Columbia, SC (WLTX) Aerial Fitness instructor, Tamela Hastie, now 44-years-old, spent most of her senior year of high school in the hospital because of her eating disorder. Now the mother of five finds and teaches how to have a healthy balanced life.
Hastie was a young gymnast and budding ballerina, but she says the environment planted the seed that would later grow into an eating disorder. She tells News 19, "All they were doing was telling us to go weigh ourselves and to go lose a pound."
In her teens, Hastie was into modeling and a friend she admired showed her the way. Hastie says. "She said lets go into my kitchen. I like to binge and eat a lot of food and then I'll go upstairs and I'll throw it up and I'll be ok." Hastie said at first she thought that was gross. But then she tried it, and then she wasn't ok. She says, "I fell into the diagnosis of having bulimiarexia, which is the mixture of anorexia and bulimia, so if I ate more than an apple a day. I would start throwing up."
She says her senior year in high school, was basically spent in the hospital and went for treatment. "It was very good because it taught me how to eat. It taught me that I was strong and I was a beautiful person and it kind of planted the seed of you need to fuel your body in order to live. And I was living life dead. It was kiling my insides, my soul, my spirit, my personality."
But now she uses her experience to help fuel what she teaches her kids, especially her 15 year old daughter. She says, "It's very emotional, but I am a survivor. But I have won. And the best part about it is my five children. My five children give me hope every day to keep growing them in a healthy way."
Part of that education is food choice. Hasties says she keeps a healthy snack table handy with nuts and fruits for the kids and she eats several small meals a day as her body needs fuel.
But unlike in the past, she doesn't count calories, or fat intake. She pays attention to what's going on in their very active lives and to what their bodies need. She says she spent a lot of time educating herself about food reading cook books and nutrition books. They eat whole foods with very little processed foods.
Hastie has taught Pilates and Yoga for years and now teaches Aerial Fitness, even putting on shows for the Charlotte Hornets games and at Shandon Baptist Church. She says a healthy life is a balance and she loves to help others find that balance too. Talking about the eating disorder she says, "Its not something that's easy to get over. Treatment is not going to fix you. It's gonna put a bandaid on it. But it's really up to you to change your perseption and to be OK with yourself and I think that comes from your environment and its up to you to get your environment positive and where it needs to be."
She says those who wish to recover should be open and honest with their emotions. She says, "Keep a journal. Share that journal with, maybe you have a psychologist in your treatment plan if you don't have a treatment plan and you haven't even gone there yet and you're struggling and maybe you are my age and you're struggling, know its OK. You are a beautiful woman. You do need to change the way that you are thinking because it will do damage to your body and you want to live and you want to be healthy. You are here on this Earth for a purpose."
Positive affrimations help a lot and surrounding yourself with people who are positive influences and lift you up, she says are key.