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This Thanksgiving, Banish the Body Bashing

This is a strange Thanksgiving in the Tartakovsky household, one that I didn’t think I’d be spending this way, this soon. This year, we’re spending Thanksgiving without my dad. He passed away in August, three days shy of his 58th birthday.

This Thanksgiving, I’ll try my best not to think about or feel guilty if I have too many bites of apple pie, if my outfit feels too tight, if I have surplus spoonfuls of stuffing. None of that seems important. In fact, this kind of thinking just seems silly, in the grand scheme of things. When a big part of your life is missing. When a big part of your life is painfully missed.

I’m not writing this post to say that people who worry about overeating don’t deserve to be concerned, are unjustified or vane for their concerns. These, too, are genuine feelings, which deserve exploring. Holidays are a notoriously difficult time for anyone with food or body image issues, and sometimes, families can make matters worse.

I’m writing this post because our body-bashing thoughts are time-consuming and distracting. They take us away from the real things in our lives. They take us away from those who love us unconditionally, regardless of our food choices or appearance. That’s how my dad was.

So this holiday season, focus on your loved ones (and working toward loving yourself unconditionally, too). As humans, we naturally take people for granted, unfortunately. Take this day to banish any exhausting, disparaging thoughts and focus on what’s important to you.

If you’ve been working on building a healthier self-image and it’s been quite the challenge, simply take a break. Tell yourself that on this day, you’re taking a break from body bashing. On Thanksgiving Day, you’ll enjoy the little things like watching the parade with your loved ones, partaking in special traditions, seeing old friends.

If a negative thought pops up, just tell it to go away because it’s family time, and frankly, you can’t be bothered. Sure, this may not be easy. But it’s worth it. Sure, it might seem silly. But it may work.

And consider what you’re thankful for this holiday season.

Please share that below, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

OK, I’ll start us off:

I’m thankful that I’ve had 27 years with my dad, who truly was the greatest man on this planet (trust me, it’s true). I’m thankful for the memories, for the fact that I look a lot like him (which may be neither here, nor there  🙂 ).

I’m thankful for my mother, whose strength, grace and beauty only flourish.

I’m thankful for my longtime boyfriend, my family and close friends, whose love, generosity, support (and laugh-out-loud bad jokes) know no bounds.

I’m thankful for this beautiful blog and its beautiful readers.

I’m thankful for my handsome, fat kitty, who turned 15 just this October, who hasn’t left my side since my dad passed.

I’m thankful for what my body can do, how it’s always there when I need it most, no matter how mean I’ve been to it, no matter how many names I’ve called it, no matter how badly I’ve treated it.

This Thanksgiving, Banish the Body Bashing

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2009). This Thanksgiving, Banish the Body Bashing. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 25 Nov 2009
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