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JANEWATKINS
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The Prodigal Daughter*

Sunday, December 20, 2020

For anyone who isn't versed in Christian scripture or practices Islam, Judaism, Bahai, Buddhism, Hinduism, Wicca, etc. etc. please allow me to share a nutshell description of the story of "The Prodigal Son." This guy, one of two brothers, asked (yea begged) for his father to give him his inheritance now rather than at the death of his father. The other-brother-by-the-same-moth
er decided to stay home and continue to work in the family biz. The younger fellow went happily down the lane with his pockets stuffed with his dowry. He whooped it up with his money (wine, women and song) until he was so broke that he ended up sleeping with and feeding pigs. One day he decided if he was going to eat and sleep with pigs, he might as well eat and sleep with Porky and Petunia, back at the family farm. So here he is, on that same lane dragging his feet (with shoes that don't match, fit, or provide a fashion statement). His father was so excited to see him that he ran to meet him, crying out: "Junior's home! Please bring a decent tunic and some fashion-forward footwear for him!" Dad ordered a special dinner for him, which made his older son feel quite peevish, but all in all the tribe was happy to have him back home. The story ends there (and please forgive my editorial license). That was the end of the story . . . at least in the New Testament of the Bible. We can imagine the following scenes that must have transpired: uniting with old friends, feeling relaxed in the bosom of his family, feasting with every meal where even oatmeal seems like a dish for kings, and sleeping in the comfort of your own bed (minus the porcine snuggle-buddies).

Today I declare that I am the proverbial SparkPeople prodigal daughter. I first joined SP some 12 or 14 years ago. In that time frame I've gone AWOL, lured into other programs like eDiets, the Mayo Clinic diet, WW, and most recently the 10x program from Engine2. One thing seems to be in common with each of these programs. I always-always seem to drag my feet down the lane, back to SparkPeople. There are people I miss who reside here. There are success stories that inspire me. And recently I've waltzed in and out of here because nobody-but-nobody seems to have a log as complete as the SP Food Log. This time I've been gone for a long time, nearly two years. I've missed you! I looked at my little weight scale and find that I weigh exactly what I did two years ago. Right down to the tenth-of-a-pound. So when I say nothing was lost and nothing was gained, it seems more sincere than the usual use of the phrase!

I'm planning to pitch back in here again. I miss the encouragement. I miss the goal-setting. I miss Ben and Jerry, who whisper "you can see us again, Jane, in moderation." I did decide to become a vegetarian in May and I have not turned back. I must confess that I did forgo meat more as an ethical choice. My son is vegan and is famous for saying to our family "I don't need a cow to hold my pants up," which sent us all into gales of laughter (and guilt about our leather belts). But the commitment he has made to honor the lives of our fellow inhabitants of this planet is a decision we applaud and try our best to conform to as flexitarians.

So here I am. In all my chubby glory (in cute yea even fashionable footwear). I claim my birthright to be here in the family called Spark. I don't need a feast. I don't need a tunic in XL. I don't need cash or the signet ring. I just need to be here, within this family of people who love me and encourage me. Thanks . . . in advance, and big socially-distant HUGS.

*The star in the title refers to the first paragraph, which assumes that if you missed church today, you have at the bare minimum a Sunday School homily.
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