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Lessons From Endurance & Strength Training

When I started on my fitness journey, I had no idea about the importance of fueling for your training, recovery, the importance of muscle mass, and so much more.

All I cared about was getting smaller and performing harder. It took me years to learn how to change my mindset and approach to training so that I could finally achieve the results that I was searching for.

Luckily the gift of hindsight has shown me that when it comes to the idea of women athletes, an understanding of where you are and the struggles you are having is key to getting to the bottom of your issues and overcoming them.

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Key Takeaways

If You Are Ready to Start Taking Care Of Yourself Better, You Should:

  1. Learn the necessary amount of fuel and recovery your body needs for your training
  2. Don’t forget the importance of an experienced coach and support system
  3. Remember that your training should add to your life, not take away from it

The Gift of Hindsight

When I started on my fitness journey, I had no idea about the importance of fueling for your training, recovery, the importance of muscle mass, and so much more. All I cared about was getting smaller and performing harder. It took me years to learn how to change my mindset and approach to training so that I could finally achieve the results that I was searching for.

Luckily the gift of hindsight has shown me that when it comes to the idea of women athletes, an understanding of where you are and the struggles you are having is key to getting to the bottom of your issues and overcoming them.

Expand Your Life

It has taken me ten years of experience, learning, and education to get to the place where I know what works. This is why I am passionate about sharing this information with you so that you can take my past mistakes and use them to help guide you on your strength and nutrition journey. 

Don’t just rely on the wilds of Tik Tok and Instagram for information because not everybody out there is doing it the right way. I understand what it is like to be at the beginning, and I want to help you get past those challenges so that you can experience the expansive power that taking care of your body can give you, just like it’s given me.

What are some lessons you have learned throughout your fitness and nutrition journey? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.

In This Episode

  • Why I am looking forward to the renewing time that is fall (2:34)
  • Join me while I share my story of how fitness and movement have played a role in my life (6:39)
  • Learn why I am passionate about this subject and preventing others from experiencing my struggles (17:03)
  • Addressing the controversy and emotions around Crossfit and Crossfit HQ (19:14)
  • How learning to properly fuel my body changed the way I train and recover (25:14)


“If you are a woman athlete, especially if you are 40 and beyond like me, there are just some things that we need to do differently. And I am really passionate about helping you perform better, build muscle, feel stronger, get those strength numbers up, hit new PRs, and feel even more capable in your life outside of training.” (4:13)

“When I tell you I’ve done a lot of stuff, I’ve done a lot of different stuff!” (10:55)

“Learning how to lift weights and the empowerment that I felt, the idea, the concept that never fucking occurred to me. That I could focus on getting stronger, and that my body was not a problem to fix, my weight wasn’t a problem, just that concept alone changed literally the entire trajectory of my life.” (20:49)

“It was just gradually through that process, of seeing what I was capable of and how lifting made me feel, that I found this freedom.” (23:42)

“It took effort. It took consistency. It took awareness. It took challenging some of the certain beliefs I had had. It took learning new things, with the point being, how can I fuel myself better? (33:28)

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Related Episodes

FYS 369: Introducing the Fuel Your Strength Podcast

LTYB 350: Are You Eating Enough? Low Energy Availability in Sport

LTYB 364: Nutrition & Strength Training for Cyclists with Marissa Axell

LTYB 378: Powerlifting and Recovery Tips for the 40+ Athlete with Laura Phelps

FYS 377: Overtraining, Injury, and Burnout with Dr. A’Naja Newsome

From Endurance to Lifting: Top Sports Nutrition & Training Lessons

Steph Gaudreau
Today on the podcast, I’m taking a dive into my story. How did I get here doing the work I’m doing today? And why do I care so much about helping other women athletes to perform better by fueling themselves smarter. We’re gonna get into the full story today on the show.

If you’re an athletic 40, something woman who loves lifting weights, challenging yourself, and doing hardship, the Fuel Your Strength podcast is for you. You’ll learn how to eat, train and recover smarter so you build strength and muscle, have more energy, and perform better in and out of the gym. I’m strength nutrition strategist and weightlifting coach, Steph Gaudreau. The Fuel Your Strength podcast dives into evidence-based strategies for nutrition training and recovery. And why once you’re approaching your 40s and beyond, you need to do things a little differently than you did in your 20s. We’re here to challenge the limiting industry narratives about what women can and should do in training and beyond. If that sounds good, hit subscribe on your favorite podcast app. And let’s go.

Hey, there, what’s up, welcome back to the podcast. I’m happy to be back. The show’s been on a break for a couple of months over the summer. And I’m just so happy to be back with you sharing new episodes, and just that we have this time to connect. So summers then kind of an interesting summer, we took a couple of weeks we went to Scotland, which is where my husband is from, of course, and we got to visit friends and family for the first time in eight years. It was an awesome trip, and so great to really especially get out and enjoy nature when we were there. And all the greenery and the hikes and it was just absolutely wonderful. So I hope that you had a great summer as well. I know that so many people are feeling like they’re finally able to travel or visit. And while I don’t think we’re quote-unquote back to normal, I think that a lot of you have been out enjoying yourselves and taking some r&r time. So the Fall is here. The show has been on hiatus for a couple of months, I call it summer break. As a former teacher, that term is very near and dear to my heart. But I’m happy to be back and hear about approaching fall with you.

I know the fall is a renewed time. For a lot of people, if you have kids, and they’re going back to school, or maybe you’re an educator, and you’re heading back to work, or it’s just that feeling of a change of season, quite literally. And I hope that you’re feeling some renewed energy to think about your nutrition as someone who’s lifting weights, you’re training. Maybe you’re doing CrossFit, you’re a strength athlete, you’re powerlifting Olympic lifting, whatever it is, I hope that you’re feeling a renewed sense that you know it now’s the time. So if you haven’t been thinking about fueling, maybe you have a fall event coming up, I want you to definitely tune into the episodes coming up. And I also want you to maybe go back and tune into what I would call quote unquote, last season. So in case you’re relatively new to the show, this podcast has been around in some iteration or another since 2015. And I will just kind of go ahead and toot my own horn, and say, as far as podcasters are concerned, currently, that’s a pretty long time.

The show has definitely changed over the years as my focus has sort of ebbed and flowed and shifted a little bit. But I’m so happy to be back and really talking about fueling your strength. If you’re a woman athlete, especially if you’re 40. And beyond like myself, there are just some things that we need to do differently. And I’m really passionate about helping you perform better build muscle, feel stronger, get those strength numbers up, hit New PRs, and feel even more capable in your life outside of training. So that’s kind of what this podcast is all about. And I sat down and thought before recording this episode, How do I want to kick off this new season? And it dawned on me that it’s been a while since I’ve shared my story. I’ve talked about why I care so damn much about this. And some of the struggles that I had along the way. And just a little tidbit for later, I went back, read some emails that I sent to my nutrition coach a decade ago and I was like, okay, that’s very interesting.

I see this a lot in my clients and in my Strength Nutrition Unlocked students and in the emails and DMS that I get from all of you every week, so it’s going to be interesting. I’m gonna dive more into my story kind of how I got into working in this space and why I’m really passionate about it. And I hope you’ll stick around and hear a little bit more about it. Now, of course, before we jump in, there are numerous ways that you can learn from me, you can, of course, follow me on Instagram, you can get my private podcast, which is separate to this, that’s linked on social media and on my website, but if you’re really like, okay, it’s the fall, it’s time for me to pay more attention to this to take better care of myself as an athlete, as a woman who’s a strength athlete, or you’re lifting weights, you’re a CrossFitter, you are into ollie or powerlifting, then strength nutrition, a lot is here for you. We’re waiting. I’m like, hey, where have you been?

I want to welcome you in so that you can start to really get the strength increases that you’re expecting the muscle that you know, you need, especially as you head into your 40s and beyond. And if you’re in your 40s right now, now is the time. We can’t delay any longer. If you’re 50 Plus, and you’re already in post menopause, it’s still not too late. So let’s do it. If you want more energy, you want to perform better, then let’s do it in Strength Nutrition Unlocked, you’re going to learn my fuel your strength framework, and we’re going to put it into practice. This is evidence-based, you’ve got support and accountability. And I just can’t wait to see you there. So go ahead and submit your application over at StephGaudreau.com/apply. Alright, let’s go ahead and kind of jump into the story.

Okey-doke. Normally, we don’t do we live royally today on this episode. Normally, I don’t do as long an intro, I try to keep it shorter. But I felt like I wanted to welcome you back and set up why I’m doing this episode. So I’ve been working online. For myself since 2013. This is almost a decade, it is ridiculous how fast it’s gone by. And at the same time, I feel like I’ve lived 10 lifetimes. And I can’t remember who said it. But in my entrepreneur circle, somebody said something like owning your own business, running your own business, especially online is one of the hardest self-development processes that you’ll probably ever go through. So it’s true. And you know, in and of that time, I’ve really started off as you know, a strength athlete, and I still have been a strength athlete through this entire time, my focus has shifted, and I came into working for myself, and doing the things that I’m doing professionally as an athlete, still, you know, working my teaching job and all this stuff. And so I’ve had lots of interesting deviations in my story. And I don’t think I’ve ever really sat down and talked about it, at least not in a while.

So if you’re someone who’s kind of new to fuel, your strength, which is the next iteration of the podcast, I definitely want to share a little bit more about this with you because there’s something really personal to me. And a lot of the things that I see in my community, and all of you are things that I’ve gone through. So, you know, take it from somebody who’s been through this process. But I’ve always been an athlete, going back to when I was a kid, I’m not going to tell you the full story of everything. But just suffice to say I got into sports. When I was probably about seven. I was a dancer. And my sister was dancing as well. She’s about a year and a half younger than me. And then my mom got remarried and had two more kids. And so there were four kids and mom was like, You know what?

You all are going to have to pick soccer or dance. What do you want to do? And I said soccer and my sister said dance and I’m sure she’d had a facepalm moment at that point. Sorry, mom. But that’s what happened. I stayed in soccer carry stay dancing. And that was that. So soccer was my true love in school. And I got to sophomore year. My high school, Cathedral High School shout out Panthers was super competitive in Division One soccer in the state of Massachusetts. And in my freshman year, the varsity team boys and girls both won state championships. So getting on the soccer team got very, very competitive the next year, I got cut I was the last two people to get cut from the junior varsity team was just so sad. I had devoted years and years to soccer and absolutely loved it. But I had to move on and moved on to do some track. And then I got a job my senior year of high school and I became very inactive. And I went to college, I lived at home and then I joined the gym down the street from where my mom lived.

My parents lived at the time, and I would ride my bike down there, down the hill, and go to the gym. I had no idea what I was doing. At the time I would kind of mess around on some of the machines that I didn’t know anything about. And then that was that I got into mountain biking and became competitive at that moved to the west coast in about 2004 or five. And I was a mountain biker. And I did that for eight years, all sorts of disciplines downhill, you know where you right? You go on the top of the chairlift, and then you bombed down with full armor and a full face helmet and all that stuff, which is very thrilling. But a different lifetime ago, I was racing cross country, and then eventually got into endurance cross country events. So we’re talking six hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, solo or with a team. And I did a lot of that did a lot of really long events. And that was kind of what I was doing up until about 2010. So when I tell you, like, I’ve done a lot of stuff, I’ve done a lot of different stuff.

And they’re, you know, that’s kind of the athletic half. But you know, there’s always this really interesting undercurrent looking back, I had no strong coaches in terms of nutrition, didn’t know anything about any of that. Now, I was very interested in science and went to school for human physiology in college, eventually becoming a science teacher, myself, but I didn’t have a strong background in nutrition, never mind sports nutrition. And I was always somebody that had challenges with body image. And, you know, knowing now what I know, now, I know that somebody who really had my size of the body, you know, I have a lot of thin privilege. I’m straight-sized, I’ve always been, I was teased a lot growing up, I had a family member who teased me for my weight. But body image is something I really struggled with. And that influenced a lot of my sort of eating behaviors, I guess he would say, or it played into my desire to always be smaller and shrink myself. And I was never satisfied.

And I always wanted to be lighter on the scale. And I’ve talked about this quite a bit in the past, but it’s a relevant part of the story. So kind of merging those two threads together in about 2010. I was coming to the end of my endurance racing career, and I was doing X Terra triathlons, on top of having done an endurance mountain bike season that spring. So we raced Xterra in the spring in summer.

And I remember going to a race and Xterra race, which is off-road triathlon in Lake Tahoe. This is the Summer of 2010. I was at that point married to my ex-husband. And we were doing triathlons together. And after we were right there on the way to the venue or leaving or I can’t remember when in the trip. But we drove by one of the very famous waterfalls in Tahoe, which is very beautiful, get off the side of the road, and walk over to the waterfall. And I’m kind of doing all these like funny poses, almost like trying to be like bodybuilder posing. And it wasn’t really strength training at the time, I would occasionally go to the way we’d go swimming there. But I would kind of mess around again on the machines didn’t know a fucking thing about any kind of barbells nothing.

And so anyway, trying to do all these bodybuilders poses. And I just saw the photos and was devastated. absolutely devastated. I just hated how I looked. And it kind of occurred to me at that point that my weight on the scale and trying to be smaller was becoming more and more important. And almost becoming the driver behind some of my training, some of my eating and fueling behaviors, which, again, I was just under fueling. And I’ve talked a lot about undereating. And now what we know is called low energy availability, which happens to recreational exercisers as well as athletes, whether you’re immature or elite.

And, of course, then the syndrome called Red s, right, which is relative energy deficiency in sport. I think at the time, you know, I had maybe heard of the female athlete triad, but this stuff was not on my radar. And when I look back, I have the gift of hindsight. Now in the year 2022. I was absolutely under-fueling at that point at that moment in time. So I’m going to link some of the podcast episodes that we’ve done on low energy availability. Very, very important and I just realized looking back

You know, my primary motivator of mine was to get faster on the bike and in the world at that point and shout out to my friend, Marissa Axel, who is changing this. In the cycling coaching industry, She’s incredible. She’s been on this podcast before, where the cycling industry is a very male-dominated industry in terms of coaches and programming and things like that. There is huge pressure, or there was, at least at the time, and I think it’s still pervasive, but she’s doing her thing to change that. But there’s a huge push toward you know, being as light as possible. So we don’t put on muscle mass, because that’s going to make us heavier, we try to keep our weight really light. And that’s to try to increase our power-to-weight ratio, so we can be more powerful push more watts, get up hills faster, etc. It really was, and I’m using air quotes here, the perfect combination of a sport that really prioritized and prized lightness, and leanness above performance. I mean, of course, people want to perform, but like, the way to get there, in terms of the traditional narrative is to just make your body super small.

And then on top of that was like drastically under fueling, because I just had no concept of how much energy I was expending doing all of the endurance training that I was doing, right, we’re talking multiple days a week, long rides on the weekend, going out for hours, bricks. So if you’re unfamiliar with triathlon, that’s where you do swim bike, bike run, or some combination thereof of training, we were doing two modalities and one training session, and was just a lot of racing. When I got to the summer of 2010, being very depleted, I look back on those photos. And at the time, right, I told you how I was looking at myself at the waterfall and just thought, I just don’t like what I see. And I raced with all these women and men who are tiny, and I just want to be like them, and what is with these fucking thighs of mine? And they’re just, it’s just how I’m put together. And I appreciate that now, but at the time, I just couldn’t understand, right? Why I didn’t look like them. What could I do to look like that I just wanted to be faster and lighter and leaner?

And, you know, it’s just a fucking clusterfuck. So I was super depleted and had lost a lot of muscle mass. Looking back at those photos. I’m like, Steph, what, what’s happening here, just tired nursing, a lot of injuries, and really worn out mentally. And I just kind of got to the point of being burned out. And I just thought I don’t want to race anymore. It’s been eight long years of racing. So kind of at the same time, I just happened to do a CrossFit workout in my garage with a friend. And it was all bodyweight stuff. But I just thought, cyclic, compared to what I was doing. There were no weights involved. There were no dumbbells, barbells, none, none of that. But I just thought compared to what I’m used to. Wow, that was a 10 or 12-minute workout, and it kicked my ass. And it was over in comparison to these ultra-long races and rides and stuff that I was doing, and I just thought maybe I could do this. So long story short, I did end up going down to our local CrossFit affiliate, which is CrossFit Chula Vista. So shout out to Brixton and Maria, and the whole crowd over there are still good friends and amazing people. And I said I’m in, you know, what do I need to do?

And so I’ll just kind of put a pause in the story at that point, and say, you know, for all of the controversy around CrossFit and CrossFit HQ, and bad stories of bad coaches, and that affiliates and some of the reputations that the modality of training and the sport has garnered itself over the years. My experience with CrossFit was by and large, and still is very positive, and without, I mean, I hate to play the game of what would have happened.

This is where it used to be emotional. There’s that movie Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow where she kind of gets on the train and then misses the train. I can’t exactly remember the premise, but she lives two parallel lives. In the end, I think the end result of her life is the same. I don’t know what my life would have been like, because learning how to lift weights, and the empowerment that I felt the idea, the concept, that never fucking occurred to me, that I could focus on getting stronger. And that my body was not a problem to fix. My weight wasn’t a problem, like, just that concept alone changed literally the entire trajectory of my life.

It didn’t happen in an instant. It wasn’t like, I walked in, and like the heavens opened up, although I did enjoy it right away. And it was a different, you know, as an athlete, as you know, you’re an athlete, you’re used to challenging where we do hard things every day. And I really love my friend, Allison Tenny, who many of you know recently posted on Instagram, how training and lifting weights are hard. Being an athlete, even if you don’t compete, even if you’re not, quote-unquote, elite to you’re someone who trains with purpose and intention, and you’ve given your all and you try, and it’s, it’s hard. You know, when you’re an athlete, and you walk in and you try something else, that’s hard, there’s something comforting about that. I feel like there’s something more familiar. You know, it was hard, it was a different kind of hard, and I think that’s okay.

You know, I think it’s, it’s important for us to have hard things come up in life, and certainly metered to what we can handle and where our resilience is. And it’s just like progressive overload. You know, we, of course, don’t want to be overwhelmed. But I feel like when we push ourselves just a little bit in these controlled environments, where we’re able to be successful and have a community behind us, and challenge ourselves, that’s, there’s something so magical about that. But it was really learning how to lift weights, barbells heavier weights they had ever tried before on my own, and I was used to just, you know, lifting. I don’t say just because machines have been replaced on purpose, and they’re absolutely fantastic for lots and lots of people for different reasons. But I had never experienced anything else. And so learning how to lift barbells learning skills. I remember very clearly the first time I ever kicked up against the wall to practice just a handstand hold. It had been years since I tried that. And I was scared. Melissa, who’s one of the coaches still at CrossFit, Chula Vista.

Gosh, I’m so emotional today, Melissa, I remember her helping me. And just encouraging me that I could do this. And looking back, it kind of sounds silly. It’s like, nothing bad’s gonna happen. But I was scared. I was scared to jump on like a 16-inch box. I was intimidated. There were lots of skills for me that were outside my comfort zone by a country mile. And it was just gradually through that process of seeing, you know, what I was capable of, and how lifting made me feel that I found this freedom. So I’m totally fine being emotional about this. There’s power in crying and showing your emotion. I just didn’t expect it in retelling this story. But that really changed my life. And that’s kind of the strength training side of things. I went on to compete in CrossFit and eventually did 2013 regionals with TMC of green from CrossFit Invictus. And it was fantastic.

And then went on to become an Olympic weightlifter and coach weightlifting and get into Brazilian jujitsu. And now I do Brazilian jujitsu and I lift weights. So lifting weights has been a part of my life for the last 12 years, the last dozen years of my life. And I just think gosh, in the ways it has expanded my life. And I can think about how I want to feel how lifting makes me feel and my self-efficacy. We talked about that with Dr. Naja Newsome on this podcast not too long ago, in terms of self-efficacy and the mental health benefits of lifting and it really did change things and eventually, it was one of the things that helped me have the competence and the wherewithal.

Want to shift careers and start working for myself. Now in and amongst that time, I want to go back a little bit too, you know, pick up that thread, there’s so many threads here, I’m trying to keep trying to make it make sense, there, there’s a thread here, right of not understanding how to fuel my body, right not having really any formal education in nutrition, or not working with any coaches who had a good sense of what that would look like. And I took some of those habits, it was a fairly low carb at the time. And it took some of those habits into my lifting into CrossFit, which is a modality of training, that’s very glycolytic, I couldn’t really tell you what that meant. I definitely learned it on level one, back in 2010.

But you know, I didn’t understand energy systems, I didn’t understand sports nutrition at that point very well. And, you know, CrossFit and lifting are two very intense methods of training in terms of the demands that it puts on our body. If you’re, you know, lifting heavy weights quickly, you’re getting glycolytic, which is kind of out of breath and anaerobic, then you need carbohydrates, to supply quick enough energy for your body. And that was something I didn’t really understand at the time. So fast forward, you know, I was training eventually started training to be a competitor in CrossFit, and had moved to a different gym at that point, and was surrounded by other competitors, and really pushing quite hard-working, still full time as a teacher and training five days a week.

And in the fall of 2012, so this is now almost a decade ago, really started to struggle with recovery, was not understanding why I was struggling to get that third day of training in a row, which there’s different ways of splitting your week. And let’s just say, for the competition training we were doing, we were doing three days on one day off, two days on one day off, so we would train Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and then have Thursday and Sunday off. And I just remember feeling so sore. All that I mean, I was so so and this was not.

It wasn’t like we had dramatically changed the training. Sometimes when you start doing higher volume training, for example, like when I returned to CrossFit this summer and started dabbling in quads. Just thought, yup, there’s that volume again. Hi, Dom’s, it’s been a while since delayed onset muscle soreness, because just the volume of repetitions, has, has suddenly increased exponentially, but that’s a different story. So there was no new volume really, there. There were no big changes in terms of my life. I mean, my career was the same. But I was super sore. I had to start skipping the third day of training every week, I was just in a really bad place in my mood, my sleep was disturbed. I again was kind of nursing all these injuries and hurt my knee very badly in the summer of 2012, August of 2012.

Which, a happy side note, is really the reason why I ended up meeting my husband. So in a way, in a strange way, it’s a good thing that happened. But I really fucked up my knee. And so I was just going through all this stuff. And I reached out to somebody that was doing sports nutrition coaching, associated with the gym, and essentially said, Help me, I don’t understand what is going wrong. And I remember some of the emails we exchanged, and I still have those emails and I’m gonna pull up the first email that Mike sent me back.

And he said something like, we have to build the base before moving on. The biggest area I see is what you mentioned in total intake. So I think I was like, I don’t think I’m eating enough. And he said surprisingly low considering your volume and performance level. And some of the numbers that he put together for me, I had to submit a week of a food blog, essentially, staring at me was just this extremely low caloric intake too low in carbohydrates, very low in protein, again, relative to the training that I was doing. So that was really my first introduction to the idea, that training, eating for your training for fueling or for your training has to be carefully considered, carefully considered because the low energy availability stuff, which I was definitely in that state. And now we have more sophisticated ways of sort of quantifying that. And there are many studies in sports nutrition, where we’re looking at things like, what is the caloric need of an athlete.

What do we need to avoid low energy availability and sending almost kind of a basement cut-off for that number, at 30 kilocalories per kilogram of fat-free mass? So you could, of course, estimate what your body fat is, and figure out that calculation, I helped students do that in strength nutrition a lot. But suffice to say I was eating below that level, and my carbohydrate intake was super low compared to the type of training I was doing. So some people will say, that some people genetically have better usage of fats compared to carbohydrates, and so on and so forth. But the level of carbs that I was eating was very low compared to the amount of training that I was doing. And when I looked back at the emails that we exchanged back and forth, you know, the time has a way of smoothing over some of the details. And when I went back and read these emails, I just thought, Oh, my goodness, yeah, I struggled with this, I definitely struggled to get my protein up. That was one of the threads that we talked about in the emails, I was like, she’s really struggling to increase my protein.

Over the course of the time that I worked with him, which was about three months, you know, it was something that was not coming easily to me. So I just want to put that out there that yes, it’s something I’m banging on about all the time, on social in strength, nutrition on locked on this podcast about we needed a protein, we added our protein up. And at the same time, it’s not the easiest thing to do. And I totally understand that. And there are days when I don’t do so great with it, even to this day.

Carbohydrate was another one, I was eating much more in terms of fats, and not enough of carbohydrates. And that was an area again, I really struggled because I had kind of been indoctrinated with this idea that it had to be low carb like low carb was the thing that was going to work. And it wasn’t, it wasn’t working because of all the things I talked about with what I was experiencing. So over time, and again, this was about three months, we made some changes. And I had to work really hard at it, I had to work really hard at paying attention and changing my habits and introducing different foods and trying things out and playing with some meal timing. But the bottom line was, Steph, you got to eat more. And you’ve got to get, you’ve got to have a better kind of macronutrient split.

And again, there are multiple different ways that you can do a macronutrient split, perhaps a podcast for another day. But I was way off or where I needed to be I wasn’t even in the ballpark. So that’s what I had to work on. And it took effort. It took consistency, it took awareness, it took challenging certain beliefs that I had had it took learning new things with the point of view, of how can I fuel myself better.

And what happened, as a result, was I started to feel way less sore. I was getting in there in the gym that third day, I was recovering from the kind of chronic nagging injuries that I was having my moods were improved, and my sleep was better. And I went on to have what I would say was probably one of the top three athletic performances. So far in my life, it was fantastic. We went to regionals on the team, and I did a deadlift workout with my partner at the time, you would split up and there were six people on a team back then every team would have three groups of two, and you had to do separate workouts and then of course team workouts.

And the workout that I did with Cody Bergner was deadlifts and box jumps the deadlifts were relatively heavy and the box jumps were very high. And we came in fifth place out of all the teams at regionals in that workout and I just thought, yes, as fucking nailed it. It was it was awesome. I felt fueled. I felt ready. I felt energetic as I was recovering. And so I say all this to tell you that. You know, I think sometimes we look at people on social or we look at people who do things professionally and we think they’ve always known how to do this. You know, they didn’t go through the struggle. They didn’t go through the shit. They don’t understand where I’m at. And when it comes to the idea of women, women athletes, women’s strength out Athletes CrossFitters weightlifters, you know, an understanding where you are in the struggles that you’re having. And now that I’m in my 40s, and I’m, you know, learning how to incorporate all of the science about being in your 40s.

And being in Perimenopause and post-menopause, and how the menstrual cycle affects our training, it’s just been so great to be able to share that with all of you. And to have the experience of someone who has struggled in the past, with fueling and who had those moments where it was like, This is really hard, and we don’t know what I’m doing. And so it’s really been 10 years of experience and learning, and educating myself and formal education and certifications, all about things like sports, nutrition, and nutrition in general and how this stuff works. And so that’s why I wanted to do this podcast with you, you might not be 10 years in or 12 years into lifting you might be in year one or two. And it’s still important to have this information to have a coach who understands to have a supportive community who’s repeating, supportive and correct and evidence-based information, and not just relying on the wilds of Tiktok, and Instagram, for that matter for information, because not everybody’s out there, doing it the right way. But it’s easy to look at people like me, maybe you saw the deadlift as me hitting a lifetime PR just a few months ago, to a 43 hit a 334 333 deadlift somewhere in that neighborhood.

And it’s easy to look at somebody like me pulling over 300 pounds off the floor and think she doesn’t understand what it’s like to be at the beginning and or to be just a couple of years in, she doesn’t get it you know, she’s someone who does sports nutrition stuff for a job, and she doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a person balancing training with a full-time job, which by the way, I still have a full-time job and train, I don’t I’m not someone who is a professional athlete and gets paid in my sport, and I don’t have to work. So we all have different responsibilities and demands on our time. Absolutely. But I do understand what it’s like to be trying to juggle and I do get how hard it is at the beginning, and how challenging it is when you potentially have come from not eating enough because you didn’t know better. And now you’re eating more and you’re like, Oh my God, this scale went up. And it’s like, well, yes, because you’re putting on more muscle. And sometimes when you do that, you’re gonna put on a little bit of body fat to like, and to be able to talk you through it. And understanding what it’s like to be an athlete when I came into CrossFit was much lighter than I am now.

And it’s because I was under fueling I was undernourished, I wasn’t lifting, I was losing my muscle mass, and that we don’t want to lose muscle mass. Because it’s incredibly important. And we’re going to talk about that in a future episode. But I get what it’s like to be challenged where you are excited because you’re finally able to kind of like let go of the scale as determining your worth, you’re feeling amazing from lifting. And at the same time, you’re like, oh, but now I like these muscles, I like feeling stronger, your self-efficacy is growing. And at the same time, you’re like, Oh, now I feel challenged because I have to get a bigger-sized pair of shorts.

Because I’m building my glutes and my hamstrings and my quads. But this is still challenging because I feel like I’m going up a size and there’s just a lot that goes with it. So I wanted to share more about my story with you so that you understand where I’m coming from. They do understand what it’s like, and that I have the expertise to help you from an evidence-based perspective from a coaching perspective, and from just a human point of view, as somebody who’s been through it and who knows what it’s like.

So, I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me about what I’ve been through. If any of this resonated with you send me a DM I would love to hear your thoughts on this show. It’s a little bit different than what we’ve done in you know, this entire year so far before the break. We’re focusing a lot more on the technicalities and I hope this just kind of gave you a new perspective on why I do what I do, why I care so much and why I’m here on this mission. So send me a DM, share this episode out in Instagram Stories is the best way to do that. Hit Like and Subscribe on your podcast app.

Wait, like, No, I’ve been listening to too much YouTube, hit subscribe on your podcast app and tell a friend about this show. Either one of those things to help get the word out is so incredibly important. And I’m so grateful if you do any of those things, it really, really does help to spread the word about this podcast. If what I said today resonates with you, and you’re thinking, Okay, I need some guidance, I need support. In this I’m ready to start taking better care of myself as an athlete, fueling better, being more mindful and precise in my training, and more strategic, recovering, and better understanding of how to use data and autoregulation to take better care of my body.

What are the things I need to know about the menstrual cycle, about perimenopause, post-menopause, and being a strength-based athlete, go ahead and head over to StephGaudreau.com/apply. Check out the application. We want to hear from you. And if it sounds like you’re a good match, then you’ll get on a call with my team and we’ll just hear more about your story and what you’re hoping to accomplish. And if you’re a good fit for the program, we can tell you more about it. So go ahead and do that over at StephGaudreau.com/apply Thank you so much for being here with me today on the podcast. And until next time, you know what it is? Stay strong.

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One Response

  1. Timely episode thank you! I’m currently working with a nutrition coach at my local CrossFit, changing lifetime habits & hitting the protein goal is a struggle. Thanks for affirming I’m not alone 🙂 I’ll stop being such a sook now & refocus.

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.


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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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