Friday, February 5, 2010

Incredible Woman #24 - Kristie Harker. Friday's Question

KARA: "What is your secret passion? Tell us a little bit about what you LOVE to do. If you had one day to do anything you wanted, what would your day be like?"

KRISTIE: "My passion is anything but SECRET. Anyone who knows me could quickly press that game buzzer with the correct answer — Kristie is passionate about tennis! I would play tennis any day until I drop, but I can’t usually find people who will do that with me.

I played tennis for two years in my 20’s, but did not play again until my 40’s because of my poor health. Eventually, I tired of walking by myself, and strength training by myself. A social person by nature, the day I walked by the local tennis court and was invited to join the doubles play became the day I was hooked. What can be possibly be better than exercising while playing a game with friends? It’s “hit ‘n giggle” time. Currently, I play on a local 3.5 league at an indoor facility. Since it’s never too late to improve, I take lessons too! My goal is to play until I’m 75 years old. I do still strength train in order to keep my injuries down, but just enough to keep up what long years built up. Yes, I’m injury prone — elbow and shoulder surgery, and knees that have gone out three years in a row doesn’t help any. But, somehow I keep showing up and keep going like the Eveready Bunny. One of those “odd” pieces of the health puzzle came my way two years ago to help keep me on the court. Prolotherapy, a procedure that triggers ligament growth by 30-50%, has kept me happily in the game.

If I imagine a perfect day, it would always starts with prayer. That would be followed by a bowl of my favorite granola with flax and pumpkin seed, topped by plain goat yogurt. (Really!) Then, I’d put on a smile and my tennis clothes and go have a ball for a few hours with friends. On the way home, I’d stop for one of the most spectacularly fine(and large) mint brownies ever made from Dear Lizzie’s, and eat it by little bites until it was completely gone. It makes my mouth water to think of a perfect lunch like that. Then, I’d go for a massage to relax the back I made sore by playing so much tennis. I’d stop in to see my friend, Jana. On the way home, I’d pick up a Papa Murphy’s Gourmet Vegetarian pizza and eat 6 pieces which miraculously stayed hot to the last bite. We’d visit with the kids, who all dropped in, and we’d talk and laugh with the TV off. I’d curl up with a good book and read into the night. I think I actually got a day like that once!"

KARA: "Tell us your beauty secrets. What do you do to stay healthy and happy?"

KRISTIE: "Only my daughters know for sure… unless I let my roots grow out too far. But, hair has never been one of my best features. Thin, naturally straight mouse brown hair does not qualify as a crowning glory. I don’t do my nails. All I can say is, thank goodness for hair spray to hold me together. I have a stored supply of makeup, without which I would have no eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes or lips! I say if we have to go without food, at least I can powder my oily face and put on eyes. I also offer my thanks to those who straighten teeth and the companies who make teeth whitening products. I have to rely on a ready smile and genuine interest in other people to draw attention away from the sags and wrinkles that continue to worsen despite my protests. I was old in my 30’s and 40’s---I want to be young now!

It has not been optional for me to do everything in my power to promote good health. I have always felt pressed internally to exercise no matter how tired I felt or how much I hurt. Fortunately, my background in Food Science and Nutrition has been helpful in guiding my food choices. I eat out as little as possible. As much as I would love that “perfect day” described above, my meals are generally well balanced. Though yummy desserts make me happy and I am far too talented at making them to do me good, I have a great desire to treat my body right. It has a hard enough time without me choosing to add potential difficulties

Six years ago, I reached my all time weight high. I had eaten candy or dessert every day because it brought tangible pleasure, though fleeting, as each day was physically difficult. When my oldest son went away for two years as an LDS missionary, I decided that I would do something hard along with him. I vowed to master my appetite for sweets. So, I went for two years without any dessert at all, finding that it was easier to have none than some. I dropped 28 pounds, and have kept 22 off. Weighing less is easier on my body. Though I am not as disciplined any more, I still make consistent efforts to limit my intake of sweets. It will never be easy for me. In fact, last night as I taught the Institute lesson on Setting Goals, I shared with them my detailed “Dessert Contract”, in which I clearly defined my boundaries until the end of February. I signed my name to it in front of seventy people. Beneath my signature is noted a reward I’ll give myself for successful adherence to all the rules, then a penalty attached for failing. I know that I will be successful in reaching my goal because the penalty is quite a deterrent. If I fail to meet every single condition before the end of February, I must admit failure to all those people and reveal exactly how much I weigh. Now, there’s motivation!"

Oh, Kristie - I LOVE YOU!!!! You just make me happy. I'm so blessed to personally know you. Thanks to Kristie for allowing me to feature her on Incredible Women this week. I learned so much. I'll be leaving her entire interview up through Sunday morning. The blog will then be UNDER CONSTRUCTION again, as I prepare to bring you another Incredible Woman! Thanks for visiting.


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