Last week I lost another half a pound and have no idea what my waist measured because in my enthusiasm I forgot to measure it. All I know is I got into my 'skinny jeans' and did a booty dance to celebrate.
Around the edges of my weight-loss happiness I feel an unsettling anxiety that I could gain again at any time. What is that about?
Do I not trust myself? Am I gearing up for self-sabotage? Can I not stand the feeling of becoming self-actualized? All of the above?
What is self-actualization anyway? Developmental theorist Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) described it as, "The full realization of one's potential." [Digging into this for this post I found a website maintained by a Dr. C. George Boeree, what he call's an electronic textbook of personality theories. This is stuff I studied in depth in graduate school and frankly could use a bit of refreshing.] Whether you swallow Maslow's theory hook, line and sinker or not, he has some good points that are still relevant today.
For instance, he suggests that before you can reach self-actualization you've got to have good self-esteem. OK, I buy that. Dr. Boeree says:
"Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs, a lower one and a higher one. The lower one is the need for the respect of others, the need for status, fame, glory, recognition, attention, reputation, appreciation, dignity, even dominance. The higher form involves the need for self-respect, including such feelings as confidence, competence, achievement, mastery, independence, and freedom... The negative version of these needs is low self-esteem and inferiority complexes."
So according to Maslow, for me to really embrace my weight loss acheivement (self-actualization) I need to be confident that I've mastered good health habits (high form of self-esteem). Yeah, I could work on that.
Photo courtesy of marcelgermain via Flickr