Strong, Healthy Women Interview Series: Shelly Horton

Shelly Horton's high school guidance counselor said she was too opinionated and talked too much so she should tone it down. Rather than take his advice she turned it into a job description.

Her career highlights include 11 years reporting for ABC Radio and TV, eight years as a presenter on Channel Seven, six years as a journalist at Fairfax and five years as the South Pacific correspondent for Entertainment Tonight USA. Now Shelly’s opinion can be heard nationally a number of times each week with regular segments on Channel Nine’s TodayToday Extra, 3pm News and Weekend Today. She’s also the lifestyle presenter for and recently co-hosted Talking Married a chat show dissecting Married At First Sight.

As well as her on-camera work she is a busy MC.  Comfortable shaking her booty in front of thousands of women at Business Chicks 9 To Thrive events, encouraging several hundred people to donate at the Diabetes Australia black tie fundraisers or facilitating inspiring panel discussions for Lulu Lemon - she’s done it all. As if that’s not enough, she also runs her own presentation and media training company, called ShellShocked Media.  She teaches people how to shine on camera and how to have confidence in front of a crowd.  She specialises in one-on-one intensive presentation training sessions and has also created an online version of her course so she can spread her skills far and wide.

Hi Shelly! Thank you for being part of our Strong Healthy Women Interview Series, where we are shining a light on the importance of self-care, not as an indulgence but a necessity to reduce stress and general health issues.


Do you have a special routine to start your mornings? What does your ideal day look like? 

I don’t have a morning routine because for me every day is different. It’s organised chaos.  A couple of days a week I’m up before 6am to do my regular segments on TV on Today Show, Today Extra or Weekend Today on Channel Nine. If my husband is working early shift (he’s a sound recordist) on any of those days, I get up even earlier to take the dog for a walk. Trust me those early starts are NOT my ideal days. I’m a night owl so I hate early mornings. If I don’t have TV I try to allow myself to wake up without an alarm which is normally 7:30am. There’s something delicious about waking up without a jolt from the alarm. But once I’m up it’s go, go, go. I run my own company, ShellShocked Media so I’m always juggling my work at Nine and 9Honey, MCing events, meeting clients and doing media training. I’ve just created an online media and presentation training course.  

There were plenty of 1am nights building that course, boy was it a much bigger job than I expected!  But I’ve now given birth to my business baby and I’m super proud of it. These days everyone needs to be able to promote their business through social media channels or perform well in media interviews. I can help them control their nerves, organise their thoughts and shine. It feels bloody good.



Can you share a time when you feel your health has been challenged in the past and what you have done to overcome this?

My biggest challenge was being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.  I was so ashamed, and I felt like I’d let myself down. So that’s when I started I found the intermittent fasting really works with my crazy routine and gets results like I’ve never had before.  I lost 13kg in about three months and I’ve kept it off for a year.  The most exciting thing wasn’t dropping two dress sizes and 18cm off my waist (even thought that was kinda awesome too) it was getting my blood tests back and finding out I’d reversed that Type 2 diabetes diagnosis.  I really felt in control of my life and my health.



What do you consider to be the single most important change you’ve made to your life in terms of wellness?

Getting in touch with my hunger. My hunger used to control me. I used to eat when I was sad, happy, bored, stressed – basically all the time. I also would feel hungry and instantly go to the fridge and get something to eat. Fasting made me realise that hunger is important but can be delayed.



What does being healthy mean to you and how do you keep this at the forefront when life becomes overwhelming?

Being healthy to me is not being obsessive. I do what I can, when I can. I walk the dog three times a day (we live in an apartment so he has to go and I need the break from my computer.) I know if I’m feeling overwhelmed I won’t have time to cook so rather than make poor choices from Uber Eats I order a week’s worth of food from a diet delivery company. I also make little deals with myself like “You can watch an episode of Survivor but only if you are on the cross trainer while you do it.”


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Park time. Pose time. #puppybluesteel

A post shared by S H E L L Y H O R T O N (@shellyhorton1) on


Have you ever taken a holiday specifically for your health, physical or mental? If so where did you go and what did you do?

I love going to health retreats. I’ve been to Gwinganna five times. Earlier this year I went to Eden Retreat in Queensland. I loved it. I found giving up coffee, alcohol and sugar a breeze. What I craved was my constant social media fix. So, my digital detox was tough. But after a couple of days without my head buried in my phone I realised how much better my mind is without the relentless bombardment of likes, updates, emails and tweets. I took the time to enjoy the stunning natural beauty of Eden, had lovely uninterrupted conversations and even got creative again (I came up with fresh ideas for 40 stories, 3 podcasts and a video//TV series) I also loved the incredible incidental exercise of steep hills plus fun planned exercise, luxurious massages and delicious food. Plus, I lost 2kg! Did I keep up my digital detox once I left the retreat – umm no.  But I now really try to not use my phone in bed.  I learned that reading a book is what I need to switch my brain off and then I go to sleep easily.



Every woman's idea of self-care is different, tell us about yours?

My life is really bloody busy.  Earlier this year I only had two days off in three months.  I know I wear busyness as a badge of honour and I wish I didn’t. I know I need to slow down when I get teary over little things that wouldn’t normally worry me. So, if that happens I say “no” to more things and make sure I have down time with my husband and dog. A walk in the park with them makes me so happy and de-stresses me instantly. Also, my friends are a vital part of my self-care. When I haven’t had time with my friends because of work I feel miserable. I have a small but fiercely loyal group of friends. All it takes is one dinner with one of my closest friends to fill my cup back up. They are all such smart, kind, good people and most times they make me laugh until a little bit of wee comes out.



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