come in with this idea like I said of wanting to be you know feel more appealing. You know, appear to feel sexier, you know, feel better in their clothes, you know, those sort of things, which again, I’m not, you know, boring that, you know, say like, you know, that’s fine. But when we’re when those are the things that come up, I’m wanting to get into the why. So this is the thing like if you are saying I want to lose 10 pounds, I am going to be asking a question and want to dig into that a little bit more.

Client willing, of course, because again, this is consensual, because what people don’t want to talk about that, you know, some people are just like, I just want to come and do the workout. And I don’t want to get into any of this internal stuff, typically. And that hasn’t really been my experience. But I realized that that’s the thing, right? So I want to ask consent and be like, Okay, are you willing or open to having a conversation about this because I just want to have a better understanding of why it is that you want to lose 10 pounds.

So it’s not placing a judgment on you for wanting to lose the 10 pounds, it’s getting to the bottom of Why? Because that is really what is going to shape your experience as you march toward that. And I’m wanting to know if it’s something that’s really coming from you, and something that you really are like, no, like, I don’t, you know, I’m not feeling well, or there’s another health concern where they’re saying that this is, which again, is a whole other conversation. But, you know, I think it’s important to dig into the why.

Dig into Your Why

So if when they’re coming in, they’re wanting to, if it’s not just about I just want somebody to hold me accountable to like it’s a move in it. It’s not that because that’s one classification. If it’s not just that it is you’re trying to change your body in some sort of way. I am wanting to know, let’s talk about why. Because you’re, why I feel like is your strongest thing, not even just a working out just in life? Why? What are your motivations behind the things that you do? Because I think it’s important to dig into that.

So you can really understand if your motivation for doing something is based on conditioning and messaging that you’ve been getting? Or is it something that you’ve actually worked through, and you’ve done the work and you have a clear mindset about this approach and why you feel this is important. There are two different that can be two different things. And so I’m just wanting people to be sturdy, in their motivations about why they want to march towards something, especially when it comes to them feeling or even, I also want to make sure they’re not attaching their worth, to how they feel like they look aesthetically.

And if they feel that losing the 10 pounds is somehow going to make them feel more worthy of whatever they think that it’s going to make them more worthy. That I’m going to want to, for them to even first not even from my for me, it’s not for me, it’s for them to know there for themselves. What is driving this, because the truth of the matter is that that’s where the core of the work is because you could go we can march forward to you losing that 10 pounds, and you get there.

And then you want to do something else. Because really you haven’t touched really what the reason is why you feel like you need to why you think you need to lose those 10 pounds. So when those 10 pounds are gone? Is that going to be the answer to how you feel the way you feel or not? That’s why the Why is important. And that’s why would be asking a question.

Steph Gaudreau
I’m thinking, I wonder how many people who do this work, even asked that, that question of their clients, like really try to get to the heart of the matter, like really trying to tell as you said earlier, peel back the onion. I just get the sense that that’s you know, I heard somebody I was reading somebody else’s posts the other day on Facebook, and this person was saying, you know, I walked into a gym and they told me what my goals were going to be. Yeah. And I cannot imagine that’s an isolated incident.

Shifting is Not a Destination

Christa Shelton
It’s not isolated. Oh, yeah, I know, for myself, I’ve heard many stories and people doing many different programs that you know, I think, you know, I don’t even think that it’s necessarily like malicious in the ways in which people approach weight loss and fitness and things like that. It is a product of how we’re conditioned to think about bodies, in particular, especially those that identify as women, you know that that is conditioning and that was what drives a lot of what people put out there and what people teach and say and do and so that’s why on a one to one basis for me and the work that I feel like I’m called to do, I am saying okay, no, this is the approach that I am going to take.

Now, if that’s not what you’re trying to do, then that’s fine. You know, they’re not the trainer for you, and that’s okay. But, however, I just my whole thing is about us being able to own and feel good about ourselves as much as we can. And of course, we’re gonna have days where we feel like shit, or we might have certain because, again, those types of conditions, it takes its work, right, like this type of mindset. Shifting is not a destination, you arrive at one day, and it’s all figured out and you feel good all the time.

You feel good because I don’t even want to give that impression to anybody listening, that I myself have it all together all the time because I don’t it’s a constant, day by day thing for even me to undo, you know, and to rethink and to pivot. And so, you know, I think a lot of the industry and how it pushes, you know, what is acceptable, what’s aesthetically pleasing, all of the things? Again, it’s because it has been perpetuated and repeated and, you know, just drilled into us. And so that’s what we think it is that we have to do. We don’t, we just don’t. The final answer on that.

Steph Gaudreau
I have one more question for you. Earlier, you were talking about the idea that strength training and fitness is really kind of that conduit that that gateway into the inner work, the inner transformation, what are some of your, I guess, either personal or client, like, favorite transformations or ways that you’ve noticed people’s lives really changing? You can’t see it, you probably can’t see this video, Christa’s face, just your face just lit up when I am asking this question. I know you love this. Now, what are some of the ways that you’ve seen people really expand in their lives or transforming their lives because of their experience working with you?

Christa Shelton
My favorite thing is… one example comes to me right off the bat when I had this one client, and she was younger, but she has never been, like active physically. And so when she came to me, you know, it was difficult for her to even if we were like they were doing like chair sets, or something that I was in a chair and stand up, like that would even be challenging for her. And, you know, we work together for a while. And I remember her texting name, saying, Christa, you’re not gonna believe this, because she worked with kids and like art.

And so she was talking about how she had to bend down to get like a crate or something and she was like, and I was able to get down, pick it up with no issue like I was able to bend and lift. And I’ve never been able to do that before as she was like, and I was able to carry it across the campus. And that was something I was never able, like, I would have, like being out of breath, I would have had to That’s what she said I would have had to hold on to something in order to get up. And that’s just not my reality anymore.

What Else Can I Accomplish?

And I’m telling you when I hear things like that because I feel what that does is it when you feel, you know, that type of strength in your body, and you can see what your body can actually do. I really been that’s why I said I feel like then it does then translate into, like, what else can I do? Like, what else can I conquer in this life? You know, so I used to not be able to get up without holding on to something. What else can I accomplish? What other goal can I set for myself and do that? So that’s what I mean, right?

So I feel like when you can within yourself, feel in your body change and shift and get stronger than that then just propels you to think about Okay, what else could be possible for me. And so that’s just again, I feel like that’s just one small example. But I feel that that’s just kind of like how it goes once you start to feel stronger. And now in that way, it just opens the door for more exploration into what other things you can conquer in this way.

And that’s the kind of thing that I really just try to remind my clients of like you are powerful, you can really do what it is that is placed within you to do because I feel like when things are placed on your heart or that you have a goal. I don’t think that’s by accident. I really feel like it’s there for a purpose that I might need some, some caressing and like I said, peeling back the layers of And that work might need to be there. However, I just feel if it’s there if it’s a new like the like that it is meant to be cultivated to, you know, take you to the heights that you didn’t even think possible, right. And so that means just hope it gives me emotional because that I, I feel it like, viscerally when I’m saying it like I believe that with, like, all of my being.

Steph Gaudreau
I can feel it’s your truth because it’s making my heart feel so warm and happy. And, gosh, I feel so motivated, just listening to you. I guess we’re gonna do this, you are definitely living in your gifts. And it’s beautiful to see how you’re sharing that with other people.

Christa Shelton
Thank you, Steph. I appreciate that. And you know, I think the world of the work that you do, I just want to say that I’m really honestly honored that you even asked me to come on here and have this discussion with you. I see how you’re showing up, I see the work that you do and really, you yourself, getting people to think about things differently and pivot and you know, give people a different perspective. And all of the things you know, that you put out into the world, I think are amazing. So I just want to make sure to say that it’s mutual, and I see that you as well or walking, definitely, in what it is that you are meant to do.

Workout Motivation for Women

Steph Gaudreau
Thank you. You know, I think, I was saying this earlier, the podcast has given me this beautiful platform to bring people on the show and introduce them to my community. And I mean, sometimes you just randomly get lucky on Instagram, and you find a really cool person who’s also doing this work. But I think you know what, this is a collective effort. You’re definitely making a huge change in the fitness industry in terms of how you approach things with women, especially women in midlife, you’re changing the conversation. You are a leader, and I think it helps so much to know that we’re not alone as well.

Christa Shelton
Yeah. Yes. Oh my gosh, yes. Huge. Yes, yes, that is huge. And it is nice to see, I know we talked a lot about or at least I mentioned a lot about what I think could be shifted a lot or a little, you know, these to be looked at or re looked at but there are, I am hopeful about, a lot of the things that I am seeing and that the conversation is even being had and people are talking about you know women in midlife and change their body that it is becoming more of a mainstream conversation is definitely something I’m excited about and I’m comforted in. And I just hope that we continue to go that way.

Steph Gaudreau
We’re gonna do our best.

Christa Shelton

Steph Gaudreau
Alright, so we’re going to round it out, let us know. Okay, Where can the good people listening to this podcast find you on Instagram or on social media, your website? Where are you located so they can learn more about you and how to work with you.

Christa Shelton
Yes, so my website is just Yes, CoachingWithChrista.com and Christa is C.H.R.I.S.T.A. So that’s one way and then on Instagram is always a great way because I’m there mostly, on social, is on Instagram and you can find me at Coaching With Christa on there as well. And then, you know, have all my links to all the various places on my linktree. So either way, you can find me.

Steph Gaudreau
Perfection. Thank you so much for joining me today. This was an absolute pleasure. You are wonderful and just such a leader in such a bright light. And I appreciate you so much for coming on the show.

Christa Shelton
Thanks, Steph. I appreciate it.

Steph Gaudreau
Thank you. All right. That does it for this episode of the podcast. Thank you so much for listening. If you want to get the show notes for this episode, including a full transcript, then be sure to head to StephGaudreau.com. There you’ll find this episode with the wonderful Christa Shelton. Of course, make sure you follow her on all the socials, especially Instagram. And if you love this episode or you learn something from it, be sure to share it on IG stories and tag both Krista and myself we would love to see what you have to say and of course amplify your words out into the world.

Be sure to rate review and subscribe to this podcast on your favorite podcast app. And of course, if you want to get on the waitlist for the next round of my strength nutrition program, which is strength nutrition unlocked. It’s a group program, then you can do that by going to StephGaudreau.com/link. That does it for today’s show. Until next week, have a kick-ass week stay strong and we’ll talk soon.

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Steph Gaudreau

Hi, I'm Steph Gaudreau (CISSN, NASM-CPT)!

Nutrition and fitness coach for women, Lord of the Rings nerd, and depending on who you ask, crazy cat lady. My mission is to help you fuel for more: bigger muscles, strength, energy, and possibilities. We’ll do it with my signature blend of science, strategy…and a little bit of sass.


Purpose built for strength, fitness, and athleticism. This is a templated, app-based 12-month progressive strength program for women over 40.


Strength Nutrition Unlocked

For athletic women 40+ who want to get stronger, build muscle, boost energy, and perform better. Implement evidence-backed strategies to fuel, train, and recover smarter with the support & accountability you need.

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