One of the best things about spending time in Seattle is getting to visit my younger sister, Hayley.
Being a mere two years apart, Hayley and I are extremely close, despite the fact that we are essentially polar opposites. While I spend my mornings applying Crest White Strips and a set of false eyelashes, she’s brushing her teeth with organic toothpaste that tastes like clay and slathering her lashes with an all-natural eyelash tint made from edible dye.Yet in spite of our striking differences, we share a bond stronger than the pungent taste of her terrible–yet apparently effective–toothpaste.
I hadn’t seen Hayley in person since December. When I arrived at her doorstep last week, I instantly knew something was different.
“Whoa…turn around!” I exclaimed. She slowly circled once as I took in her recent update in all of its stunning glory. ”Oh my gosh,” I cooed, “It’s amazing!”
“Thanks! I just cut it a few weeks ago.” she chirped. Suddenly, I realized my sister had lost approximately eight inches of length from her hair. It looked adorable, but that hadn’t been the change I was referring to.
“It’s totally cute! But…uh…I wasn’t talking about your hair. I was talking about your booty.”
Somebody had to say it. There was no denying the voluptuous bubble butt that was clearly the focal point of her floral print leggings. (And honestly, her entire appearance. Let’s just say homegirl is giving Beyoncé a serious run for her money.)
“You noticed!” she exclaimed with glee. “I’ve gained twenty pounds since you saw me last!”
Hayley’s recent weight gain certainly isn’t something she’s ashamed of. The first thing you should know is that my sister is an elite athlete. Not only is she a competitive rower who logs nearly two hours on the lake most mornings, she’s also very involved in a local running club, and is an up and comer on the Seattle triathlon scene. And Hayley doesn’t just compete in triathalons…she actually wins them. Needless to say, my little sis hadn’t gained twenty pounds as a result of too many hot mess burgers or lack of activity. She’s a physical specimen, gaining muscle and power as a result of some seriously intense training.
My sister’s rigorous physical activity requires that she eats several calories a day to maintain her energy level and fuel her metabolism. Basically, she’s one of those people who can eat whatever she wants and still be cellulite-free. Clearly, I hate her for this. (In the most loving way possible, of course.)
Take last Thursday for example. The weather in Seattle was absolutely gorgeous. We decided to meet my brother and his girlfriend for a sunset picnic at one of our favorite spots in the city, Gasworks Park. We stopped at Subway where I picked up a six-inch turkey breast on wheat. No mayo, no cheese, just lots of vegetables. I have a pair of lace shorts to fit in to, after all.
Naturally, Hayley ordered a foot-long sub filled with bacon, cheese, mayo, and all the good stuff I chose to deny my taste buds. She also topped it with every single vegetable offered…but all I could think about was that tasty, melty cheese. As we sat at the park, enjoying our meal, she noticed the longing gazes I kept directing towards her calorie-laden sandwich.
“Jealous?” she asked with a smirk.
“A little.” I confessed. “But some of us don’t work out three hours a day, and have to watch our diet as a result.”
“Sorry,” she shrugged, “I can’t help it if I have to feed the beast.”
“Please tell me you have not named your butt ‘the beast’?” I pleaded.
“You got a better suggestion?” she asked between bites of bacon-infused goodness.
And that’s how my sister’s arse got its name.
The following day, Brunhilda was on display for all to see as Hayley and I spend the day at my very favorite naked spa. (More on this tomorrow.) I stood in awe, watching her parade around the facilities with a rump that appeared to be sculpted out of smooth, white marble. And no…I don’t think it’s strange to write publicly about my sister’s behind in such a manner — if you’d been there you’d also recognize that it’s a freaking work of art.
Meanwhile, I kept my self-conscious saddlebags safely concealed in the whirlpool. (And how come I’m the one with saddlebags? I didn’t even EAT any of that bacon sub sandwich!)
While I’m certainly envious of the mighty Brunhilda, the thing I admire most about my sister is her confidence and self-love. Sure, it’s easy to feel comfortable in your body when you’re in pristine physical condition and in the midst of your athletic peak. But Hayley’s had her fair share of awkward phases, and certainly won’t be rocking the white marble booty forever. I’m certain that one day, when those foot-long sandwiches finally catch up to her, she’ll love herself just as much as she did last weekend at the spa. Hayley’s realized that it’s more important to focus on health and happiness as opposed to jean-size or an inner-thigh gap. She sees food as a source of joy and nourishment, not as a dangerous temptation or something she needs to restrict. My sister doesn’t have time to worry about counting calories or calculating the fat count in a strip of bacon — she’s too busy having fun and living her life to the fullest.
She enjoys the moment.
And the bacon sandwich.
I think we (and by we, I mean I) certainly have a lot to learn from Hayley.