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‘Dad didn’t want to listen’: Local fitness guru turns tragedy into health triumph

Shelley used her grief to push her onto help others.
Shelley used her grief to push her onto help others.

Dundee-based fitness guru Shelley Booth, 42, turned the loss of her dad into a mission to transform the lives of thousands of people all over the world. 

Shelley’s dad was just 56 when he passed away from a heart condition, the loss made all the more profound for her because despite her fitness career, her dad “didn’t want to listen.” 

She explains: “My dad was a typical, proud Dundee man, really strong-willed.  

Dundee fitness guru Shelley Booth.

Before he passed away, he was diagnosed with atherosclerosis and was feeling the effects of too much alcohol, smoking, and a poor diet lacking in nutrients and vitamins.

He didn’t want to listen, thought his way was the right way, and wasn’t changing for anyone!

“It was really hard for me to lose him.

‘Dad is at the centre of all I do’

“But the grief of losing dad to a poor lifestyle-related death drove my desire to work with women to stop the consequences of poor lifestyle choices. 

“My dad is still at the centre of everything I do, in fact even my business logo features a heart as a tribute to him. 

“My motivation is to help people and I made it my mission to support as many people as I possibly could.” 

Online programme for women

After graduating from the University of Northumbria with BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science, Shelley established a personal fitness training business and has now worked in the industry for over 20 years. 

In 2019, she launched Feel Look Be, an online programme for women that provides steps to improve health and wellbeing.  

She adds: It’s too easy to take the easy way out, and that was my dad.

“I watched this as a child into adulthood, frustrated that I couldn’t do anything to stop the vicious pattern.  

‘Family ethos at the heart’

I wanted to provide a family-friendly, female-only safe space for women to share their experience and enjoy the journey.

“When a woman changes her health for the better, I’ve found that she takes it back to the family and promotes wellness and health within the home. 

The family ethos of this programme is very special, and I know that many partners benefit too from the clean, healthy nutritious food and even take part in our morning zoom workouts as a family. 

Worldwide success

Shelley has a series of videos about her work and now has more than 1,000 clients worldwide who have worked with her throughout the pandemic and are achieving significant results. 

She’s passionate about tackling health issues including liver disease.

Statistics show more than 800 people across Scotland die from chronic liver disease every year.  

Shelley adds: “Fatty liver disease is the silent killer that no one really talks about. 

“Your liver is a powerhouse, every day it performs around 500 functions to keep you healthy.

‘He’d be proud as punch’

“It filters everything from food to alcohol, medicine to toxins. It keeps blood sugar levels under control, breaks down fats and recycles blood cells.  

Shelley Booth is calling for more education on healthy food choices.

“A healthy liver should have little or no fat but around 1 in 3 people have early-stage fatty liver disease and don’t even know it.

“The frightening part is it’s affecting more and more children too.” 

Although her dad wasn’t around to see her success, he’s never far from Shelley’s thoughts. 

“I know he would be as proud as punch at what I am doing.”

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