Blogger Interviews

Blogger Interview With Amy Harbottle

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your blog

Hi, my name’s Amy. A beauty enthusiast living with and writing about chronic, invisible illness. I trained as a dancer before developing chronic illness. As my health fluctuated and my ability to dance changed I found a love in makeup and skincare, so trained in those areas. I did this trying to manage my poor health. In the 18 years of living with chronic illness I’ve learned so very much about myself, inner strength, loss, loneliness, society, awareness and so much more.

My health issues can be very severe at times and during these years I learnt the value of human kindness and the desperate need to spread support and further awareness anywhere we can. And so I set up my chronic illness support feed on Instagram. I didn’t (and still don’t) want anyone to feel as alone and terrified as I have felt fighting illness. There is a whole community of other chronic illness fighters out there longing to be connected, my aim, to simply give them a platform to do so.

My blog is also about sharing the truth about living with chronic, invisible illness. How we can look ‘fine’ but be very sick. Raising awareness through blog posts and forming solidarity through shared experiences.

At the same time I want to be me. For so much of my life with illness, I felt ashamed, from a lack of understanding from society. I was made (and still am) to feel my illness does not warrant its pain because it is not visible, so I chose to hide. I refuse to do so any longer. Therefore my blog is all of me. It is the advocate, the supporter, the friend talking from an honest and real perspective. But it is also the makeup artist, skincare addict and all round beauty enthusiast. I review, I advise and I love it.

If our readers could only read one of your blog posts which one should it be and why

Thankful for my struggle-Finding the good living with chronic illness

I wrote this post after reaching quite a significant part in my chronic illness journey, for want of a better word. I’m an optimist and while I don’t necessarily believe everything happens for a reason, I think we can see good in most situations. In this post I discuss whether it’s possible to be thankful for something that has destroyed your life and if so how? It was a vulnerable piece for me to write and I think it lets the reader get a sense of who I am quite quickly.

What one word best describes you and why

Empathetic. I will always put others first.

How do you stay healthy and fit

My ‘health routine’ is doing what is best for my body. It is pacing. It is listening to my body, not to others but to me.

What is your current diet like. Are you following a specific diet.

I have Coeliac’s so I follow a gluten free diet. I also don’t have much diary at all.

What’s the best advice you have received

To be kind.

How do you motivate yourself

I think of those closest to me. They strive to do the best for me and so I endeavour to do the same for them.

What’s your biggest challenge and what do you do to overcome it

To keep fighting! It is tiresome fighting for change, seeing Doctors who often can be unkind. Generally fighting illness itself can be overwhelming. However, I long to live, I long to be with my family and friends. They give me a sense of purpose. My blog does too. Caring for people, fighting for change, spreading truths-it’s all important to me, it keeps me going. Also, I believe you have to allow yourself to have your down days, the days when it all gets to you and not punish yourself for that. Everyone is going through stuff in life, we need to deal with it to be positive again.

What tools or resources are invaluable to you day to day

Social media. Yes, it can be overwhelming at times but being able to reach out to those in a similar situation is vital.

Who or what inspired you the most

My Mum. She’s incredible.

What’s your goal for the next year

To continue building my blog and it’s community on Instagram.

What’s the best part of your day

Seeing my nieces!

What do you do for fun

Play with makeup!

If you could teach anything in Schools what would it be?

It would be a class about coping. I don’t believe we leave school with true life skills and yet we’re suddenly faced with dealing with so much! Coping strategies should be part of lessons as should meditation, especially when it comes to dealing with the more negative aspects of social media that are becoming more and more apparent.

We should learn how to deal with stress more efficiently, we are becoming increasingly aware of the impact it has on our health. Simple techniques to support children and teenagers to deal with all aspects of life, be that family, loss, home life, workplace, study etc, I feel would be beneficial.

Thanks For Reading!

I really appreciate your time and I hope that you have learned a bit more about Amy Harbottle. She has an incredible story and I highly recommend that you check out her blog and get to know her some more.

About Our Weekly Interview Series

Every Monday we will be presenting a short interview like this one. Even though OthFit is mostly a health and fitness blog there is so much more to life than losing weight and tracking our macros. We hope that by interviewing bloggers of all types we can help you to find wonderful blogs that you wouldn’t necessarily find on your own. The easiest way to keep up to date is to follow our weekly newsletter.

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I am the managing editor and co-owner of OthFit.com. My goal is to motivate and inspire people to get healthy. I love to connect and make new friends online so feel free to say hi anytime.

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