How A Stranger's Note In Waitrose Helped Student Anna Wyatt Beat Anorexia

Anna Wyatt weighed less than six stone and was not responding to hospital treatment when she was passed a note in Waitrose which changed her life.

The 20-year-old student from Norwich was battling anorexia and had postponed university to stay at home while she received help from local eating disorder services. However the therapy was proving fruitless, and she showed no signs of recovering, until a stranger passed her the handwritten message.

The message, written by blogger Ella Crouch, directed the student to her website, where Crouch details her journey of recovery from an eating disorder.

“I had a look on Ella’s blog and for the first time thought ‘this is the way the to go’,” Wyatt told the Eastern Daily Press.“The note changed my life.

“It was an incredible thing for the person to do, to be brave enough to walk up to a stranger and offer that help.

"If she hadn’t given me that note I think I’d have been hospitalised pretty soon as I would have kept losing weight."

Now, Wyatt is on the road to recovery - 18 months after Crouch first passed her the note.

Crouch, meanwhile, still regularly blogs about her healthy lifestyle, using the hashtags #screwskinny and #busygettingstronger to document her fitness regime.

Crouch, who is a final year languages student at Nottingham University, credits her friend and personal trainer for helping her get healthy.

"When I first started university I developed an eating disorder, and by my second year I had been diagnosed with anorexia and weighed 38kg," she writes on her blog. "I started this blog when I took a year out from university to combat my disorder. I refused the hospital bed at a clinic and lived at home where I actively addressed my problem, with the help of my family, friends, and personal trainer/ best friend Leon Bustin (The LeanMachines).

"Within a year I had reached my weight goal in order to live abroad in France and Germany and continue with my degree."

Crouch adds: "I never look back and wish I had never become ill, because my illness is what has made me who I am today and I have learnt so much about myself and how to look after my body on the way.

"Food is about eating to nourish your body, but it is also about being happy and living life to the fullest. I training hard, because I love it, not because I want to look a certainway or be a certain weight! It’s about learning to love your body for what it is and where it can take you, rather than for what it’s not."

Useful websites and helplines:

Beat, call 0845 634 7650 or email

Samaritans, open 24 hours a day, on 08457 90 90 90

Mind, open Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm on 0300 123 3393