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Finding Greater Well-Being and Meaning During COVID-19

According to Trust for America’s Health, in 2020 the U.S. adult obesity ratestands at 42.4 percent. This represents an all-time high, with the national adult obesity rate increasing by 26 percent since 2008. It’s hard to beat those odds once obese and claim a healthier life. But Misty Boachie did.

Her lifelong struggle with overeating started in childhood, when there were no boundaries set on what or how much to eat. By sixth grade, Boachie weighed 250 pounds. She lost 100 of those pounds in middle school, but then the weight crept back on throughout her twenties. When Boachie was pregnant with her last son nine years ago at age 35, the scales topped 270 pounds.

She decided to get clear about her motivation in life. Boachie was done with the yo-yo eating habits, lack of energy and being constantly worried if clothes would fit. What really changed though was her why — an intense desire to be able to keep up with her children and make the necessary lifestyle modifications to ensure that happened.

“A big part of my motivation was family,” explains Boachie. “I wanted to be here to raise my kids and keep up with them and my husband, whether it’s engaged in karate, swimming, kayaking, or just running around the house. This is also about creating a good legacy for my children’s health when they see me eating better and being active.”

She turned to a health coach to learn how to eat as cleanly as possible, avoiding processed foods and planning meals in advance. Boachie embraced exercise, working out five to six times a week doing cardio, weights and hot yoga. Understanding her motivation permanently transformed her life. Being full of energy, fit and healthy became her norm. Even when COVID-19 spread, and adaptations needed to be made.

Boachie had to become more creative and resourceful with her workouts, as she ended gym memberships during the pandemic. “It was a difficult decision and very painful, as community is such an important factor of my recovery/weight management/mental health plan,” she explained. “Those relationships and the group fitness atmosphere has sustained me for years, and so I have definitely had to pivot.”

She embraced the development of a home yoga practice and being in nature. Boachie has also grown Excavate Wellness, a business she started to articulate her feelings about body image and weight management. Spending more time with her family has been a gift this year and she has experienced tremendous personal growth.

“Having to live in an extremely restricted way has strengthened my commitment to recovering from my food addiction,” she said. “I have doubled down on my 12-step support group meetings and spend more time in quiet contemplation. I have never made this much progress in my recovery and been able to confront my disease and access as much truth as I am now!”

Her “why” has continued to expand in today’s atmosphere of increasing racial unrest. Boachie began her own personal outreach program calling friends who are not people of color to engage in honest conversations about race relations. “I feel that I have been called to action on a deep spiritual level, to share more of myself as a Black woman and my personal experiences with racism, the fears that I have for myself and my family, and also to invite others to talk through these issues and work through them together,” she noted. “I have become more courageous and steadfast and expressive during all of this.”

How have you found greater well-being or meaning during 2020?

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