Q&A with Amy!

Q: The other day I was asked what my values were, and I
really value being thin— more than anything else I can think of.  Is this such a bad thing?

A: Hmmm, I think I want to
challenge this value.  Remember that
there are two types of values: intrinsic
and instrumental values
An intrinsic
value is not a way to obtaining something else, like gratitude.  Being grateful is good just because it’s good
to be grateful, not because being grateful leads to anything else. 
Whereas an instrumental
value is intended to obtain something else. 
Money is an instrumental value because you can use it to get something
else.  Make sense? 
is yet another instrumental value. 
People think that thinness brings other qualities they may find
valuable.  In other words, it’s not
thinness, but what thinness represents
that you may find valuable, such as being successful, accomplished,
disciplined, controlled, etc.
good way to decide whether your value is intrinsic or instrumental is to ask
yourself, “if I were stranded on a desert island, would this be of any use to
me?”  Being smart, strong, and healthy
are intrinsic values that would be excellent in this situation.  But being thin is pretty useless, especially
with no one around to validate it, don’t you think?
ask yourself what is it that you’re trying to achieve through being thin.  Do you want admiration and respect?  How else can you obtain this sort of
validation? Do you value health?  Being
thin, especially through unhealthy methods such as bingeing and purging,
certainly isn’t going to help you attain this value.
values are like your GPS as you navigate through life.  Whenever you come to a crossroads, a place
where a decision is needed, ask yourself, “will this bring me closer to or
further away from what I value?”  I
believe that acting in accordance with your intrinsic values is the key to a
rich and meaningful life.

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