By Samantha Grillo @_samanthagrillo

A SEVERELY anorexic woman’s life was saved when six strangers staged an intervention at her gym

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Videographer / Director: Joe Williams
Producer: Samantha Grillo, Nick Johnson
Editor: Sonia Estal, Ian Phillips

Lauryn Lax is now healthy and helps others overcome eating disorders

Lauryn Lax, 27, weighed just 79lbs when fellow gym goers who were concerned about her health approached her.

She suffered from anorexia since age nine, after a schoolmate asked her how much she weighed.

SURPRISE INTERVENTION: Lauryn poses with the group of gym goers who staged an intervention at the gym

Now Lauryn is using her experience with an eating disorder to help others through her wellness program, THRIVE.

Lauryn, from Little Rock, Arkansas, said: “Honestly I think if those strangers had not stepped in I would not have been alive today.”

Long struggle: Lauryn had been struggling with an eating disorder since age 10

“My experience with anorexia started when I was about nine-years-old when thoughts and patterns formed where I was questioning my beauty and worth.”

“I remember feeling really insecure at the time and I felt like I weighed the most out of all the little girls standing there.

As a child she read nutrition labels and cut fats out of her diet

“I went home that day and stood in my pantry and decided that I was going on a diet.

“I started learning how to read nutrition labels and started cutting out fats.”

Lauryn sits with a client during a Thrive Wellness and Recovery session

Lauryn started eating less every day and eventually consumed nothing.

She said:” Before I knew it something else took hold in my mind and I wasn’t in control - but something controlled me and that’s when the eating disorder set in.”

Today Lauryn speaks with groups about proper nutrition and exercise

For years, Lauryn struggled with the eating disorder, but she reached rock bottom in August 2011.

“I remember waking up that day at 4am and stepping on the scale as I did every morning and seeing the number 79 - a number I had not seen since I was 10.

She thought about starting her program Thrive Wellness and Recovery while she was still in treatment

Lauryn decided to go about her daily routine and drive to the gym but was met by an unexpected group in the parking lot.

She said: “I heard a voice come up behind me saying ‘good morning Lauryn.’

Lauryn lives in Austin, Texas where she meets with clients to discuss nutrition and exercise

“I saw not one but several other individuals come up behind me and circle around me and one of them stepped forward and said ‘Lauryn we’re scared for you.”

After ten minutes of arguing, Lauryn decided to go with the strangers to the doctor to get her vitals checked.

Lauryn meets with clients as young as 12 to discuss healthy goals

She was transferred to a hospital where her heart rate dropped into the 30s - and doctors thought she would need a pacemaker.

After three days in the intensive care unit she spent three weeks in the cardiac unit until it steadied.

A portrait of healthy Lauryn Lax
A portrait of Lauryn Lax at her lowest weight of 79lbs

“The doctor came to me and said you can stay another six to eight weeks in bed with a feeding tube or you could go into a residential treatment center to get to the bottom of your illness,” added Lauren.

“I opted for the residential center in Miami where I stayed for almost a year.

“Going back to school was one of my new life goals and I eventually became a doctor of occupational therapy and nutrition.”

Today Lauryn lives in Austin, Texas and has one on one sessions with clients - performing talk and what she calls “do” therapy.

She offers fitness training classes and women’s empowerment, self-esteem, and life skill sessions to clients as young as 12.

Lauryn Lax posing with her father Mike Lax in Malibu, California
A young Lauryn Lax posing on a swing

Said said: “I aim to transform eating disorder recovery into a more holistic approach.

“THRIVE Wellness and Recovery is a recovery support system where I discuss a client’s goals and help them get through their health disorders.

“My five year goal is to open up a holistic healing center in Austin, but for now I would like to reach more girls and women who desire freedom from their disorders.”

DO therapy: Lauryn takes clients to play sports or shopping for clothes as part of therapy
Lauryn meets with clients as young as 12 to discuss healthy goals

A severely anorexic woman’s life was saved when six strangers staged an intervention at her gym. Lauryn Lax, 27, weighed just 79lbs when fellow gym goers who were concerned about her health approached her.

She suffered from anorexia since age nine, after a schoolmate asked her how much she weighed. Lauryn started eating less every day and eventually consumed nothing.

Now Lauryn is using her experience with an eating disorder to help others through her wellness program, THRIVE.

“For more information about THRIVE Wellness and Recovery visit: http://meanttothrive.com