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Intervention for Anorexic Woman at Gym

At the height of her eating disorder, strangers on the streets of Nashville would stop Lauryn Lax to tell her to "Go eat a cheeseburger" or ask "Honey, are you eating?" But it was the acquaintances at the YMCA where she worked out that saved her. Lauren said it really hit home because "it's not my parents telling me what to do. It's not doctors. Its acquaintances … telling me it's a problem."

When Lax weighed herself that morning, she was only 79 pounds. She was frightened to see the low number and said a prayer that she would get better, but she still arrived at the YMCA ten minutes before it opened so she would get the Stairmaster she wanted.

"We saw a girl that was about to die," said Johnny Phipps, one of the gym-goers who organized the intervention. In the parking lot, a group of YMCA regulars who had been concerned about Lax for weeks, approached her and told her they were taking her to the hospital. One of those friends told Good Morning America. "When we saw Lauren's car pull in, we literally all converged on her, and she was like a deer in headlights."

Lax resisted at first, but agreed to go with them. Today, she calls them her "YMCA angels."
When they got to the emergency room, however, doctors almost didn't keep her there, and Lax was ready to go home and get back to her old ways: 6-to 7-hour workouts and eating nothing but tiny helpings of steamed vegetables and frozen turkey burgers. "Very eerily, everything looked Ok on paper," Lax said. "My little angels were just so adamant. They knew that I was not well and really fought to keep me there."

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