We caught up with Amy Robb, Founder of, Content Creator and Events Organiser at Surviving Now Thriving and Vegan Belfast Guide, to ask her some questions about her story on surviving and recovering from anorexia nervosa, and how this journey has helped her build a business helping others in recovery and in veganism!

Could you tell us your story about your eating disorder?

Amy: First and foremost, I am a normal human being just like you and once upon a time I suffered with anorexia nervosa. I am extremely grateful to say once upon a time because it’s thankfully very much a part of my past and if I want to get one thing across in this article, it’s that full recovery from eating disorders is possible because I am living proof of that. So if anyone is struggling, remember that this doesn’t have to be the way it is forever-there is support available and you will get there!

My life with anorexia was no life at all. I became withdrawn, body and food obsessed, petrified of foods I had never previously been, and not my usual happy and bubbly self that all my friends knew and missed. Ultimately, I felt suicidal. It was only through a failed attempt at taking my own life that I was brought to the attention of doctors where I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa and offered inpatient treatment.

 

How did you recover and become a survivor?

Amy: I couldn’t think of anything worse at the time than going inpatient, but that hospital literally saved my life. I was so lucky to be able to get help so quickly and that’s one of the most important things with eating disorders – seeking help straight away gives people the best chance of making a full recovery. The longer you repeat the same patterns of behaviour, the more difficult it becomes to break so I would really encourage anyone, if they think they might have a problem or something isn’t quite right, to go to their GP. Everyone deserves to receive support and live life on their terms, rather than being controlled by an enemy in your head.

 

Do you have any advice for those suffering from ED/body dysmorphia about how to feel body positive? 

Amy: There’s obviously not a one size fits all approach to therapy, but this might help in motivating people to get started on your journey to recovery. Get a piece of paper and write on one side everything you gain from continuing to live with your eating disorder, on the other side, write everything you gain from recovery. You’ll quickly be able to see the long list of reasons to recover, with no valid reasons whatsoever to stay stuck with your disorder.

I now have food, body and life freedom, where I am living abundantly, having realised my true purpose. I never would have got there had I not chosen recovery. I did it - so you can too, I believe in you. Living a restricted life isn’t what anyone of us was brought into this world to do. So why let it be you? Your struggles craft your strength! You are beautiful beyond your body. Always have H.O.P.E – hold on pains ends!

 

Did veganism help you get through and if so, how? Would you suggest going vegan to other ED survivors?

Amy: Veganism was not a part of my recovery whatsoever; I recovered from anorexia nervosa many years before transitioning to veganism. I would neither advocate nor steer others away from embracing veganism within eating disorder recovery because it is up to each individual to do what is best for them. I have heard experiences from both sides in that veganism has on the one hand, been the driver that motivated some to recover who claim it enabled them to break free from their eating disorder, while on the other, some have felt that recovery within a vegan lifestyle isn’t possible for them.

Tell us about your brand.

Amy: I ama Recipe Guidebook Author, Founder of, Content Creator and Events Organiser at Surviving Now Thriving (8.5k community) and Vegan Belfast Guide (6.5kcommunity), Digital Marketer, Psychology Graduate and Tutor, Coach, Model and TV/Radio/Podcast/ and YouTube Speaker with my own Thrive Live Series!

 

What’s your favourite vegan meal to cook from your book? 

Amy: That’s like asking a mother to choose a favourite child! I always like to have a huge variety with the food I eat, always trying new treats and whipping up magic in the kitchen every day; it’s a form of therapy for me in many ways. However, I’ll share some of my most loved recipes to tantalise your taste buds! To start, I’ll take some arancini balls, for the main event, the curing carbonara, krackin’ katsu curry and the mindful mushroom chilli are three of the most popular meals, and for dessert, the chocolate notella cheesecake has my whole heart. If anyone reading is interested, they will always have between 1-3 new recipes to try each week, which is planned out for you for every single month throughout the year. You have the choice of following the plan of advised meals of the week or mix and match as you please to suit your own personal preferences! You can find access the link to my book on my Instagram @veganbelfastguide

Finally, where do you hope your brand goes, what are you looking to do in the future or what are your future goals? 

I think if I’ve learned anything from the past few years over the pandemic, it’s to really just embrace everyday as it comes because you simply cannot plan for the future. A few years back, I had expected to be travelling or living in a foreign country, such as Malaga/Tenerife or anywhere hot in all honesty! Yet I have now not been travelling in a few years. Travelling and exploring all the incredible vegan food worldwide is a massive passion of mine, and one thing I cannot wait to re-explore after being deprived for too long due to unforeseen circumstances. Otherwise, I’m continually growing my business, keen to connect and collaborate with as many like-minded individuals as possible and ultimately, enjoying every opportunity that each day brings! Expanding Vegan Belfast Guide globally, hosting larger events, creating captivating content for brands that I use and love are just a few intentions I am currently working on everyday. Who knows what the future has in store – but I am living and beyond blessed for what’s here already, while being excited about the bigger and better that is still to come!

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