Naomi Isted may well be one of the busiest people in the media industry right now – and much of it stems from a positive outlook on life
I am getting flustered. In front of me are a whole host of print outs and press releases that cover the career of Newhall local Naomi Isted and I am losing track of things. If I can’t even handle that relatively simple task, how does Isted – a mum to Rocco and Fleur, no less – manage it? “I kind of ask myself that every day!” she laughs. “But I actually had a DNA fitness report once and the results said that I don’t require a lot of sleep. I do love to sleep, but I don’t need a lot of it. My husband could be snoring at 10.30pm, whereas I will still be having ideas, making notes before normally nodding off at 12.30am, and then I get up at 5.30am.”
Even in the space of 19 hours, there’s a lot to do. The broadcast journalist is a regular on our TV screens, an in demand content creator online, is a property developer and works with a whole host of charities. Even going into lockdown couldn’t stop this relentless force of nature. “In the first month of the lockdown, I had a lot of big travel campaigns planned that I couldn’t do. So I thought, OK, let’s use this time to do some research, take time out with the kids, and re-evaluate,” she says.
“I have been using the time to study interiors and also to study the mind. I have written my first children’s book too. It’s basically everything I believe in put into a children’s book. It’s attempting to get children to think that if they believe they can achieve something, then they can do it – and if negative things are thrown at you, you just need to keep going. I want to implement the law of attraction for children, and I do that with my own children anyway. I tell them that if they are grumpy and rude, they will not have a very good day. But if they are grateful and happy, then things will flow and grow…”
This relentlessly positive outlook is partly why Isted has been successful in so many different strands of life. “At the age of four or five I was already putting on theatrical performances for my parents,” she laughs at the memory. “Then I was involved in theatre, music, singing, playing piano, and as I got older I would do public speaking, radio, write for magazines. I found it quite natural to go and study media production and journalism.”
Isted trained in Scotland and cut her teeth on regionals there – “You have to learn to work in all areas,” she says on the importance of that time – before moving south and continuing to develop her TV career, ending up travelling the world working on a wine show. “It was with a small crew, so I would write my own scripts, I always had that really good grounding to cover all bases. I found it an easy experience to multi-task.”
Next came opportunities to move to the States, but she met her husband Haydn and stayed put, deciding to specialise in fashion journalism. She went on to write for The Evening Standard and became a regular on the front row at London Fashion Week, with her standing in the industry leading to a rather unique gig on the stage show, The Dreamgirls. “My agent called me and said they wanted me to style their publicity campaign, which took me by surprise,” she says, “It was out of my comfort zone, but I always believe that being out of your comfort zone is a very healthy thing to do. I want to push myself and knowledge is power. I read, I learn, I study, I never think you can be arrogant enough to believe you know everything. With The Dreamgirls, that opportunity did scare the life out of me, but I pulled it off and it looked amazing. My career has been like that, every month is different – if things quieten down, I think what else can I dip into.”
Isted is a regular on social media, which has become another important facet of her career. “I love the freedom and creativity of digital,” she says, “but I also think personally it has become monotonous. I don’t copy anyone, I am just myself. I love what I do for social, but I don’t think people understand the amount of work that goes into it. You might see me sitting on a beach, but not realise I have been up at 5am, getting the kids ready, had a long day of filming… People just see me sitting on a beach!”
Unsurprisingly, given the world we live in, Isted hasn’t been immune from the negative side to social media. “There was a press story that came out when I was travelling in first class [on a plane] and my husband and kids were in economy,” she recounts. “I was on a work trip and I didn’t want to leave my kids in the UK. I was preparing a lot of scripts, so upgraded and I got a lot of backlash about that. The trolls were horrendous. My husband was waking up in the middle of the night deleting messages before I read them because I would have been heart-broken. I think people really need to think before they put anything negative online. In our industry people can put on a smiley face, but behind closed doors they could be depressed, they could be suffering mental health issues… I just think people have got to be kinder.” In other words, more like Naomi Isted. “I always try to spread positivity on my Instagram stories and I try to inspire other people to make the best of themselves. My charity work is an extension of that, trying to give back and help others,” she says on being involved with everything from Dogs Trust to the Pink Ribbon Foundation.
The conversation could continue, but Isted is off to start working on yet another venture. “Myself and my personal trainer, Glenn Shelford, who is Harlow based, are doing a busy mums 30-day workout, which I will be filming this month. Our aim is to show simply how to incorporate some exercise and healthier eating choices into your every day life and week. I am no fitness expert and I love my food and wine, but I also love to try and do some form of exercise daily and try to eat healthier through the week so I can have the weekends off with a nice meal out, or takeaway and some wine! I have not got ripped abs and you are beautiful and perfect just as you are, but you will feel so much better if you squeeze in a 15-20 minutes workout 4-5 days a week, along with healthier eating choices, which we also supply in this course, and you will gradually see changes in your body, mind, energy and skin.”
Maybe she only needs four hours of sleep.
Listen out for a new weekly magazine show hosted by Naomi Isted with inspiring content and guests to help you gain a #successmindset. Follow Naomi and learn more about Fit Mums in 30 on Instagram @naomikisted and @ultimatelifestylist