This article contains actual details of one woman’s battle with an eating disorder. If you or someone you love is struggling with an eating disorder, please contact a therapist or a registered dietitian near you for help.
Lauren Lax limited what she ate and exercised regularly. While this may sound like a healthy lifestyle, she did both to the extreme.
Her eating disorder almost claimed her life
Lauren dangerously limited her calorie intake and couldn’t fuel both her body and the rigorous workouts she planned each day. She had lost so much weight, and her body continued to shrink.
“As part of our continuing series ‘On the Road,’ Steve Hartman meets a group of people who decided to step in to help Lauryn Lax, a woman whom they saw at the gym growing dangerously thin. Their decision to get involved in her life, Lauren says, helped save it.”
Seven YMCA members noticed how thin Lauren’s body had become. They tracked down her parents, who confirmed that Lauren did, in fact, suffer from anorexia. She had been in and out of treatment since age 10.
“Her body was deteriorating,” one club member recalled. “You could just see it.”
“You can’t just sit back, and one day she not be here because we didn’t do something,” another YMCA member said.
The group of strangers planned their intervention. One day, they met her in the parking lot before her workout. The group said they were taking her to the hospital.
Understandably, Lauren protested and cried. She said, “Leave me alone!”
But, this group didn’t give up. “We’re not taking ‘no’ for an answer.”
“I don’t think I’d be here talking today,” Lauren reflected, while in tears. She is now grateful for the strangers’ intervention.
Right after that hospital visit, Lauren’s heart came terribly close to failing. Doctors almost put in a pacemaker. After years of treatment and recovery (including gaining 36 pounds), Lauren is a new, healthy person.
Lauren earned her doctorate in occupational therapy and has dedicated her career to helping those with eating disorders.
“You look so wonderful!,” YMCA friends said as Lauren is greeted by the group in the video.