How Is Your Health Esteem?

World Health Esteem Month, according to a calendar website, has been “observed the month of January since 2023.” In other words, it seems to be a brand-new project, or maybe this is just the first time somebody has registered it with a calendar of National or World Days, Weeks or Months. Also, the event does not currently have a sponsor, so anyone can jump on board.

Further searching reveals that apparently none of the holidays listed (by a company that sells national holiday calendars) has a sponsor. But leaving that aside, there is more to know about it, chiefly from the Fit Club Network, and the explanation is pretty solid.

Heard it all before

Everyone knows that New Year’s resolutions are a joke, but Coach Dave, who is the co-founder of the Fit Club Network, takes the more polite route, merely pointing out that such resolutions are not sustainable, and furthermore, can be “destructive at their core.” Let us not burden ourselves with goals that will turn out to be overwhelming or impossible. We can decide not to continue on a course that leads to deprivation, guilt, and eventual failure.

As it turns out, to practice Health Esteem is just a positive mindset, that’s all — a mindset that is learnable and doable and that “makes better choices come naturally.” Dave writes,

No more working out because we’re unsatisfied with ourselves. The “health esteem” mindset is that we exercise because we value ourselves. No more making food choices to punish ourselves. The “health esteem” mindset is that we eat better to take care of ourselves. It simply requires paying attention and slowly working on creating new healthier habits.

What are some of these simple yet effective daily choices and useful practices? The rules themselves are pretty self-evident.

1. Wake up on the first alarm
2. Do the hardest thing first
3. Make time to eat breakfast
4. Replace “dirty” energy with “clean” energy
5. Plan lunch the day before
6. Swap afternoon treats for “superfood desserts”
7. Give energy
8. Take time for a post-work reflection
9. Slow dinner down
10. No Screens 30 minutes before bed

The “dirty” and “clean” energy references are to junk food versus fresh veggies and the like. Planning lunch ahead of time is a little insurance policy to keep ourselves from going all spontaneous, and then regretting it later. #8 encourages us to look back on the day, and give ourselves credit for accomplishments, and look forward to what we are excited about discovering tomorrow. #10, the avoidance of electronic screens at bedtime, is something we have been warned about many times before.

It’s a real thing… The blue light and mental distractions from phones, TV, and computers right before bed disrupt your sleep cycle, which decreases your “health esteem.” Try connecting with someone around you, reading, journaling, meditating, or stepping outside and soaking up the night sky.

Your responses and feedback are welcome!

Source: “World Health Esteem Month,”, undated
Source: “Focus on Health Esteem Instead of Resolutions!,”, 12/29/22
Image by Quinn Dombrowski/CC BY-SA 2.0

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About Dr. Robert A. Pretlow

Dr. Robert A. Pretlow is a pediatrician and childhood obesity specialist. He has been researching and spreading awareness on the childhood obesity epidemic in the US for more than a decade.
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Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the American Society of Animal Science 2020 Conference
What’s Causing Obesity in Companion Animals and What Can We Do About It

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the World Obesity Federation 2019 Conference:
Food/Eating Addiction and the Displacement Mechanism

Dr. Pretlow’s Multi-Center Clinical Trial Kick-off Speech 2018:
Obesity: Tackling the Root Cause

Dr. Pretlow’s 2017 Workshop on
Treatment of Obesity Using the Addiction Model

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation for
TEC and UNC 2016

Dr. Pretlow’s invited presentation at the 2015 Obesity Summit in London, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s invited keynote at the 2014 European Childhood Obesity Group Congress in Salzburg, Austria.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2013 European Congress on Obesity in Liverpool, UK.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2011 International Conference on Childhood Obesity in Lisbon, Portugal.

Dr. Pretlow’s presentation at the 2010 Uniting Against Childhood Obesity Conference in Houston, TX.

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