Today we’d like to introduce you to Ali Fifer.
Ali, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I grew up an athlete and would eat whatever I wanted with the mentality that “I’ll burn it off later.” When college came around and my athletics dwindled, I was terrified of the Freshman Fifteen, and I started counting calories obsessively and working out to negate anything I ate. This spiraled into an eating disorder and a horrible relationship with food. The more restrictive I became, the more I rebelled against my own “rules” and would binge on all my “restricted” foods – hating myself for not having the “willpower” to just eat less or eat cleaner. This silent struggle went on for over a decade – restricting, bingeing, restricting harder, and then bingeing harder.
I hit my version of rock bottom in the form of self-inflicted digestive disorders – SIBO, Candida, and leaky gut, which all lead to extremely stubborn weight gain, nearly constant bloating if I ate ANYTHING, fatigue, complete lack of self-confidence… my body had had enough and was telling me loud and clear.
I went back to school for Nutritional Therapy. Through yoga, nutrition, and a ridiculous amount of forced self-love, sobriety, and mindfulness, I was able to pull myself out of the binge & purge cycle and disordered eating habits. I healed my relationship with food and am finally at a place where I choose and CRAVE nutrient-dense options. If I get a sweet tooth, I honor that and ENJOY a couple of sweets without devouring an entire tray of brownies. It wasn’t an easy process, but it’s so worth it. Now, I thoroughly LOVE helping my nutrition clients work through similar issues – reframing their relationship with food, exercise, and their bodies to find this level of freedom. It’s incredibly liberating to not have stress, anxiety, or fear surrounding social gatherings with food. It’s one of the best feelings to be able to listen to your body and give it what it’s asking for and not feel guilty about it. Helping others reach this point is what lights me up every day! If you struggle with food at any level, I’d love to connect and hear your story.
Know that you’re not alone and freedom is possible!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It definitely was not a smooth road. One of the biggest struggles personally was admitting to myself I had an eating disorder. I’m a very proud and private person so it was never something I would have asked for help with – I had to fix it myself. I now see how many women, family members, and friends struggle with some level of disordered eating patterns and how relieving and helpful it is for them to talk to someone about it.
My advice is that whatever your struggle is, you are NOT alone. You may feel alone and crazy in the depths of it, but someone else is going through something similar. Talk to a trusted friend about it. Vulnerability is incredibly courageous. Do the hard work of looking inward and determining how you got to where you are. Self-awareness is sexy!
Also, recovery is not linear. There are still days where I just don’t feel good or confident or sexy in my body – and that’s okay! I do the self-love actions, show myself some compassion, and usually feel better in a day or two. Progress, not perfection.
Lastly, self-care is not selfish, it’s absolutely necessary in order for you to provide in other areas of your life – as a mother, friend, lover, daughter, everything.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Rooted Wellness – what should we know?
My main pride and focus right now is Finding Food Freedom, my online course. It’s all of the steps I took to heal my own relationship with food and have since taken so many clients through as well. It’s a real, holistic approach as it looks at mindset, emotions, nutrition, exercise – all of it!
I love that it’s self-paced and can be done in the privacy of your own home. As I said, I never reached out about my food struggles because I was embarrassed and ashamed about them, so the privacy and self-help style would appeal to someone like myself.
I also work with clients online in a one-on-one format, really focusing on reframing your mindset around what “healthy” is. It’s not simply choosing healthy foods and working out every day – it’s choosing things that NOURISH you, whether that’s nourishing relationships, nourishing activities – it’s doing the things that fill you up and make you happy. When you nourish your soul in this way, you’re happier. You have more respect for yourself and want to choose healthier options naturally. It’s a win-win cycle!
I think what really sets me apart from other holistic nutritionists is that I’ve been through the struggles. I’ve had the stubborn weight gain and fully understand all the emotions of not feeling good enough, hopelessness, self-hate… I’ve had the gut disorders and healed myself from them. I know how hard it can be. I know that it’s not just telling you to eat more kale – it’s reframing your mindset and working through DECADES of mental blocks and barriers that have been put up. But working through these blocks are where you see the biggest shifts and it’s SO worth the hard work!
Which women have inspired you in your life?
My mom, of course! She’s a superstar – she’s always been an incredible athlete and was my initial inspiration for getting into the health and wellness field. She was a personal trainer as I grew up, so I was practically raised in gyms.
She’s also the most sincere, generous, and empathetic person you will ever meet. Many of my high school friends are still in my life even though we’ve all moved away because my mom makes sure we all get together for an amazing “Fifer” party every Christmas and she genuinely wants to hang out with all of them and know how their lives are going. She’s amazing. I could go on all day.
Clare Gallagher has inspired me from afar. She’s an amazing ultra runner in Boulder, CO but more than that, she uses her fanbase as a platform to do good for the Earth. She’s a big environmentalist and activist for saving the planet. I love that she uses her fame for such a good cause and never seems to slow down.
- Finding Food Freedom – Online Course – $297
- One-on-one Sessions – Intro Package – $195
- 28 Detox – $197
- Website: www.rootedwellnessnutrition.com
- Email: AFifer@rootedwellness.me
- Instagram: @rooted_wellness_
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rootedwellnessllc/
- Other: https://www.rootedwellnessnutrition.com/join-the-rooted-wellness-community