Celebrity Families

The Block's Shelley Craft reveals the secret behind her 10 year marriage

The down-to-earth TV reno queen talks motherhood, making her marriage work and why fitness classes are off the menu.

By Paul Ewart
Shelley Craft has forged a career as one of Australia's home-renovation queens.
Through her roles as host of The Block and other TV hits, she's been a fixture on our screens for decades. At 43, she's perennially fresh-faced and toned, appearing to be the poster girl for clean living, but the truth is this small-screen stunner has a surprising secret: she doesn't exercise.
"I pretended for many years that I care and enjoy it, but I just don't!" she reveals to Good Health & Wellbeing. "I live a very active lifestyle, so I guess that's my excuse. With two kids, two dogs, house renos and flying interstate back and forth for work, I'm always on the move."
As Shelley recalls being "forced" to play sports at school, it's clear this legacy of organised physical activity affects her to this day. She says that she'd never choose "running or physical activity as a form of fun". So how does she avoid the internal guilt-tripping dialogue that plagues the rest of us when it comes to not hitting the gym?
Turns out, she doesn't, but "I get it," she says.
"Before every season of The Block kicks off, I tell myself to get fit and I'll do a few weeks. I tried F45 this year, and it's great when you're time poor but then, of course, The Block kicked off and it fell by the wayside."
Instead, the mum-of-two prefers to combine getting active with family time.
Shelley tried F45 but when The Block kicked off it fell by the wayside. (Image exclusive to Good Health & Wellbeing)
"We ride our bikes and walk everywhere, whether that's doing the grocery shopping, heading down to the beach, or taking the kids to school," she says. "We'll take the dogs for a walk, kick a soccer ball together or go for a swim in the ocean."
Admitting she's genetically blessed and naturally doesn't "carry a lot of excess weight", when it comes to diet, the restrictions she places on herself aren't related to what she's eating, but what time she's eating it.
"When at home, I try to only eat between midday and 6pm, and not before or after," she says. "I'll have a bulletproof coffee [a coffee, oil and butter drink] for breakfast, then something to eat at midday. I've tried everything along the way – the 5:2, the this and that – often for no reason other than curiosity. But I find this gets my digestion working really well, it never feels like I'm fasting and it really suits my lifestyle, which makes it way easier to commit to."
"When at home, I try to only eat between midday and 6pm, and not before or after." (Image exclusive to Good Health & Wellbeing)

Back to basics

"In Australia – especially in Byron Bay where I live – we have great produce and access to great restaurants. For me, meat is part of pretty much every single meal and I love dessert, but just one scoop of ice cream is fine, as opposed to three; that's restriction for me. I don't deprive myself of anything, but I don't go crazy either. I think if you just eat based on what your body's telling you, you don't overdo anything."
This back-to-basics attitude also pervades how Shelley takes care of herself mentally. Formalised rituals such as meditation aren't part of her wellbeing regimen – it's maintaining a positive outlook that keeps her internal equilibrium in check.
"I'm a very simple girl," she says. "Everything comes down to having a healthy outlook. Do whatever works for you, whether it's exercising or taking time out to meditate. For me, it's all about being grateful. I'm very grateful for everything in my life and I remind myself of that constantly. Even when things aren't quite going to plan, I know I'm still very much one of the lucky ones, and gratitude is a huge part of my overall wellbeing philosophy.
"Do whatever works for you, whether it's exercising or taking time out to meditate." (Image exclusive to Good Health & Wellbeing)
"Every morning, I take a moment to be thankful. It's an amazing opportunity to start fresh because, as my nine-year-old tells me, 'You can always do better, Mum!'"
We joke about her 'enlightened' children and the fact she's taking life advice from her eldest daughter.
"My kids Milla (nine) and Eadie (seven) are very much my strength," she says. "They have such a beautiful outlook on life. Hopefully, that's part of my outlook rubbing off on them, but their outlook also influences me.
"We [Shelley and her cameraman husband Christian Sergiacomi] made a conscious choice to move away from the city, where our work is, to provide our kids with a better lifestyle. I'm happy to say that it's working, because I have two very strong-minded, confident, well-adjusted young women in my life. I'm inspired by them every day."
"They have such a beautiful outlook on life." (Image: Instagram @shelleycraftofficial)
Shelley's high-profile television career sees her jetting between their beachside NSW base and Melbourne each week when The Block is filming, but when she's not earning a crust co-hosting the hit Channel 9 show, she's occupied by raising daughters.
Like many mums before her, she says she's learned a lot about herself since becoming a parent.
"It's the most life-altering experience – beautiful, eye-opening and life-assessing. Every decision you make with them is a big one; you can be as frivolous as you like in your own life, but you can't mess with kids.
"I've always said when work gets too much for the girls, I'll stop. I'd love to keep working, but if my girls need me, they come first. You can only do your best, though, and you need to cut yourself some slack. It's hard to balance work and motherhood. We punish ourselves for not getting it right all the time, but all mums need to let themselves off the hook every so often."
"I've always said when work gets too much for the girls, I'll stop." (Image: Instagram @shelleycraftofficial)

Howdy, partner

Thankfully, she shares the responsibility of child-rearing with Christian.
The pair have been together for 12 years and will celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary later this year. It's this upcoming milestone that brings us to the subject of making a marriage work. What's Shelley's secret?
"It's about having a partnership," she says. "That's how I'd describe our relationship – a wonderful partnership. He's a wonderful partner and a great dad. I respect how he parents, and he shows me the same respect and doesn't judge me. We make decisions together and we have the same outlook on life. I think people often get swept up in the romance of a relationship, which is wonderful, and you need that in the beginning, but I think to have a successful marriage, you need this kind of solid partnership."
Shelley and her husband Christian have been together for 12 years and will celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary later this year. (Image: Instagram @shelleycraftofficial)
Another 10-year anniversary Shelley is celebrating is her move to Byron Bay.
Regarded as one of Australia's epicentres for surf spirituality, the area's raft of meditation centres and yoga studios haven't entered Shelley's wellbeing arsenal – it's the simplicity of the lifestyle that holds the appeal.
"Byron attracts so many people in search of a simpler life," she says. "It's such a beautiful place and the local population, which is pretty small, is here for the right reasons. Here we're more engaged with one another; the school pick-up takes 10 minutes, versus an hour; and we spend more time together as a family. It's so important for your body, mind and soul."
"Byron attracts so many people in search of a simpler life." (Image exclusive to Good Health & Wellbeing)
Given Shelley's jam is hosting shows that are built around renovating homes, it's fair to assume her own home environment is important to her.
"It's everything," she says. "It's vital for my mental wellbeing; I mean, your home is your sanctuary – and it's definitely mine. But that doesn't mean you have to have a designer home, or even take your tips from shows like The Block. Whether it's a one-bedroom or an acreage, a home should make you feel safe and relaxed, and be a reflection of you. That's the one thing that's often missed in these reno shows.
"Personally, I move furniture around a lot. I find it calming and relaxing. Creating a different layout in a room and moving ornaments could be a sign of new beginnings or a fresh start, I don't know…"
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Older and wiser

Speaking of new beginnings, our chat turns to Shelley being three years past the 40 milestone. She says getting older no longer fazes her.
"I panicked at 30 – I thought it was all over. I had an idea of what I thought 30 would be. I thought I'd suddenly have all this knowledge and that things would change, but then they just didn't!
"I now understand what my mum always said about never feeling any older," she continues. "You get older, but you don't feel it. I don't know what 43 is supposed to feel like, but it feels like 26 for me, and I'm happy with that. I must be wiser than I was when I was younger, though."
"You get older, but you don't feel it." (Image: Instagram @shelleycraftofficial)
This wisdom is undoubtedly part of how Shelley maintains her current healthy outlook on life.
"I've lost loved ones," she says. "I've had hard times, and from experience I no longer sweat the small stuff. I just try to take every situation as it comes, to not overthink things, to not cross the bridge until I get to it. I just don't like to worry about things that aren't going to be a big deal."
Ultimately, Shelley's advice for living your best life is characteristically simple.
"Be good to yourself, be true to yourself, and that way you can't cock it up too much!"

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