Are you thinking about setting goals toward better health in 2021? Having a routine, getting
organized, and some form of daily activity will improve your mental health and reduce stress
levels, which can aid in weight-loss and overall health. But what realistic steps can you take that
will create lasting change?

virtual exercise

Stella Mouzon, RN, BSN, MSM, is the bariatric coordinator at Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery. Among her many responsibilities at Parkwest Medical Center is leading the bariatrics program’s monthly support group. Mouzon enjoys working with patients wherever they are in their health and wellness journey,  and she reminds us that the choices we make today will have some effect on our tomorrow.

Mouzon offers advice and encouragement for anyone thinking about New Year’s Resolutions. She encourages, “For any resolution you set, make sure it’s a positive  change and functional for your life.” “We must first decide to have attainable goals,” she says. “It’s not realistic to say, ‘I’m
going to start exercising every day’ if you’re not already doing some form of exercise. If this is you, set a goal to do some form of  activity once or twice a week for 15 to 30 minutes. If you already exercise regularly, consider  adding one more 30-minute session.”

Stella Mouzon, RN
Stella Mouzon, RN

Regarding weight loss, goals should also be attainable to be successful. “Have some long-term and short-term goals,” says Mouzon. “If you  have a total number of pounds you want to lose, break that into small numbers and work toward  that bigger number in increments.”

For those considering weight-loss surgery, Mouzon urges people to do their research. This may include attending a seminar and a support  group to learn more and interact with those who have had weight-loss surgery. “Bariatric surgery is  a tool which can be very successful if used to its full potential,” she encourages.


As we approach the New Year, many people talk about making a “brand new start.” In reality, you can’t go back in life and start again; you’re already in the race. Although you can’t make a brand new start, you CAN make a brand new finish. It is never too late to make positive changes toward a healthier you.

G– Get on track

O– Organize your life by organizing your living space

A– Start some form of activity to increase movement

L– Let go of the past

S– Start fresh each day


Setting Attainable Goals: Tips from Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center

Katie Logan, MS, is passionate about helping people achieve their goals. Over her 30-year career at Fort Sanders  Health and Fitness Center, she has served as group fitness manager, training and education  coordinator and fitness supervisor before transitioning to part-time in 2020. “I love to see  people work toward and reach their full potential,” Logan says. “Teaching others motivates me to  work harder, and I end up learning as much as they do, if not more.”

Katie Logan, MS
Katie Logan, MS

Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center, located at the intersection of Kingston Pike and Pellissippi  Parkway, offers both in- person and virtual memberships, allowing members to  participate from anywhere. Logan explains the  Fitness Center’s newest program, Fort Sanders FLEX, provides access to more than 450 virtual group fitness classes via a mobile  app, which is just a tap away. “We also have a wide variety of non-contract membership  options including family, couple, single-parent, single, student and senior. Our goal as a fitness center is to provide something for the entire family and all age groups,” she  says.

Logan says Fort Sanders Health and Fitness Center is always growing, changing, keeping up with current trends in fitness and looking for ways to improve. She encourages, “One thing that has never changed in my 30-year career is the fitness center staff striving to  make exercise safe, effective and fun. When you decide to improve your life with fitness,  come visit us. We have an amazing team of staff members in all departments who want you  to have a great fitness experience.” She adds, “Never renegotiate your decision to lead a healthier life, and we can help you get there.” For information, visit

Back to Basics

Logan says the best exercise is one you enjoy and will do consistently. “ For cardiovascular exercise, start with walking, either indoors or outdoors. Gradually add more days, more
time, and add intensity by adding stairs or hills. “For strength, push-ups at a counter top, squats into a chair and planks on the floor are helpful. A beginner plank is done on elbows or forearms and knees, keeping your body in  a straight line. Hold this position for 15 seconds and take deep breaths. The best beginner stretch is simply to reach your hands overhead and take a big deep breath. Exhale slowly as you  lower your arms.”

Set Obtainable Fitness Goals

“We all have a need to feel successful,” says Logan. “An unrealistic, unattainable goal  will lead to failure. Pick one behavior to change, such as walking for 15 minutes three days per week, drinking six glasses of water a day or stretching every morning for 10 minutes. Try
these small steps for at least three weeks, and you will most likely develop a new habit.
Once you achieve that goal, you’re ready for another one, or maybe a modification of the first

Three Reasons to Exercise During a Pandemic

There are many benefits to exercise, but three important ones during this pandemic are:

  • Improved cardiovascular endurance as well as respiration rate and lung capacity.
  • Decreased stress, or your body’s reaction to stressful situations. Exercise is also a
    “time- out” from stressful events, leaving you feeling calm yet energized.
  • Boosts your immune system and resilience in recovering from illness. Exercise can also
    enhance your mood, giving you a more positive outlook on life.

Parkwest Bariatric Services

If you’re on  the fence about weight-loss surgery or have tried shedding pounds with diet and exercise alone to no avail, consider looking into a weight-loss seminar and  learning about the options available at Parkwest Center for Bariatric Surgery. During these informational seminars, attendees learn about the four types of bariatric surgery and the risks and advantages of each.
Additionally, bariatric support group meetings are held the third and fourth Monday of each month, from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. in the Classrooms at Parkwest Medical Center (9352 Park West Blvd.) Registration is required, so please call 865.374. PARK to reserve your spot.

What Can I Do Today?

  • Try to drink at least 64 ounces of water a day.
  • Get a good night’s sleep. Having a bedtime routine helps your brain know it’s time to start shutting down.
  • Have some form of activity in your life that requires movement.
  • Do something daily or weekly that you enjoy that is not food related.
  • Get in a regular routine as much as possible. In addition to waking and winding down, try to keep your meals at a consistent time. Develop a good attitude; Find something to be thankful
    for every morning.