Lau­ryn Lax, 26, was dy­ing from anorexia un­til some strangers in­ter­vened…

Friday - - Real Life -

Look­ing around the kitchen of my friend Louise’s home, my eyes filled with tears of joy. I was sur­rounded by my dear­est friends; I call them my an­gels, but when they first in­ter­vened in my life, I hardly knew them. There were eight of them, rang­ing in age from their thir­ties to six­ties – Louise Grant, Susie Bate­man, Ju­dith Hill and Tanya Bell, and four men: Fields Stringfel­low, Johnny Phelps, Andy Clausen and Bob John­son.

Bob had greeted me with a warm fa­therly hug as I ar­rived for din­ner. They had in­vited me around to cel­e­brate my re­cov­ery and re­union – it was in spring 2014.

“You are look­ing so good,’’ came the cho­rus of voices. “So healthy!’’ Susie smiled. They were re­joic­ing in my ap­pear­ance be­cause only a year back I was a bag of skin and bones. Weigh­ing just 35kg, I had de­vel­oped a heart con­di­tion and was on the point of death.

I had al­ways been fac­ing weightre­lated is­sues after I started suf­fer­ing from anorexia when I was 10. It be­gan when a friend told me boys liked girls who were pretty and thin.

Although I was not over­weight, I re­mem­ber a popular girl at school ask­ing me how much I weighed when I was 10 and that set me wor­ry­ing about my weight. I thought if I made my­self thin­ner, I would be more at­trac­tive and so be­gan sub­tly go­ing on a diet – cut­ting out junk food like pizza and sweets com­pletely. I quickly be­gan to lose weight. I also be­gan to get ob­ses­sive about ex­er­cis­ing to stay lean, and that’s when I started wast­ing away.

Six months later, at Christ­mas, my par­ents re­alised some­thing was very wrong. Not only had I lost a lot of weight, but I had be­come with­drawn and moody.

My younger brother Jared, now 24, and sis­ter Ash­ley, 22, didn’t have any such is­sues and Mum and Dad tried to help me and en­cour­age me to eat.

How­ever, so ob­sessed did I be­come about my weight and con­vinced that

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