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158: Little Triumphs in Men's Health: Why Every Win Counts

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158: Little Triumphs in Men's Health: Why Every Win Counts

Oct 03, 2023

In a world that cherishes grand achievements, it's about time we also honor our tiniest triumphs. The Who Cares guys reflect on their seemingly trivial health victories, from adhering to bedtimes to resisting that tempting entire pizza. Delve into why it's essential, especially for men, to celebrate and share these micro milestones.

Episode Transcript

This content was originally created for audio. Some elements such as tone, sound effects, and music can be hard to translate to text. As such, the following is a summary of the episode and has been edited for clarity. For the full experience, we encourage you to subscribe and listen— it's more fun that way.



Scot: Troy, I have a question for you.

Troy: Sure.

Scot: Do you know who said this? "Every day is a battle not to order and eat a whole pizza."

Troy: "Every day is a battle not to order . . ." Before you said the quote, I was going to say Mark Twain, but I don't think that was Mark Twain.

Mitch: That's Samuel Clemens.

Troy: Samuel Clemens.

Scot: It's actually me. Every day . . .

Troy: That's who said it. That's your quote.

Scot: Every day is a battle to not order and eat a whole pizza, and every day I don't do that, it's a win.

Troy: It's a victory.

Scot: I wake up the next day going, "Well, at least I didn't order and eat a whole pizza last night."

Troy:Look on the bright side.

Scot:So today, I wanted to talk about celebrating those small wins. And we'll get to what that means in a second. It does seem like when you hear about success stories, a lot of times it's something like somebody's lost 60 pounds in 6 months, or you're on Instagram and you see some guy deadlifting or squatting or benching 3 times their body weight for their new personal best, or you hear a story about a CEO that turned his life around or her life around from being depressed and anxious to becoming a CEO of a major corporation.

And those are really inspiring stories and ones you'd want to share and brag about and amazing accomplishments, but those are really few and far between. It seems like most of the time, changes in our life are really small, and maybe they're so small you don't even notice them. But they are improvements and they should be celebrated because they can help motivation.

That's what we're going to talk about today on "Who Cares About Men's Health," providing information, inspiration, and a different interpretation of men's health. It's all about keeping the momentum going by noticing and celebrating the small wins regarding your health. My name is Scot. I bring the BS. The MD to my BS, Dr. Troy Madsen.

Troy: Hey, Scot. I'm excited to talk about small wins.

Scot: And here's a "Who Cares About Men's Health" convert. He started out skeptical and now he's all on board, Producer Mitch.

Mitch: Hey. Ready to talk about the tiniest of wins.

Scot: All right.

Troy: The tiniest.

Scot: Yeah. So I thought maybe we could share with our audience our small wins to not only give them, but give each of us ideas how to find those, and then how to find the bravery to celebrate them.

I'm going to be honest with you guys. I feel silly talking about mine. I wrote down some stuff and I remember at the time, and I still am personally, the internal Scot is very excited about these little things. They show progress and I'm excited about them and I'm heartened by them. But then when I imagine myself saying them out loud, they sound really dumb.

Troy: Oh, I'm in the same boat. I've written down some things and these are things I'm excited about too, and then I'm like, "But I would never say anything to anyone about these things." It's not like I would be like, "Hey, I just did this," or, "This is what's going on."

But internally, as I've thought about it and looked at these things, I'm excited about them too. I'm like, "This is cool. I'm glad that I'm doing this or that this has happened," or whatever.

Scot: Yeah. I don't know. Maybe lesson number one . . . Who knows where we'll end up at the end of the episode. But maybe these small wins are just meant to be kept for yourself. Maybe they're not meant . . .

Troy: Maybe that's our takeaway, yeah. We're going to sound so silly saying these things out loud that . . . Yeah, maybe that's the takeaway.

Scot: And then that kind of just makes it smaller. If you told somebody and you get this real weird reaction, you'd be like, "Oh, maybe that wasn't a big deal."

Mitch, you were going to say something.

Mitch: It's interesting that you guys are thinking about it and then you're excited about it. I had the hardest time coming up with any of these. In my mind, I was like, "I'm not doing anything. Nothing is really successful, blah, blah, blah," and it took a lot of effort to find the things. And then once I got them, I'm like, "Okay. All right. Yeah, I can talk about these things."

Scot: And I think that could be a second lesson, right? Some of us might not be programmed or even looking for small wins, right? We're so focused on the bigger picture or the bigger goal or the bigger thing that we want to accomplish that we don't take a look at the small. We're not even looking for them. So that could be a lesson, right? That you've kind of got to work to look for them.

And as I was thinking about my ideas too, Mitch, it was kind of the same thing. I was really struggling to come up with it, and I'm like, "Well, this is why we do gratitude journals. This is why we do daily pages." And we talk about these kind of things because it is work to pull them up and you do have to invest a little time.

I'm going to come with the small win that inspired me to want to talk about this in the first place. I've been strength training fairly consistently now for the past couple of months. And by consistent, I mean I go in probably 3 times a week, half-hour, 45 minutes each session.

I mean, first of all, showing up 3 times a week for a half-hour to 45 minutes, carving time out of my schedule and actually making it there, that's a small win, right? So that's kind of small win number one.

Troy: And you're doing it. You're being consistent with it.

Scot: But here was the small win that inspired this topic. They have a pull-up bar there and I can't really do any pull-ups. I used to be able to when I was younger, but I can't. But I try to hang from the pull-up bar.

And when I first started going in a couple months ago, I'd hang from that pull-up bar and I'd feel this pulling in the muscles in my chest and my shoulders and through my elbow and my forearms. It was painful. It hurt. It hurt in a lot of places more than just my forearms.

And the other day I just thought, "Oh, I'm in between sets. I'm going to go try to do that." I went and I hung and it felt pretty good.

Mitch: Oh. So you weren't sore or anything?

Scot: No. It felt like the muscles had stretched out, so I wasn't all tangled up or mangled like I used to be. I was able to hold and hang there for a good 60 seconds without too much struggle, where before it was 15, 20 seconds and my forearms started burning.

And I really haven't seen increases in weight otherwise, but that was just a small win. I'm like, "Awesome. This is great. I'm so happy about this."

Troy: That is awesome. I am realizing already, though, that this will probably accomplish what you said at the outset, that maybe these are things we shouldn't share with other people.

Mitch: Oh my god. No, it's good. As someone who . . .

Troy: That's awesome, though.

Mitch: . . . has a little bar that I hang on all the time, I am impressed.

Troy: I'm just joking.

Mitch: I'm impressed.

Troy: I'm totally joking. But that's not something you would tell a bunch of dudes, like, "Hey, guys. I hung from a pull-up bar today."

Mitch: For a full minute.

Troy: But it is a win, and it's good.

Scot: It is a win because a lot of things happened to make that more comfortable for me, right?

Troy: Yeah, it's progress.

Scot: Yeah, it is progress. It's very small, minuscule progress, but it tells me that my body is adapting. It tells me that my muscles are starting to stretch out, which then I think excites me because I start thinking, "Well, maybe pull-ups are in my future." And then I just start thinking about having more control over my body and more mobility and more flexibility, and those sorts of things. So that was my silly little small win.

Troy: I like it.

Mitch: Yeah, but it's got you thinking about and keeping you motivated for what you can eventually accomplish.

Scot: Right. And sometimes that can be the hardest part, right? We've learned consistency is so important with any of these health endeavors. How do you keep yourself motivated? I think you're right. I think that does motivate me a little bit.

Mitch, why don't you go ahead and go? What's a small win you're going to share?

Mitch: So mine was similar and it was so hard to come up with. A couple years ago, we did the Who Cares About Mitch's Health Mid-May 5K, right? But I injured my ankle then and I injured my ankle again last October. Bad enough that I was in a brace, I had to go to physical therapy again, etc.

And so there's a part of me that's like, "I should be jogging," but a couple months ago I decided, "You know what? I cannot walk as long as I used to, etc. Let me at least get some steps in every day."

And so I got myself a little walking pad, this little foldable super slow treadmill that goes underneath my standing desk. When I got it, I was like, "I'm going to lose all this weight. I'm going to be amazing. I'm going to start jogging again," and whatever.

And I haven't 100% lost any weight. I haven't really gotten feeling comfortable that I can run as much as I used to. I'm getting better. But even though those things did not come to fruition, even those big goals, big ideas, I get on that treadmill and I can walk for longer.

That sounds terrible, but it used to be when I first started, I'd have to take breaks. You're trying to work and edit and walk at the same time and it's like, "Oh, man, I think I've got to sit down for five minutes." But now I don't have to. I can go for most of the day just walking along. And while it hasn't led to all these great dreams that I had for the device, I can walk.

Troy: Yeah. You're on your feet. You're not sitting all day and, like you said, you're even finding that you've got more stamina than you did when you started.

Scot: It's so interesting when you say that you had thought you were going to lose all this weight or that it would get you ready for jogging again. I really want to focus on the weight part. I think that comes back to what we see on social media or even advertisements for these products. "You get this and if you do 10,000 steps a day, you're going to lose all sorts of weight." Some people have that experience, and some people don't.

Mitch: And I was a sucker to it. I mean, I saw these people online, these guys online who were like, "Hey, yeah, it's not doing a full whatever, but I did lose five pounds." I haven't seen any of that. But you know what? I can walk.

Scot: Right. I mean, if you just took it at face value, you might go, "Well, this was a failure," and stop doing it. But I can also tell you that here's one thing I know: It's better to be moving than not moving, regardless of what else happens, for your health.

Troy: Yeah. Regardless of the outcome, you're not sitting, you're on your feet, you're moving. That's an accomplishment right there even if you're not losing weight, so that's great.

Scot: It is. That's a good small win. I like it. Troy, what do you have for us for a small win?

Troy: So a small win from this week . . . It was the first thing that came to mind when you proposed this topic, and funny, we're talking about ankles here. So mine also has to do with my ankle. I was on a run a couple days ago and just had a bad ankle roll, just one of those where I just yelled. I was like, "Ah." I'm sure other people out there heard it.

And it was one of those where my initial reaction was, "Wow, that was bad. That really hurt." But I kept running. I did another two miles after that. And then the next day, I had a long run, so I did 24 miles the next day. It was sore, but it felt good.

And so for me, it was like, "Okay, this was . . ." I've rolled that ankle so many times. It's just a headache to deal with it. But I was happy that I kept moving, I kept going, kind of worked through it.

I find often, at least for me, when stuff like that happens, I think, "I've just rolled this ankle so many times," and I've found how to deal with it. I find that keeping moving and continuing to keep going and then doing resistance band stuff with it at home, that seems to be the best way for me to recover.

So I was happy. For me, the small win was dealing with an ankle roll, which I've had before but this was a painful one, but then just keeping going and keeping my routine up. So it could have been a big setback and I was glad it wasn't.

Scot: Yeah. Or you could have let it get into your brain as a big setback.

Troy: Yeah, for sure. Yeah, exactly.

Scot: So I noticed all of us talked about . . . When we talk about the Core Four, activity, nutrition, sleep, mental health, we all kind of hit on some physical stuff, right? And I found myself struggling to come up with small wins maybe in the other categories of the Core Four. Did anybody come up with something other than just physical or activity?

Troy: I hit all the Core Four.

Mitch: I got them.

Scot: Oh, you did? Oh my gosh. All right. Well, what's yours, Mitch? Go ahead.

Mitch: So mine has to do with my diet and it's back to that, "Am I losing a ton of weight right now? No." But I'm also finding and trying out new recipes. I am consistently prepping a bunch of really healthy meals every single week. And I find myself . . . I'm not measuring food, I'm not eating just chicken and peas, but I'm doing fruits and veggies. I can say that I'm getting my daily suggested amounts of fruits, vegetables. Increasing the amount of beans, lentils, and those types of things like we've talked about before.

Again, you assume good diet equals riggity-ripped abs. That is not . . . Right? This should be melting off with how much healthier I'm eating, but it's not. But I get to feel super great about eating things that I know are good for me. And it's just things like I don't feel like garbage the next day if I binge-ate some junk food or something the day before or whatever. It's not quite what I was expecting, but I'm feeling better than I have in a long time.

Troy: And you're getting those pulses.

Mitch: Yeah, a little something.

Troy: The beans, all that. The pulses.

Mitch: Yeah.

Troy: Yeah, we talked about that as the closest thing to a superfood. So even if you're not seeing the results with weight loss, you're seeing, I'm sure, other health benefits.

Scot: Yeah. Again, just because the weight's not coming off, I can tell you that eating healthier is better than not eating healthy.

Mitch: Right.

Troy: Exactly.

Scot: So what's the harm? I guess I do have a little small win, and this is kind of silly, but it's not. I don't know. Well, it comes back to our thesis, right? It's silly to say outside.

Recently had an anniversary, and my wife got us an anniversary cake, and all I wanted to do was eat cake before my meals. No dinner, just cake. But I told myself, "You know what? Here's the rule. While this cake's in the house, you have to eat something good before you can have a slice of cake."

And then after I did so, I'd have half the amount that I probably would have had had I not eaten anything.

I still ate cake, which could be considered a failure because cake's not necessarily healthy, but we do talk about moderation, and you should still be able to enjoy those things. But at least I had my healthy meal, right? Was I the model of perfection? No, but it was a small win because I did eat something healthy, I had less cake, and I got to enjoy my cake. And it feels funny to brag about it, but that was my cake win.


Mitch: Yeah. "I totally didn't eat a whole cake."

Troy: You totally didn't.

Mitch: But still, that is something good. You made a rule to yourself, you got some non-negotiables in there, you stuck to it. That is a victory.

Scot: Troy, what's your other small win that you're going to share on the show today?

Troy: So I'm going to go on the diet side on this one too. And I promise I'm not copying you guys because it sounds this way, but mine also had to do with eating sweets. But for me, it's more . . . It's funny. I think I'm a little intense on the sweet side. I even asked Laura recently, "Do you think I have an eating disorder?" and her answer was yes.

Scot: Was that because we had the podcast about asking your spouse what they worry about your health?

Troy: Exactly.

Scot: And that's what you got.

Troy: I got the answer, yes.

Scot: Wow.

Troy: She thinks I'm orthorexic, which is probably fair.

Scot: What's that mean?

Troy: It means you are so strict with your diet that it becomes disordered.

Mitch: Oh, wow.

Troy: I think she was half joking, but probably not. Because I am pretty . . . At least when it comes to sugar consumption, I have completely taken to heart the hidden sugars episode, completely. I look at what I am consuming as far as added sugar each day. Honestly, I think maybe sometimes I have swung the pendulum a little too far the other way.

So she made a bunch of cookies the other night, and I just enjoyed them. I probably ate 10 cookies, and I didn't care. I enjoyed it. It was great.

Scot: And that was a win that you didn't feel bad about it.

Troy: Yeah. At first, I kind of did. Then I was like, "No, those were great. I loved them. They were delicious." They were these dulce de leche cookies. It was like snickerdoodles with dulce de leche in it, and they were very tasty. They were really good, and I enjoyed it.

Scot: How'd you get yourself to the point where you're like, "No, I'm not going to beat myself up because I did this"?

Troy: I think after eating the first cookie, I just couldn't help myself. It was kind of one of those things. It was like, "These are so good. I don't care."

Scot: But you didn't beat yourself up afterwards then. Would you normally?

Troy: Yeah, I didn't. And I was kind of like, "I enjoyed it. They were good." I'm not going to make a habit out of it.

Scot: Right. And for you, it's kind of a one-off, weird sort of a thing, so why not every once in a while?

Troy: Yeah. So I think I probably need to dial it back a little bit on the sugar focus, which I definitely have focused on. So it was a win for me in the sense of . . . I think sometimes with our health habits we lose sight of the forest for the trees. We get so focused on certain aspects of it that maybe we can get a little too intense about it. So it was good for me. It was a small victory. Again, I would not share that with anyone else, but since we're talking about it, I'm sharing it.

Scot: Troy, since you feel like you're stealing everybody's, we're going to let you go next with the third small win, and then we could all act like we're copying you.

Troy: Oh, good.

Scot: What's your next small win?

Troy: Let's do this. So the next one, we're going to go in the mental health category now. I mentioned on the podcast a while ago I've really tried to look at the emotions of anxiety and anger, and trying to reduce those in my life. Like, try to make a conscious effort and in situations where I might sometimes feel like I might become anxious or become more angry, to try and dial that back a bit and be aware of it and not experience those emotions.

So this morning, we're doing some remodeling, our dog stepped in paint. Our dog walked all over our kitchen and living room, and my immediate response was to be like, "What in the . . . How did this happen?" and say some choice words and whatever, but I didn't. I said, "Okay." I got some turpentine, some paint thinner. I got a rag, and I just cleaned it up and cleaned the dog up.

And so finding things like that. Again, it's a small victory. And I'm finding, too, when I'm driving, things where people are rude, they're tailgating you, that kind of stuff, previously I might be angry in those situations. I'm trying not to. I'm just like, "Hey, they do whatever they want."

So I think that's been a small victory for me in trying to reduce those sort of emotions or reactions, and then trying to recognize the scenarios where otherwise I might've reacted differently in the past and saying, "Hey, I didn't do that. I'm glad things were different this time."

Scot: That's so funny that you mentioned that. I went through that similar process probably, I don't know, 15, 20 years ago because I used to get really angry when I'd work on a project and something wouldn't go right. I'd swear and yell and throw stuff. I don't know where I got that from. I have no idea. And finally, I just thought, "You know what? Why are you doing this? This isn't healthy."

And it took a while, but it was kind of the same thing. I could so empathetically put myself in your position where you just see what happened and you just go . . . You can feel it bubbling up, but then you just take a breath, and you go, "All right. Let's just go solve this problem like I'm going to have to anyway and clean it up."

That's an awesome win. I like it.

Troy: Yeah. And I think a big part of it is just that . . . And for me, it's not just so much even the reaction. It's more I feel like I'm doing better at recognizing that emotion.

I think sometimes we don't really recognize the emotion until it overtakes us. But when you start to just feel it coming on, it's like, "Okay. It's coming on. Let's rationalize this. Let's think about this. Let's look at it differently. Let's not let that get to the point where it consumes us and leads to an anger response."

Again, these are both kind of more anger responses, but there's also the anxiety piece as well where let's not let it get to that point.

Mitch: Yeah. That's actually what my next one was all about, was anxiety.

Scot: See? Now we're all copying each other.

Troy: I'm glad I went first on that one.

Mitch: Again, I think about how far I've come and I am very proud of it, but if I were to minimize and shrink down what I did that I was proud of the other day, I was five minutes late to a class I was teaching and didn't have a full meltdown. So no big deal.

Scot: You're one of those guys, huh? You don't like being late?

Mitch: It's not just not liking to be late. Back two years ago now, I've been in therapy for two years, when I first got diagnosed and got put on some medications and stuff like that, previously I was having full . . . I couldn't think straight. I was getting mad at everyone. I would yell at people in the car for making me late, etc. It was such a deep down reaction that got out of control sometimes, and it would just be like, "I'm fired. All the students are going to talk to the dean, and they're going to get me fired."

I know we're not supposed to use crazy, but it was insane how much that negative spiral would happen.

And so it kind of dawned on me the other day as I'm stuck behind a crap ton of traffic that I was not planning on and everything like that to be like, "You know what? Apologize. You were five minutes late. That doesn't mean that you're the worst person in the whole wide world."

And again, that sounds so weird saying aloud, right? But for me, it was just like, "All right. We have gotten somewhere. We have arrived somewhere. Let's keep this up."

Scot: Awesome.

Troy: Yeah, that's great. And I think for you . . . Obviously, there's the 15-minute rule too. You do know about that, right?

Mitch: Which one?

Scot: What's the 15-minute rule?

Mitch: Oh, yeah, that students all ditch you and leave.

Troy: They don't like to ditch you until . . . Anyway, that's what we always said, the 15-minute rule. So you do have a buffer there.

Mitch: Yeah, sure.

Troy: But it's great. And I think, too, you mentioned something there that's important. Is it related to medical care, that kind of thing? I expected perfection. I have to be perfect. And it was a big thing for me several years ago to just be able to be like, "Okay. I can apologize. If things aren't perfect, which sometimes they're not going to be, I can acknowledge my mistake and I can apologize."

And I think being able to do that and getting comfortable with that was really helpful also in dealing with some of the anxiety I would feel as it related to my profession and my work.

Mitch: Yeah. And when I apologized, a couple of students were like, "You were four minutes late. I had an instructor yesterday that I had to leave because they were so late." And it's like, "Oh, okay. All right. Yeah, I don't need to be so hard on myself."

Scot: Right. You're the hardest on yourself. Everybody else is just understanding.

All right. Since we're in the kind of mental, emotional health one, this is going to sound really dumb out loud, but here we go. I consider it a win when I don't spend a lot of time mindlessly scrolling anymore. And I've been working really hard.

I don't know if you know this or not, but when you scroll Instagram Reels, it's your brain looking for novelty. And you just keep going until you find some novelty. You get that little dopamine hit. And I can be kind of addicted to that. I tell myself I'm going to sit down for five minutes and just unwind and just see what's there, and then an hour later, I'm like, "What?"

So I've been working on trying not to do that quite so much. I will allow myself some, but I try to not do it at all, and I've been doing all right. So I'm not perfect, but that's kind of been my small win lately.

And the way I accomplished that is I took Instagram off my phone and I only have one device where I can look at it. So I have to conscientiously go to that room where that device is, pick it up, and then do my thing. I don't know. It's easier to set down.

Troy: Yeah. And sometimes you have to do that too with those kinds of things. You have to have physical barriers or something to prevent from just kind of falling into that, because it absolutely makes sense.

Scot: Troy, you've never had a problem with social media. Why is that? How come it's never been a thing for you?

Troy: I'm just not on social media. I think if I were on Instagram, I would absolutely do that. I have a couple websites I read every day, and they're these compilation websites that . . . Again, this is stuff I shouldn't even be saying because I would never say this in public. But they're science-focused and that. And I'll kind of go down the rabbit hole where I'm just reading, reading, reading and I just kind of lose track of time. So I think it's comparable to maybe what you'd run into with Instagram or something like that.

Scot: Yeah, maybe kind of, except for you're not watching somebody who dresses up their prairie dog and does little dances. You're on a science website, so screw you.

Troy: Like I said, it's stuff I really shouldn't even say out loud. But I think the emotion is the same, and I think the process and the dopamine hip is the same as well where you're kind of seeking that novelty and . . . Anyway, I totally get it too.

Scot: All right. On to number four, and I'll go ahead and kick this one off. This one's for sleep. I'll go ahead and throw in the sleep domain. I was curious what you guys think. Is it a small win if I just maintain my 10:00 bedtime?

Troy: It's a huge win, man.

Mitch: No, that was going to be mine. No joke. I have a bedtime now. It's not 10:00, but I stick to it and I feel amazing.

Troy: I think we're all stealing each other's because that's what I was going to say too. I even have it written down. I'll send you a picture of what I wrote down here.

Scot: Yeah. And it's not easy sometimes because at our house between 9:00 and 10:00 is usually when my wife and I will spend a little time together. We have a show that we'll watch. And when 10:00 rolls around, if we're halfway through it, I'm like, "Nope, got to go to bed. I guess we'll finish it tomorrow night."

And you get some initial pushback from your partner, because sometimes it's a good show and you want to see how it ends or whatever, but I generally do a pretty good job of maintaining that.

I mean, it sounds silly, right? "I'm good about going to bed at 10:00." But I don't know, kind of a small win that I'm proud of.

Troy: It's such a huge win. I really think it is. And it's so de-emphasized in society in terms of just sleep and the value of that. And obviously, as Kelly Baron has said on our show, just having that same bedtime every night makes such a big difference. So, yeah, that's a big win, just maintaining it and being fairly strict about it too.

Mitch: Mine is kind of the opposite. I have stuck to the same wake-up time, right? So as someone who has constantly struggled with insomnia, a person who this past summer wasn't able to get some medications I needed to help me sleep, and I had a couple of weeks where I was just sleep deprived and I felt miserable, getting my schedule back by just committing for the last two months, three months now, every single day, I get up at 6:30 regardless of when I went to sleep.

And it was really tough at the start, but man, oh man . . . I get tired. I feel tired around the time I'm supposed to feel tired and I'm able to fall asleep. And it's like, "Ah, this is what babies can do. What did I do? I finally figured out the baby secret."

Troy: Will you please teach my baby that secret? Please.

Scot: Any other wins you want to talk about before we kind of start to wrap this up?

Troy: Well, I didn't get to say my win, Scot.

Scot: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you said it was sleep.

Troy: It is. It is pretty much the same thing as yours. But mine is . . .

Scot: I don't want to take your time out of the spotlight sharing your win. So go ahead and share.

Troy: It's a little different than yours. It is sleep, but my win is that I feel tired when I want to go to sleep. For me, it's 9:00. I know this sounds really weird now, but this is what my bedtime has become since having a little kid. It's 9:00.

And I was thinking about it last night. I was thinking, "I love that I am tired and I fall asleep." I just love that. And it's something I haven't had for a long time in part just because of shift work and my schedule. But that to me was just . . .

Again, I would never share that with anyone, but I just thought about it last night. I love that I get tired and I fall asleep. It's remarkable.

Mitch: That's me. Yes. After years of feeling like I had to stay awake until I passed out, to finally be like, "You know what? I'm kind of tired. I think I'm going to hit the hay," it feels like a completely different person.

Troy: I love it.

Scot: And it feels so good when you're tired to go in and lay down and end the day, and then you fall . . . I mean, it's very rewarding.

Troy: Yeah. I love my bedtime routine. I'll go sit in my bed and I will sit there, I'll read a book for maybe 10 minutes, getting to . . . We talked about before kind of that habit too, of just reading a book, not looking at your screen, anything like that. And then I just get drowsy. Sometimes I'll even kind of doze off as I'm reading the book. And it's just something I haven't had for a really long time. Many, many years, I haven't experienced that.

Scot: It could be very pleasurable too. It's weird, isn't it?

Troy: Yeah, it is.

Scot: All right. So as we wrap this up, I want to try to get our heads around deconstructing how do you find these small wins? Sometimes it could be pretty difficult, right?

So I think part of it might be redefining what success is. Instead of looking at the ultimate goal or the reason you may have started doing something for your health, kind of redefining what that success is or being open, I guess, to other signs of success.

And then looking for evidence of that success. I think you have to actively do that and maybe even a little journaling, saying, "What were some of the small wins I had today in a health category, or just in general?"

What do you guys think? How can somebody become more aware of those small wins? Or do you think most of us are, and we just discount them?

Troy: I don't think we are. I wouldn't have even come up with this if you hadn't asked us to do it. So I think it's almost like you have to be given the assignment to identify the small wins.

I didn't even really think of these as small wins, and then you said, "Hey, we're going to talk about this." And at first I was like, "I don't know what I'm going to say." Then these are all things just from the last few days that I'd thought about in the moment, but I didn't really chalk up as a small win.

So you kind of have to just have the assignment, identify a small win in all four categories of the Core Four, and then I think you become more aware of that and more reflective.

Mitch: For me, I didn't even count I've been going to bed at a recent hour as a win until . . . And then to hear that other people are so excited about it and being like, "Yes, bedtimes," it's . . .

Yeah, I did not count any of those as wins until I was kind of forced or made it an intention to be like, "What did you do? What good things are you doing?"

Troy: Yeah. And I think, too, it's because . . . Again, it's like we talked about. These are all things I would never tell anyone. I haven't told Laura, "Hey, I'm so excited I felt sleepy at 9:00 last night." It's just kind of weird. You wouldn't share it on social media, anything like that.

So you kind of have to, again, I think, almost have the assignment of just identifying it and maybe jot it down in your journal or something, like you said.

Scot: Yep. Just recognizing it. Start developing that muscle of recognizing those small wins. And the value is they can be motivating. Those big wins are few and far between. Sometimes you might not ever achieve those big wins, who knows, to the extent that you wanted to try to achieve those big wins. But take a look at how are other aspects of your life being improved by any sort of health changes that you're making. That can be very motivating.

So our challenge to you is take the assignment. Take a look at all the Core Four, activity, nutrition, sleep, mental health, and take 5, 10 minutes. If you were on the podcast and we were expecting you to come up with one in each category, what would your small win be?

And then start celebrating and recognizing those small wins. The more you celebrate and recognize them, the more you'll notice. And the more you notice, the more you'll be motivated to continue on your health journey.

If you want to share them . . . perhaps you don't, I don't know, but if you want to share them or any other thoughts you had on this episode, you can reach out to us at

Thanks for listening. Thanks for caring about men's health.


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