Meet powerbuilder, Ali Fowler…. A 31-year-old Mom of 2 beautiful daughters, diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis when she was 24-years-old. She lives in Salt Lake City, UT and works hard as a Restaurant Manager to provide for her family. She is a cheer and softball Mom who loves spending time with her girls.
Before she was diagnosed, Ali was hospitalized for what she thought was an ongoing knee injury caused by running. While in the hospital the doctor noticed the size of her ankles doubling in size… he immediately ordered blood work which pointed to something more concerning. Ali was then directed to see a specialist and who determined she had RA. She was told to discontinue running and all impact exercises. She also had to stop managing a garden center nearby.
Life changed significantly for Ali after her diagnosis. She spent the next 4 years going on and off a mostly vegan diet – pretending to be “fine” while silently fighting flare ups. Her hands looked like a 90-year-old womans and symptoms were difficult to manage. Changes within her family structure had also caused stress in her life – and after her divorce Ali decided to hit the weight room rather than crash dieting. She also quit drinking alcohol at this time. Ali has worked hard to remove all negativity- toxic people and negativity had no room in her battle against RA.
When asked how she manages her symptoms now Ali said, “I consistently eat healthy with no limitations, very little sugar, fried foods and no alcohol. I still avoid running because that pain will never leave my mind. I do move move move. I lift and lift heavy and I listen to my body. When I feel like I need 2 rest days I take them. When I feel like I shouldn’t squat another rep, I don’t. SLEEP. The importance of Sleep!”
Ali lifts weights 5-6 days per week and meditates daily. She still gets the occasional flare up but not the “my jaw swollen to the size of a softball, knees so painful I can’t walk kind.” She is on her second month of methotrexate as the progression has started to damage her hands. Ali has been on other medications and is still working with her doctor to determine which will be most effective for her. She also takes folic acid, fish oil, and believes firmly in the benefits of turmeric. During severe flare ups she takes prednisone In 20 day cycles.
Ali is enjoying all things in life again – lifting weights, cooking, hiking, yoga and spirituality are all very important to her. She has worked hard to manage her symptoms and has used health and fitness as a way to overcome them. Ali said that just 2 years ago this would not have even been possible. She wants to shout it to the world….”Be consistent. Push through. Remove as much negativity and stress from your life as you can. You can win in the game of RA!”
Ali is a true WARRIOR who is overcoming RA with each choice she makes. Continue supporting her on Instagram @ “aliveart36” and follow her story for more inspiration!