End of May #GoTheDist, Announcing June #GoTheDist

So.... May's #GoTheDist challenge is coming to a close.  I'm saying I reached 3/4 of my goal:  I did 100% in one modality and a little over 50% in another.  I'm happy with this mainly because I am not stressed out about my weight, or feeling like I didn't put in enough effort.  I worked hard the whole month.

The lovely Ms. Vena (@Phatterri) will be writing May's Wrap-up post and that will be posted soon.

I thought quite a bit about the theme of "Second Chances" this month -- about giving myself second chances as well as giving other people second chances.  I think it requires a wise and compassionate heart to be able to realize that we are often not perfect out of the gate, and that some things actually take effort and practice in order to achieve results.  For most of us looking to change our lives and our health, this is one big second chance -- we reached a point in our lives where we found the strength to say "No, this is not the way my life will play itself out" and it requires a few fits and starts until we have tangible momentum.

I've also learned about when another chance is appropriate and when it is just time to move on.  Some things are just within our grasp, not now, not ever. It's not a failing to admit your (or another person's) limitations, it does not detract from our basic goodness.  To paraphrase Tara Brach, there's enough dukkha (suffering) in our lives, why add to the suffering by lumping judgment on it (what she calls the "Second Arrow")?

With that in mind....

June is going to be dedicated to something Karen Anderson (@KCLAanderson) said during #Fitbloggin's "Intuitive Eating/Ditch the Diet" panel.   I quoted one of my favorite Jack Kornfield quotes:  "In the end, forgiveness simply means never putting another person out of our heart" and then asked the panel something like "When things are going wrong, when you're binging and down on yourself, how do you get back in your heart?"  Infinitely wise, Karen said that she stands in front of her mirror.... NAKED... with no harshness in her face.  She looks at herself compassionately and cultivates a self-love feeling, and that is her pathway back into her heart (i.e. forgiveness).

Like I said, she is infinitely wise, but also brave.  I'm willing to bet that this is probably terrifying to most people.  Is it so scary if you know other people are doing this as well?

June's #GoTheDist challenge will still have the same tracking components and spreadsheet (miles, classes, steps, water, strength, or whatever you want to add) but I'm going to take it a bit farther (and along the same lines as February's challenge, as well as New Rule No. 3):
  • Every day have some naked time (it doesn't matter how long) -- but it is completely naked, no cheating.
  • Find yourself in front of a full-length mirror and find a way to look at yourself compassionately and lovingly as you are right now (i.e. do not envision how you want to look)
  • If you find this hard, put your hand over your heart and softly say "I am here... I am here."
  • Remain in front of the mirror until your heart rate is regular, you've stopped giggling, there's no anxiety about the person looking back at you, and until you start seeing what is perfect over what might be imperfect
  • And if you can only do it for a limited time (such as if you're a parent, or live with other people) make sure that when you do this that you're not distracted.  Be present and in the moment.
And if you need to, tape this to the side of the mirror and read it to yourself if you need the permission to love your naked, vulnerable, wonderful self:
You are perfect, only you don’t know it.
Learn to know yourself and you will discover wonders.
All you need is already within you, only you must approach yourself with reverence and love.
Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors.
Your constant flight from pain and search for pleasure is a sign of the love you bear for yourself;
all I plead with you is this: make love of yourself perfect.
Deny yourself nothing – give yourself infinity and eternity and discover that
you do not need them; you are beyond.
-- Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Additional resources:
  • Tara Brach's Dharma talk on the Healing Power of Self Compassion Part 1 and Part 2

Grab the button for yourself (copy and paste HTML into your blog)

How to Join:

1. Click on the SUMMARY PAGE (bookmarking it would be a good idea as you will be using it often).
2. Fill out the next available line on the "Summary" spreadsheet (do not use Columns F or G, J or K -- they will automatically calculate once link your sheet).

3. **CREATE YOUR INDIVIDUAL PAGE** (This is a NEW step. Duplicate the "Participant Sheet." If you're comfortable working in spreadsheets you can edit it where it should repeat your personal information. The formula line will look something like "=Summary!A2" -- replace the 2 with whatever line you are on the summary spreadsheet. For =Summary!B2 do the same, etc.).

4. Rename the tab "@[twitter name]" or if you don't have Twitter "[nickname]" (If you want to link your page back to summary spreadsheet, go for it. It's a huge help. Column F will look like this (minus the brackets): ='[your tab name]'!D43 Column J will look like this (minus the brackets): ='[your tab name]'!E43)

5. Fill out the sheet as you wish.

6. Update your own individual page as needed (if tracking is too hard, consider printing out your page and filling it out by hand and updating it online once a week). The total mileage will automatically be updated on the Summary tab as you report on your individual page.

7. Follow #GoTheDist on Twitter for support if you need it or to support others when they do, to announce achievements, and find new/old friends!

8. PLEASE DO NOT DELETE LINES OR TABS! Do not SORT. If you want to add columns, please add them to the RIGHT of the page. Please do NOT move your page around! You CAN bookmark your individual page using your browser to find it easily.


I love this challenge! Over the past few months, I've gotten a lot better about beating myself up, but since fitbloggin I've been backsliding a bit, to the point that this beach vacation I'm on has been a bit of a guilt trip about all the food I'm eating.

I like the instruction to reflect on the good parts of myself, physical and mental, on a regular basis, and to keep myself in my heart.

Off to fill out my spreadsheet!


Elisha-- i will be adding more instruction, thanks to Karen/@KCAnderson. I just need the time and mental space to do it :P

I think beating yourself up just continue the cycle. I mean, what if loving yourself meant that you escaped the feedback loop of anger/shame/regret?


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