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introducing

Steph Elswood

Introducing Steph Elswood - Fitness Enthusiast, Nutritious Food and Lifestyle Expert, Power Woman. 

"A champion for self-confidence and healthy living, Steph Elswood is an incredible food and fitness enthusiast who shares her passions both offline & online. Steph is a true light for women on their self-love journey; something we strongly value here at MERABI.

Starting a series of events named ‘Stay Sassy’, a phrase coined from her incredible grandmother Betty, Steph hosts female empowerment and dance classes designed to create a safe haven for women to release themselves. 'Stay Sassy' has raised over £70,000 for multiple charities and hosted over 30 events and festivals, and it’s only 5 years young.

The battles Steph has overcome personally which have then motivated her to commit to spreading love and helping other women feel more confident, are simply phenomenal; in our eyes she is the epitome of everything a Power Woman is.

Join us this month as Steph discusses her motivations, goals, personal challenges and incredible takeaways in this heartwarming conversation."

introducing

Steph Elswood

Introducing Steph Elswood - Fitness Enthusiast, Nutritious Food and Lifestyle Expert, Power Woman. 

"A champion for self-confidence and healthy living, Steph Elswood is an incredible food and fitness enthusiast who shares her passions both offline & online. Steph is a true light for women on their self-love journey; something we strongly value here at MERABI.

Starting a series of events named ‘Stay Sassy’, a phrase coined from her incredible grandmother Betty, Steph hosts female empowerment and dance classes designed to create a safe haven for women to release themselves. 'Stay Sassy' has raised over £70,000 for multiple charities and hosted over 30 events and festivals, and it’s only 5 years young.

The battles Steph has overcome personally which have then motivated her to commit to spreading love and helping other women feel more confident, are simply phenomenal; in our eyes she is the epitome of everything a Power Woman is.

Join us this month as Steph discusses her motivations, goals, personal challenges and incredible takeaways in this heartwarming conversation."

What motivates/inspires you and your incredible work?

I think my biggest driving force in everything I do, is my past experience with mental health issues. I know how low you can feel within yourself when you are lacking confidence. I understand first-hand how the voice in your brain can try its best to work against you and make you believe that you’re something you’re not. So I really want to help women stand in their own power, turn down that negative voice and see themselves for who they are and all the wonderful qualities that make them completely unique.

Success to me is having a life where I am able to do what I love surrounded by the people that I love!

What is success to you?

Success to me is having a life where I am able to do what I love, surrounded by the people that I love! I think too often we focus on big wins and or see our worth within superficial items, but I honestly don’t need any more than that. I want to find moments of happiness or gratitude within every day and to be surrounded by people that want the same.

What are your goals for the remainder of the year?

I run workshops called “Stay Sassy” which unfortunately couldn’t happen during the lockdown. The event is a way of getting women into a room together and creating a safe space. We walk in high heels (which are optional to wear…), I lead them through a beginner-friendly dance class and then we invite a guest speaker to speak about anything from mental health, confidence, and nutrition - just something that will benefit the girls and give them important takeaways. Every event raises money for a different charity and I want to really push that this year. It’s a huge passion project of mine and I’ve really missed the in-person events! 

I also have 2 very exciting projects launching this year and my main goal is to use both of them to better the lives of others and help to build confidence and self-acceptance in as many people as I can!

What message would you like to share with our MERABI community?

That wherever you are in your life, whatever you’re doing, you are already more than enough, exactly as you are, right at this moment. Don’t get stuck in the vision cycle of comparing yourself to images you see of others online and bullying yourself to believe that you are unworthy or less than. Keep challenging that voice in your head and remind yourself that you are 1 in almost 8 billion! And that is so special... 

What challenges have you faced in your industry as a woman and how have you overcome them?

I suffered with an eating disorder between the ages of 14-19 and it was really tough. I was training at a professional dance school and then college and it was extremely intense with many outdated ideologies of what a female dancer should be and look like. But I was fortunate enough to have incredible friends, family and teachers who offered their support and guidance. This sounds crazy, but for so long my eating disorder was a secret friend that I felt safe around and I was scared of what would happen if I let go of it. But I began to see a therapist that helped me overcome my issues with food and seeing her every week was vital in my recovery. Sometimes I have wobbles I cannot lie. There are days when I bully my own reflection and speak to myself horribly, but I am now strong enough to not live in those feelings and remember that advice that I would give to anyone else speaking to themselves in that way.

The health/food industry has its flaws and although I like to believe that it is changing, some of the language and marketing can be very triggering still. I may not be able to change an entire industry, but I do have the power to change how I react to it and how I allow it to make me think and feel and that realisation makes me feel really strong and proud of my journey.

What advice would you give your 16-year-old self?

I would hug her and reassure her that everything happening is part of a big journey to something bigger than she could ever imagine. I’d tell her to keep dreaming big and to keep approaching every situation with love and kindness. 

I would shake her and tell her to stop caring so much about what other people think of her. I would also tell her to stop speaking so harshly to herself and to just go out into the world, share her heart with everyone she meets and continue to be open and vulnerable because one day, it’ll all be worth it.

My Dad once shared a quote with me that I absolutely live by “There’s doing things right and doing the right thing, and that’s not always the same.” I take that into everything I do now…

Name a woman that inspires you and tell us why 

Out of the people I know, My mum. She’s a huge inspiration to me. I used to get embarrassed by how she would speak to anyone and everyone - she’d walk up to strangers and give them a compliment whenever she thought it. But now I see that she is such a natural healer and an incredible listener. I see how people leave her presence so positively, even after one short conversation.

I also love Mel Robbins. Her work with the high five habits and 5-second rule is helping thousands of people. She is so articulate and passionate and I find her motivational talks mesmerising. I know you only asked for 1 woman but I see inspiring women all around me!

The final inspiration I have is my friend Sasha Pallari. She is a beautiful soul inside and out and started a campaign called #FILTERDROP - she campaigned for so long and was recognised by mainstream media and has started such a movement to encourage people to stop using filters. She’s worked so hard that even the ASA have made it a rule that you can not use a filter on any content promoting beauty or skincare as it is misleading and false advertising. I love her message and ethos and just think she’s great.



We can’t thank you enough, Steph, for opening up to us about your extraordinary story. The messages you have shared with us resonate deeply and inspire us to value ourselves and recognise our own magic. The battles you have overcome and your commitment to spreading love and helping other women feel more confident are simply phenomenal. We can’t wait to see what you do next.

Follow Steph on her journey@stephelswood 

May 2022
This month we sat down with Amy Ramsey, Founder of Dilly’s Toy Factory and all-around Supermum. Amy takes us on her remarkable journey of navigating life as a mother with a 3-year-old son, Dillan, who has been battling leukaemia since the age of 20 months. 

March 2022
March brought us International Women’s Day 2022 and Mother’s Day, both very special days where we got to do what we do best, empowering women. 

February 2022
Arian Simone is an Entrepreneur, Philanthropist, International speaker and best selling author.

January 2022
Jessica Jackson is a Human Rights Attorney and Chief of Advocacy Officer at REFORM Alliance. Jessica's ability to turn anguish into ambition is extraordinary.

October 2021
Gina Swire is a Self Love expert, Mentor and Manifesting Queen. Gina tells us about her incredible mission which aims to inspire and lift others up.

September 2021
Karina is the owner of the very popular Menagerie Restaurant & Bar in Manchester with an incredible ability to evolve and learn.

August 2021
Krystal Sutherland is a business founder, influencer, mental health advocate, mother and all-round superwoman.

July 2021
Georgia Allan and Sheridan Thomas are founders of MyMidwives UK- a private midwifery service that encourage women to feel confident throughout pregnancy.

June 2022
Join us this month as we engage in an eye-opening conversation with Tiler as she walks us through her motivations, goals, and one of her most difficult and transformative challenges yet. 

@nadinemerabi