A letter from Emily's best friend Michelle Friend & Family

My name is Michelle McGrath and I have been best friends with Emily Oslund for as long as I can remember. We have always confided in each other about everything. But in the middle of eighth grade she stopped talking to me as much. It was not something major but I noticed it. Then she started to get thin. She had always been really thin and muscular because she's a gymnast but she started getting thinner. Her clothes stopped fitting and she started getting tired more easily when we were at gym. They were just things I noticed. I mentioned them but I was afraid that if I pressured her too much it would encourage her not to eat.

That summer I saw less of her than normal. We went to different gym. camps and I had to spend a few weeks at softball camp as well and I guess I didn't notice how skinny she was becoming. I noticed, though, on the first day of freshman year. She was so thin! I mentioned it and she blew it off blaming it on a hard gym. camp. I knew that three weeks at camp couldn't do all that. She was too skinny. I tried to get her to see a school counselor but she insisted she was fine. We started spending less time together. She was afraid that I would try to make her eat and she didn't want to.

In the beginning of sophomore year we had a gym. meet in Fargo. She had been working especially hard at her beam routine, it was her specialty. She weighed hardly anything at this time and it showed. She was pale with dark circles around her eyes. Her hair was limp and fine and her leotard hung off of her jutting bones. She mounted the beam and started her routine. her balance was off because of her lack of energy. She did a basic backflip with a jump at the end. She almost fell. She went into a series of jumps and after performing a toe jump she landed of the beam and teetered back and forth. I thought she would regain her balance but instead she fainted and went crashing to the mats. They brought her to the hospital and they sent her to the university eating disorders unit. We are now college freshmen and she is still having to work at getting better.

I know that most of the people reading this probably have eating disorders. I have one thing to say to you: please do not do what you are doing. It is hurting you and the people around you and everyone you know. You owe it to yourself to eat. I know that someone is worrying about each and every one of you. Please try to eat and focus on getting well. It is worth it. Emmy- I love you.