University of East Anglia student Anna Wyatt beats anorexia after being passed a note from a stranger in Waitrose

Anorexia affects over 725,000 men and women in the UK, according to a leading eating disorder awareness charity

Aftab Ali
Student Editor
Wednesday 16 December 2015 16:40
The student has been recovering well 18 months after being handed the note at a supermarket checkout
The student has been recovering well 18 months after being handed the note at a supermarket checkout

A student has told how her life took a turn for the better after she overcame her battle with anorexia when a complete stranger passed her a life-changing note while she was shopping in Waitrose.

Anna Wyatt, 21, a student of English literature at the University of East Anglia, had been struggling with the eating disorder since her first year and described how she had to postpone her second year so she could live at home and try to recuperate while receiving treatment from Norfolk Community Eating Disorder Services.

However, the student said the cognitive behavioural therapy and cognitive analytic therapy she received wasn’t helpful because they were aiming, too much, to alter her mindset as opposed to giving her the physical treatment she so badly needed.

Speaking with the Eastern Daily Press, Miss Wyatt said the note she received at the checkout was written and thrust into her hand by blogger Ella Crouch. The note directed Miss Wyatt to Miss Crouch’s blog where the student was to eventually find the help she needed in order to battle the illness which had seen her weight plummet drastically.

The simply-worded note that changed Anna Wyatt’s life:

(Courtesy of Anna Wyatt)

She told the Eastern Daily Press she thought “this is the way to go” when looking at the blog, and added: “If she hadn’t given me that note, I think I’d have been hospitalised pretty soon as I would have kept losing weight.”

According to the eating disorder awareness charity Beat, over 725,000 men and women in the UK are affected by eating disorders.

Young women are most likely to develop an issue with food - particularly those aged between 12 to 20 - and children as young as seven can develop anorexia.

The charity also adds that eating disorders claim more lives than any other mental illness, and that one in five of the most seriously affected will die prematurely from the physical consequences or suicide.

However, 18 months on now from that day in the supermarket, Miss Wyatt said she has been recovering well and is now raising money for a charity through her JustGiving page which provides equipment to a hospital in Sri Lanka, reported the Eastern Daily Press.

Writing in her blog about the role social media plays when it comes to eating disorders, Miss Crouch says: “Let’s show social media we don’t conform to what society has prescribed us, rather we define it. Let’s redefine the meaning of what it is to be fit. Less slutiness, more health and fitness, please.”

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this article, please visit Beat for support and services

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